Staying Calm when your Children are Not!
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Staying calm, parents & nannies – Whether you are a parent or a Nanny, why is it so easy to lose your calm when children make us angry? There are many reasons, but mainly it’s us and no one else that has the power to change your reaction and situation. When we react emotionally—we’re allowing the behavior of a child to determine how one behaves rather than the other way around.
As human beings we do so many things automatically without even thinking about it. Reaction is one of them and sometimes we do so in belief that we need to have control of children’s behavior, rather than taking a moment to stop, think, and say, “Wait, let me get myself under control first before I respond.” The best way to react to an emotion or action that may be out of control is to recognize that you are going there—and what makes you go there.
When you are able to not react and have balance and control, your kids will also learn to model this behavior and usually calm down in certain situations. Calm is contagious—and so is anxiety.
- Keep your stress a secret! Use clear, brief, simple commands and keep your tone polite, calm but firm. Children will pick up on any hints of stress, wavering or anger in your voice and this may make them more agitated or more persistent.
- Avoid sarcasm when speaking to your child. In the short term these kinds of comments will upset and provoke your child and in the long term they may cause damage their self-esteem. Plus, they will eventually model the same behavior to you and others.
- Hammer out house rules! Agree a set of rules andconsequences – write these down and post them somewhere obvious. If you have a pre-agreed plan, your child knows where she stands, and you’re less likely to react hastily in the heat of moment.
- Coach yourself in complimenting Parents are often aware of the importance of praising good behavior, but feel resentful about dishing out compliments to a child who continually misbehaves. Set yourself small goals – for example, you could initially aim to praise your child for four instances of good behavior a day, and then gradually build on it. The more you praise, the more good behavior you’ll see.
- Take PT time! Set aside weekly relaxation time – this isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. It could be a massage, a walk, listening to music or just a relaxing bath.
There are certainly many other ways to stay calm, cool and collected as a parent and I expect anyone who reads this post to add their own positive ideas that are meant to help inspire parents.
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