Today I’m going to talk to you about peaceful parenting and 7 ways to stay calm and connected.
My name is Kristin Reid, I’m a therapist at Cedar Tree Counseling.
Parenting is both the hardest and most rewarding role we’ll ever have. When the stress of life combines with the stress of our kids’ needs, it can be difficult to keep our cool. There are 7 things that can help you stay calm and connected to your children:
- Manage yourself.
Take care of yourself so that you’re not venting your emotions on your child. Have compassion for your own feelings and needs so that you can have compassion for your child. They will do what you do.
- Listen to your child’s feelings.
In order to help a child manage their behavior, you first have to help them manage the feelings that drive their behavior. They need a safe place to express themselves.
- Be your child’s advocate and don’t give up on them.
“You don’t yell at a flower that isn’t thriving, you water it.”
- Understand that they’re doing the best they can.
Expect age-appropriate behavior and know that as they develop they’ll outgrow some things. Keep priorities straight as you parent, knowing the difference between making a mess vs. how they treat others.
- Don’t take it personally.
Notice when you get triggered by certain behavior. Recognize that they’re an immature human being trying to learn and grow. Cultivate a sense of humor and do your own work to understand “buttons” they push so that those aren’t controlling you.
- Remember that all misbehavior comes from needs that aren’t met.
Meet their needs for sleep, food, relaxation, affection, fun, safety and connection.Think of parenting as “scaffolding” – teaching them little by little how to manage their behavior.
- Stay connected and never withdraw your love.
Make your relationship with them your priority. The main reason kids cooperate is because they love you and want to please you. The closeness you cultivate with them is what makes it all worth it.
If you are struggling in any of these areas as a parent you may recognize that it’s because of your own unmet needs. Take the time to take care of yourself so that you can be the parent you want to be. A peaceful atmosphere in your home starts with you. I’ve worked with many parents to help them understand their own reactions and grow in their ability to connect with their kids, even in challenging times. Give me a call, let’s work together to stay calm and connected to your kids.
Adapted from “Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids” by Laura Markham
Womens & Couples Therapist | MS, LCPC
I walk with women and couples who want connection, healing, joy, and meaning. I help them work through the fog of relational issues, abuse, trauma, life transitions, depression, and anxiety. Don’t live another day in the fog. Let’s work together.
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