The old saying, “Kids will be kids,” is true. In many instances we interact with our kids from a point of view we created from our own experiences as a kid. These interactions often shape the way we interact and discipline our children.
For example, as a mom of 4, I have certain aspirations for my children. Just like you, I want them to be well educated, to be healthy, to travel the world and attend college. However, at one point in my life, my fears were a driving force when interacting with my kids. Every time the teacher would call or they get in trouble somewhere, I felt like I had to yell or consequence them. In reality I was reacting to my own fears regarding my point of view, believing, if I hold them to account in every area of life, they will grow up to be successful. In my heart I was providing tough love to make them successful. However, at the end of the day, I realized my fears were my own which has nothing to do with my children. At some point, my relationship changed from yelling to understanding and processing. They still have consequences for poor behaviors but it not driven by my fears. My kids ages 14, 12, 10, and 2; now they share their life more freely with me, they are open to express their feelings and they get in less trouble at school.
Here are 5 tips to help you stay calm and not lose your temper when your child misbehaves.
Tip 1: Take time to listen to your child says…. When you receive the initial call regarding your child behavior do not react. No matter what, listen to your child so that he/she can feel validate in who they are. A course in emotional intelligence will also helps everyone be more self expressive when communicating assertively.
Tip 2: Don’t take it personal. “Kids will be kids…” Your child’s behavior does not mean you are a bad parent. Actually it means nothing other than he/she did not behave as expected. NOT “I am a bad parent.”
Tip 3: Do not feel the need to make a quick decision. If your child require a consequence, take all the time you need to come up with an appropriate consequence that fits the behavior and the child’s age.
Tip 4: Find Humor in whatever you are dealing with. Laughter is healing. Take the time to laugh; it teaches out children to be flexible & diverse problem solvers.
Tip 5: Take time for yourself! Yes, what you eit is true; parents get burned out too… Enjoy a night out away from the kids. Find that special person to spend time with or reignite flames with your significant other. Don’t under estimate the power of intimacy, it's important.
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Certified Anger Management Facilitator, MA Clinical Psychology
Latoya Boston- Real Moms Live Specializes in Emotional Intelligence