Friday, June 17, 2011

When Tempers Flare!

Some say parenting is one of the hardest jobs there is however, there is always an opportunity to shift our perspective to support an easier time in this role that we’ve undertaken.

As mothers and fathers we can sometimes get in our own way creating mountains out of mole hills; causing chain reactions that can stress out not only ourselves but the whole family.

Temper tantrums, disrespectful behaviour, school issues and the teenage years seem to top the list of areas where some parents endure the most challenging part of parenting.

With a small shift in how we handle any of these situations can result in a smoother and less stressful ride on our parenting journey.

If we look at temper tantrums for example, try to embrace these as ‘normal’; an expression of our toddler’s (or teen’s or even our partner’s…you fill in the blank!) frustration and anger.

It has to come out somehow and in fact it’s better to come out than to stay bottled inside however, at some point in their madness we sometimes get triggered and snap into dishing out the same.

Here are a few suggestions on how to circumvent any major blow ups!

o Respect their feelings…they are just as real as ours! The biggest problem seems to be when we try to engage with our kids or ‘reason’ with them when they are in a grumpy place – this usually ends badly – try to wait out the storm of emotions they’re embroiled in. (while waiting out yours too!)

o Breathe…allow them to vent trying not to take anything personally – suggest that they find a better area, say their room, to move through their mood assuring them that it’s normal to get mad but not to project it at us!

o Wait until they have calmed down to have a conversation about why they were mad; encourage them to talk about their feelings (remember you’re still breathing and staying centered though all of this ;) )
Everyone is entitled to feel angry and if we can not only accept but encourage our kids to get it out while staying centered ourselves, its one sure way to dispel the ‘hardest job” theory and experience a much easier parenting journey and at the same time avoid some of those bumps that we have yet to encounter down what can be considered by some to be a very long road!

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