If parenting feels like a battleground most of the time, you are not alone. Most children can go from zero to full-fledged panic mode without warning, leaving their parents both confused and frustrated. Navigating the uncertain terrain of a young child’s emotions can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Before you head into combat, arm yourself with these tools and win in the parenting battleground.
According to Psychology Today, taking six deep breaths decreases your “fight or flight” mode. Also, it stimulates your parasympathetic nerve system, easing your body into a state of rest. Your child is already making rash decisions from a place of anger and confusion, which is why your unruffled presence is vital. In other words, take a breather before making any moves you might later regret.
Nobody likes being the scapegoat for someone else’s emotions. And parents are not exempt from that. However, every good leader knows the best way to avoid a battle is to defuse the situation. So, sometimes that means putting aside your feelings of anger or frustration.
So the next time you see a meltdown coming, try getting down to your child’s level and pulling them in for a hug. This small gesture can help your little one feel safe, loved and heard, which is all any person wants.
Now that you and your child have calmed down a bit, open up the floor for discussion. Allow them to verbalize their frustrations to the best of their ability and use restraint when responding. And don’t forget that your objective is to assist them in learning how to process their feelings healthily. Remember, they are looking to you for an example.
Remember that you are the commander-in-chief here. The rules of engagement are yours to create, and you have the option of choosing to react or not. So, pick your battles wisely, and with these parenting tools, you will be triumphant. That way you can enjoy your children as they grow into healthy, happy adults.