It can be hard work to change the way you parent. Especially when your efforts to stay calm lead to more pushback from your kids.
Along the way it’s normal to fall into the old habit of huffing and puffing to get your own sense of control. Don’t lose heart! When this happens, let the dust settle for you and your child, and then ask your kids the following powerful questions:
1. On a scale of 0 to 10 how do you think I handled that situation?
2. On a scale of 0 to 10 how do you think you handled that situation?
3. What would you like to do differently next time?
Give them space to answer honestly. Avoid defensiveness. Just listen and validate. Doing so will help both of you begin building new habits for staying calmer and more respectful.
And then, with empathy, say something like this: “You know, I’ve been working really hard at controlling my temper and being calm for you and the rest of the family. Sometimes it’s been tough, but it’s totally worth it. YOU are worth it.”