Written by Laura Markahm for Aha! Parenting.
When our child acts out, lashes out, or is simply in distress, it’s natural for us to panic. We’re plunged into “fight, flight or freeze” because it feels like an emergency. And if our child’s distress is directed at us, then she looks like the enemy.
But it’s natural for children to have big feelings, and to act them out. If we “lose it” when our child gets upset, we give her the message that her feelings aren’t permitted, which doesn’t help her learn to regulate her emotions. Worse, we’re saying that we can’t control ourselves until she controls herself! Whether she’s 5 or 15, that’s not what we want to model.
Of course, we know that we can handle any parenting situation better from a state of calm. But when we’re in the grip of strong emotions, we aren’t thinking. We can’t help ourselves.
Or can we? What if there were three steps that would help you shift back into calm, AND keep your child from getting upset as often? There are.
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