Parenting is easy when there are no kids around.
Our best parenting intentions of calmly and lovingly managing our families fall by the wayside when we are placed under the emotional pump by our children.
Wouldn’t it be great to calmly manage two siblings who come racing to you with tales of woe just as you’re getting ready for dinner?
How fantastic would it be to know exactly what to say when a child refuses to do his homework for the fifth time that week?
How reassuring would it be to know how to respectfully handle teenage challenges without losing your temper?
Each of these situations requires you to be at your Parenting Best, yet we so often fail the test when our emotions run high.
We need to find of a way staying calm when it’s most needed – when we are managing potentially tricky family situations.
Here are some tips to help:
1. Sense that an event has triggered your emotions and placed them into overdrive. This involves tuning into your thinking, physiology and behaviour.
2. Stop and take some deep breaths to avoid being swept up in your emotions. Nasal breathing is the only visceral process that over rides conscious thought.
3. Motivate yourself to act thoughtfully by activating an ‘image’ of your best self. This will help you respond according to your values rather than your emotions.
4. Use an effective strategy such as positive reappraisal or positive self-talk to help you regulate your emotions.
5. Respond when you are calm so that thought not emotions govern your actions.
How come I always lose my cool in a crisis?
We have all learned ineffective emotion regulation strategies most probably in our childhoods that we repeat over and over when we are in difficult or stressful situations.
Do you know anyone who habitually sulks when they feel frustrated or disappointed? This person is reverting back to an earlier stage of development to manage their frustration or disappointment.
If we’ve learned ineffective emotion regulation strategies then we can also learn healthy ways to manage and regulate our emotions and help us be at our Parenting Best, when it’s really needed.
Take a Meta-Moment
A Meta-Moment is a tool that you can use to not only help be in control of your emotions but to put your best foot forward under pressure. We all know how we’d like to react in chaotic family situations but our emotions overwhelm us and we are let down by our lack of control. It’s those times when the Meta-Moment process comes to the fore and help us be at our Parenting Best.
The significance of using Meta-Moments and their impact on parents and children is profound. Our next online course –Parent Well with the Meta-Moment – will teach you everything you need to know to master this wonderful process. Find out more at Parentingideasclub.com.au
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