I used to be a little too quick to judge parents, especially in stressful situations like grocery stores.
There you are, patiently waiting to check out, and in front of you is a harried mom or dad trying to put items onto the conveyor belt to check out. Their child starts screaming because they want a candy bar,
and the parent has already said ‘no’ more than once. But the child doesn’t want to take ‘no’ for an answer, so they yell, whine and throw a full-fledged tantrum until the parent gives in, and the child wins and gets their hands on the candy. The child has a breakdown, but the parent is also very close to getting one, which exacerbates the case, leaving all those involved miserable.
It took only one moment for that situation to happen to me to promise I would never be judging another parent.
On the other hand, I can recall seeing parents in similar situations who were composed, calm, and controlled.
So here are three tips for instilling the joy back into parenting and a bit of discipline for your children.
Tip #1: Manage Your Behavior
We do so many things instinctively, such as lash out at our children when they misbehave in public. The action also happens because, first and foremost, we want to keep our children under control and prevent any more embarrassment. When you work to manage your behavior first, you effectively neutralize the power struggle.
As a bonus, your kids will usually calm down when you have yourself under control, too. Bear in mind that calm is contagious — and so is fear. If we are nervous or anxious as parents, it causes tension in our children.
Tip #2: Repeat After Me . . .
Rely on your favorite mantras to help you regain composure. Say something to yourself if you anticipate your feelings coming up. From ‘stop’ or ‘breath’ or ‘slow down’ to ‘this too will pass,’ it can be anything. Any words will be a savior, take a moment, and go through a priority list. When a child’s behavior drives you nuts, it’s easy to lose your cool and lash out. But it’s not productive.
Tip #3: If (When) You Do Lose Your Cool, Own It
If your anger has already boiled over and you’ve lost your cool, don’t back away. Instead, own up to what you’ve done wrong. The act of apologizing alone can be calming, and at the same time, you become a good role model for your child.
- Calm parenting is essential to building a productive, meaningful relationship, and learning how to stop yelling and stay calm as a parent isn’t easy. Work on changing how you are parenting to be the calm you want to see around the world. And when you are calm, you will destress and attain joy; the benefits of feeling more joy will help you in the following way:
- Promote a healthier lifestyle, thus improving your self-esteem and self-image.
- Boost the immune system, making you stronger both physically and mentally.
- Fight stress and pain.