Yelling is a natural response many parents give into when their kids are rude, or behaving badly — or in any other situation that triggers your emotions, frankly. Even though you know it would be better if you could stay calm, it’s hard to always do that emotionally. Most parents do some yelling, says Dr. Laura Markham in the book Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids (Perigree Trade; 2012) But it doesn’t mean that it’s helpful to you or your kids.
The truth is, yelling or “losing it” sends the message, “I don’t know how to be calm and in control of myself unless you are behaving the way I need you to.”
Here’s how to stay calm when the kids rub you the wrong way:
1) You are not responsible for the poor choices your child makes, you are responsible for how you RESPOND to what they do.
You can calmly and maturely give consequences for your child’s bad choices.
2) Identify what triggers your emotional upsets
Pinpoint the things your kids do that bothers you most and prepare for what you can do if it happens. Plan to take a timeout, to call a friend, to put on headphones or go for a walk. Change what could be a bad situation into a cool down situation. Once you’re calm, go handle the situation by enforcing consequences.
3) Disengage from your child as much as you can when something he does triggers your upset.
You are too involved. Stay as emotionally apart from your child as you can.
4) Take in this truth: By staying calm you will be more credible and respected by your child.