As a parent, you are responsible for your children’s well-being and their behavior. The First Rule of Love and Logic is that adults take good care of themselves by setting limits without anger, lectures, threats, or repeated warnings. However, in today’s hectic world, it’s not always easy to avoid getting angry and frustrated with our kids.
Many parents find that their biggest challenge is keeping calm when their children’s behavior is testing their patience. However, it’s crucial to remain as calm as possible when providing consequences for misbehavior. This allows us to deliver consequences with empathy and avoid using unhealthy parenting practices such as lectures, threats, and nagging.
To remain calm when faced with challenging situations, try the following mental hygiene practices:
Step #1: Create one calming self-statement.
Think of a calming thought to carry with you as you navigate through the not-so-calm world of parenting. For example, “Anger makes it worse,” “Empathy instead of anger,” or “My kids will someday select my nursing home.“
Step #2: Post your statement where you'll see it often.
The more often you see your statement, the more likely it will pop into your head when you need it most. It’s also great for your children to see it too!
Step #3: Visualize yourself staying calm and using your statement.
Each night before you fall asleep, imagine yourself in a tough parenting situation with your children and handling it without breaking a sweat.
By practicing these techniques, you can keep your cool and parent with empathy, setting healthy boundaries without resorting to anger, lectures, threats, or repeated warnings. Remember, taking good care of yourself is the first step in taking good care of your children.