How loud has your mum voice gotten? Is there days when you worry the neighbours will hear you? Don’t worry, we have all been there.
There can be times when our children test our limits and their cheeky side can come out. Reacting with yelling, frustration or anger is not going to help the situation, it will most likely make it worse and it will end in a lot of tears and emotions from both sides. It can be a crazy ride.
Taking on the role of being a calmer parent can seem difficult, especially when they are testing your patience. A quick yell may seem like the most effective way to solve a problem and at the time it will probably work. But thinking long term, is it the best option?
What is a calmer parent?
Being a calmer parent means that you are not going straight to negative impulses or words when dealing with your children. You are focusing on staying calm and using your calmness to alter the situation. Instead of using yelling, threats or bribes to get your children to do things, you speak calmly with them and find a solution that everyone is happy with and it still gets the job done.
Think of it as working with your child, rather than against them in that moment.
It can take a lot of practice to achieve a sense of calm and that is why a lot of people go straight to the opposite. Using force in our words and raised voices can achieve the results we want in a quick way. These ways however can have negative effects in the long term on our children.
How do I become a calmer parent?
Firstly you need to stop and look at how you react to different situations. How do you handle them?
Children watch every little thing that we do and if they see you using negative behaviours or reacting in a bad way to different situations they may start to copy what they are seeing and hearing.
Once you have looked at your behaviours, think about how you can change them in a positive way.
Changing the way, you discipline as well will help with the overall situations. Instead of sending a child to time out if they do something wrong, try distracting them with a different activity.
Rather than removing them all together and isolating them, by distracting them with something else it will help them to see that they can do act the way that they did and still have what they want.
When you change their activity, do it in a way that does not look like they are getting a reward, so don’t go to an activity that is more fun than what they were already doing. Give them time to go read a book, or go outside to blow bubbles – bubbles are a great way for them to relax and reduce stress.
Take the time to talk to your child
Having a real conversation with your child is crucial to becoming a calmer parent.
When they have done something that has upset you, hurt someone or broken something; sit down with them and talk about their actions. Talk about the consequences, how it has made you or another person feel and ask them how they would like it if someone treated them in the way that they acted.
Helping them to understand what they have done and how it effects those around them can help them not to make the same decision again.
When they see you showing kindness and respect to them, it will help teach them to do the same to others.
Why parent this way?
Why bother going to the effort of trying to be calm when I can yell once or twice and its over? I hear this often, but it is not about getting an instant result. It is about teaching and learning with your child.
Although raising your voice can get the results you want quickly, it doesn’t mean that it is the right way to go about it.
By using a calmer parent method and treating your child as an equal it will help them in the long term to not only understand their behaviours and how they should be acting but also help to teach them many life skills moving forward.
There is also a lot less resistance the next time they start to muck up.
Are you using a calmer parenting method? Or is it a change you are ready to make?