All parents will encounter moments of frustration and impatience when it comes to disciplining their children. It can be difficult not to lose your cool when they refuse to listen to you when you say enough TV for the day or throw the tantrum to end all tantrums just because you don’t buy them more ice cream.
One concerned parent knows this struggle full well. “How (do you) control your temper when your kid is not listening to you?” she asked her fellow parents on theAsianparent Community.
Image source: theAsianparent App screenshot
Here’s what we can learn from the ongoing discussion.
The simple act of counting to ten can help you to calm down. Be aware of the rhythm of your breathing as you inhale and exhale.
2. Pretend You Are Not Their Parent
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Imagining that your child isn’t your child can help detach you from the situation and be able to respond in an objective manner. Ask yourself: how would you discipline and help another child who isn’t yours?
3. Don’t Give Them a Time Out
Yes, you read that right. Don’t give them a time out; give yourself one. Removing yourself physically from the situation like locking yourself in the bathroom can give you space to breathe and process what the proper response should be can be the best first impulse.
Walk away. Buy yourself time. But of course, and this goes without saying, make sure to leave your kids in a safe space before taking time for yourself.
4. Distract Yourself
Do a chore or anything productive to re-channel your emotions. This gives you an outlet to exercise control. It also helps you manage your emotions better. You can also think of something funny to steal focus away from the present annoyances.
5. Speak More Quietly
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Make yourself quieter every time they yell. The louder they get, speak even more quietly. Yelling back at them is counterproductive and will hinder you from solving the issue at hand.
6. Act Instead of React
Take a few minutes to assess what’s really upsetting your child. A large part of being a parent is doing away with the impulse of lashing out. Asserting themselves and speaking out can be a good thing when they are trained to do so with respect and compassion.
Be open to exploring their feelings with them even if it upsets both of you. Show them, by example, that losing your cool is never the answer.