When it comes to parenting, having the ability to stay calm in rough situations is one of the most valuable skills you can have. When your child begins to yell, throw fits or cry, keeping your cool is important. The last thing you want is to stir up the child and make them more upset. By staying calm, you can spin the situation to be much more positive. 

Now, this is easier said than done. Even as adults, there are times when we find the need to get the last word in and put our foot down. When a child starts acting out, although we know we should stay calm, sometimes our emotions get the best of us and cause us to make poor parenting decisions. After all, our children tend to trigger some of our most intense feelings- good and bad. When it comes to difficult situations it’s important to remember that while most emotions are valid, not all of them should be acted upon. This is what we need to teach our children through the way we respond to them. 

The biggest take away is to put yourself in their shoes. Yes, kids can be overwhelming and cause us to feel annoyed or angry, as well as disappointed in their actions at times. However, they are simply doing what comes naturally to them- they are acting their age. A lot of what we would consider “bad behaviors” are crucial to their development, and things that they learn important lessons from. 

Don’t expect your children to perfectly handle every situation- they’re growing up and figuring it out for themselves while getting help from us along the way. This is not to say that you should allow your kids to get away with negative behavior- but there’s a way to do it that is not so hurtful. Next time, instead of getting mad, try and explain to them why their behavior was wrong and give them a consequence. You are your child’s biggest role model. 

Sometimes, when we lash out, it’s because of a deeper issue. When your child does something that triggers you, ask yourself why you feel the way you do. For example, if you get mad at your child for never cleaning up their room, it may be because you feel like you’ve failed at teaching them responsibility. Take a deeper look at the situation, and if you find the issue to be internal, don’t take it out on your kid. Instead, look for positive things you can do to solve the problem. 

Parenting is a journey, and it’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all situation. Implement some of these techniques the next time you find yourself in an argument with your child, and try to approach it in a more positive light. Use those moments as a teaching opportunity, and eventually, you’ll start to see a change in their behavior.