You didn’t get enough sleep last night and you’re already running late. That irritable, impatient parent lashes out – reacting to your child’s misbehavior. How do you forgive yourself if you lost your calm and cool?
Calm is what we are striving for, in Calmer, Happier, Easier Parenting techniques. But, when you are angry and hot – you cannot get back to that calm state, easily. You feel angry, justified in your anger, and terribly impatient. In that anger it is difficult to notice that it is YOU that is out of control, as much as your child. How do you get to the place where you can recognize your overreaction to make amends?
- Recognize that you are tired and that you can be a much better parent with enough sleep and enough time.
- Forgive yourself.
- Look at and feel your feelings – recognizing your own feelings helps you move past them.
- Find your sensory tool (the thing that “snaps” you out of it). Here are some suggestions that I have found to work for some parents:
- Stretching your neck muscles
- Ten deep breaths
- Cold water splashed on your face
- Shaking your hands out
- Looking into your eyes, in the mirror
- Reading your family mission statement
- Closing your eyes and open and close your mouth as wide as you can
- Sitting down, clasping your hands, closing your eyes and repeating a Bible verse
- Closing the door between you and your children and counting 10 slow, even breaths
- Jumping up and down in place
- Doing a yoga pose
- Counting to three, then taking ten deep breaths
- Tightening and then relaxing your facial muscles
- Last-but-not-least – recognize that your child is a child. Acting like a child because he is a child. All is well.
One thing that I always feel is important is that you recognize your overreaction, to your family and to your child, after you have found your way back to your Calm. Apologizing gets you back on track – and it repairs the relationship and teaches your child about making mistakes, making amends, and forgiveness.