Remain calm, easy to say – not so easy to do. Calmness is defined as the ability to be tranquil and composed. Experts say that to become a parent with a cool head in the heat of the moment begins with focusing on you, not on the child. It begins with you because children need parents who can keep their cool, when they themselves cannot. When things are scary, confusing or overwhelming, children need parents who are in control and remain calm. Children need to know that they can count on you. As a parent, your first response in situations of stress, emotions or chaos may not be one of composure. Your first reaction might be to yell, react and think later. If so – read on.
Parenting begins with you-you set the example. So if calmness is not your strength-it can be! By intentionally focusing on your emotions and behaviors, you can find calm. Hal Rundel, founder of the Screamfree theory, has useful strategies to get you on the way to being the parent you want to be, bringing peace and calmness to your life.
KEEP YOUR COOL:
Count to ten & deep belly breathe– this helps you relax a little, giving you a chance to separate yourself from what triggered anger and to think about how you want to respond.
Get a mental picture of yourself in the moment. Are you being the parent you want to be? If not- change your behavior to fit the picture of how you want to parent.
USE A MANTRA:
Repeat, “I can deal with this with grace and dignity.” Keep repeating it until you feel in control and are responding in a way that fits your parenting picture. Recently a parent shared her mantra “This is how my children will remember me”. She feels that this thought has helped her to have fewer blow-ups and enabled her to approach life with a renewed sense of calmness.
Remember – calm begets calm.
Check out: Celebrate Calm- an educational organization that provides science based training for parents & The Screamfree Institute- a nonprofit dedicated to helping families connect and find peace.