Pause Before You Break Something Important
A Calm Down Parenting Secret Mission
Your mission – in an effort to use a kind voice, even if you have to fake it:
Next time you are furious with your child and don’t know what to do:
Eliminate any danger and then,
Take a breath. Take 10 or 20 or a whole day’s worth of breaths.
Do not try to solve anything until your heartbeat has slowed, your breathing is normal and your muscles are no longer tensed.
You do not build up a child by yelling and shaming, you build through kindness and compassion and teaching, and we can’t do any of those things until we pause and deal with our own anger.
The value of pausing until you can think straight is immeasurable, but easy to forget. In the heat of anger I want to fix everything NOW. I want my child to STOP their behavior, or to KNOW that what they did was wrong! I want them to have learned their lesson immediately.
And to be truthful, when I’m mad at something my kid is doing and am at a loss as to how to handle it, part of me is feeling upset that I don’t know what to do. I want my own feelings of frustration and inadequacy to stop immediately. In a sense, I want to solve the problem now and get done with it so I can stop feeling so uncomfortable. I want my child to stop so I feel better.
We don’t think well in fight or flight mode. The brain is in a panic. Children don’t think well when they are feeling defensive either. They shut us out and wait until we stop, or they antagonize further, thrilled by the power they’ve found (I can make her SO mad…wow.)
When we pause and come back to a problem later it gives us a chance to think of a plan and to offer connection before correction so our children are more likely to hear our words.
By charging through a moment fueled on rage you are breaking down the relationship you work so hard to strengthen. By pausing you are building up that trust,and you are building up your own capacity to deal with the difficult emotions of anger, fear and frustration.
- The Evolution of a Mama Tantrum and how to STOP One.
- Resource Page for How to Deal with Anger
- 3-2-1 Calm Down
Parenting Secret Missions are quick ideas for connecting with your kids, trying out a new parenting idea, finding gratitude amidst chaos, sparking conversation and finally, inspiring fun! Don’t take them too seriously, read them with a spirit of adventure or experimenting and keep the mission in mind for the day if it strikes you.
64 Positive Things to Say to Kids
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