Parenting can be tough. There are so many things to worry about and keep track of, and it seems like every day brings a new challenge. But one of the most important things to remember is to stay calm.
If you regularly lose your cool, your child will only become more upset and stressed. Instead, try to pause, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that kids are not fully developed, rational humans. They’re still figuring out how to function in their world. It may be difficult in the moment, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Look, I’m not a perfect parent. I’ve yelled at my kids and had to apologize to them plenty of times for my own behavior.
But I’ve also done a lot of reading, work, and real-life practice on becoming a calmer and more mindful parent. And as a result, I have some tips on how to stay calm as a parent, as well as some tips for raising calmer children that won’t melt down at the first sign of an inconvenience or perceived injustice.
What is calm parenting?
Calm parenting is a parenting style that emphasizes patience, understanding, and empathy. Calm parenting focuses on providing a calm, supportive environment for children. This approach to parenting emphasizes emotional attunement and responsive communication, and it relies on positive reinforcement rather than punishment.
Calm parenting fosters a secure attachment between parent and child and has been shown to promote Children’s social-emotional development, self-regulation skills, and overall wellbeing.
Many great resources are available online if you’re interested in learning more about calm parenting. But the best way to get started is to simply practice some of this approach’s core principles with your children.
Does calm parenting work?
There is evidence that calm parenting can effectively reduce problem behaviors in children.
One study found that calm parenting was associated with lower rates of tantrums, defiance, and aggression in young children. Another study found that calm parenting was linked to better cooperation from children and fewer behavior problems over time.
Of course, every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. And calm parenting is not always easy – it takes patience and practice. But if you’re looking for a more peaceful way to parent, it might be worth giving calm parenting a try.
What is the most stressful age to parent?
While there is no definitive answer to this question, it is generally agreed that parenting can be a stressful experience at any age.
However, some experts believe that the most stressful time to parent is during the toddler years. Toddlers are notoriously active and unpredictable and have a habit of testing limits.
As a result, they can quickly wear down even the most patient parents. Furthermore, toddlers are still learning to communicate, making it difficult to understand their needs. For all these reasons, parenting a toddler can be a trying experience.
If you’re struggling raising your toddler, remember that this phase will eventually end. Most parents learn to cope with their toddler’s challenges with time and patience. Many even come to appreciate the joys and laughter that children bring into their lives.
Some experts believe that the most stressful time to parent is during the teenage years. One of the reasons for this is that teenagers are going through so many physical and emotional changes.
They’re trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in, and they often rebel against authority figures to assert their independence.
As a result, parents of teenagers often find themselves walking a fine line between being too permissive or too strict. It can be difficult to know what disciplinary action to take when your teenager breaks the rules, and it can be even harder to keep calm when they are testing your patience.
How do I stay calm with my child?
One of the most important things you can do is to stay calm. When you’re feeling calm, it will also be easier for your child to calm down. There are a few things you can do to help yourself stay calm:
- Take a deep breath: This might seem like a cliche, but it does help. Taking a few deep breaths will help you to relax and calm down.
- Remove yourself from the situation: If you’re feeling like you’re about to lose your cool, it might be helpful to remove yourself from the situation for a few minutes. Take a break to calm down, and come back when you feel more in control.
- Practice relaxation techniques: You can try several techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation or meditation. These techniques can help to calm your mind and body.
- Seek support: If you’re finding it hard to cope with the stress of parenting, don’t be afraid to reach out for help from friends, family, or a professional.
How do you raise a calm child?
Raising a calm child takes patience and practice, but it is possible. By staying calm yourself and using positive discipline techniques, you can help your child to learn how to stay calm in challenging situations. Here are some ideas you can explore to engage in calmer parenting.
Learn about mindful parenting & mindfulness
Mindful parenting is a type of calm parenting that focuses on the present moment. It involves being aware of your thoughts and feelings as well as your child’s.
This can help you to better understand what your child is going through and respond more calmly and effectively. Additionally, mindfulness can help to reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.
There are many ways to practice mindfulness, such as meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga. You can also try incorporating it into your everyday life by paying attention to the senses while you eat or taking a few minutes each day to be silent and still.
Avoid the “because I said so” mentality
One of the most common challenges is dealing with constant questions from kids who are just trying to understand the world around them.
It can be tempting to simply tell them to “don’t worry about it” or say “because I said so,” but this type of response does not encourage calm parenting or a secure attachment.
Instead, it’s important to encourage kids to ask “why?” and try to explain things to them in a way they can understand.
By encouraging them to ask questions and providing honest answers, you can help them develop a better understanding of the world and build their confidence.
In addition, this will create a stronger bond between you and your child, as they will know they can come to you for help when needed.
So next time your child asks “why?” take a deep breath and answer calmly. It will make a world of difference in their development and your relationship.
Teach emotional intelligence
Most experts agree that emotional intelligence (EI) is one of the most important skills that children can learn. After all, EI is critical for managing our own emotions and interacting effectively with others.
While it can be tempting to just tell your kids to “calm down” whenever they’re feeling upset, this doesn’t teach them how to deal with their emotions healthily.
That’s where emotional intelligence comes in. Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of and understand your own emotions and the emotions of others. It’s about being able to regulate your emotions, even when you’re feeling upset or overwhelmed.
Teaching your kids emotional intelligence can help them to develop into well-rounded adults who can effectively manage their feelings. There are many benefits of teaching emotional intelligence, but here are just a few:
- It helps kids to understand and manage their emotions.
- It teaches kids how to interact constructively with others.
- It helps kids to cope with stress and adversity.
- It helps kids understand that negative emotions are a normal part of life and everyone deals with them.
- It sets kids up for success in school, work, and relationships.
Teach emotional regulation skills
One of the best things you can do for your children is to teach them emotional regulation skills. When kids know how to calm themselves down, they’re better able to cope with stress and setbacks.
As a result, they’re more likely to be successful in school and their relationships. You can use many calm parenting techniques to help your kids learn emotional regulation skills.
For instance, you can teach them deep breathing exercises to help them calm down when they’re feeling overwhelmed. You can also encourage them to express their feelings in a healthy way, whether it’s through writing, drawing, or talking to you.
Finally, make sure you’re modeling calm and positive behavior yourself.
Most parents want their kids to be self-disciplined. After all, self-discipline usually leads to happier, more successful children. But how can you encourage self-discipline in your kids?
One way is to set a good example. If you demonstrate self-discipline in your own life, your kids are likely to follow suit. You can also encourage self-discipline by setting clear rules and expectations. Let your kids know what behavior is expected of them, and ensure that consequences are consistently enforced.
Try to avoid power struggles with your kids. They’ll be less likely to develop self-discipline if they feel like they’re constantly being controlled. Instead, give them some autonomy and allow them to make choices within the boundaries you’ve set.
When kids encounter problems, it’s normal for them to feel overwhelmed or upset. But if they know how to take a step back and look at the situation objectively, they’ll be able to find a solution.
As a parent, you can model this behavior for your kids. Whenever you’re faced with a problem, talk it through with them. Explain how you’re considering different options and why you ultimately chose the one you did. This will help your kids see that problems are normal and that there’s always a way to work through them.
Kids with more time to play are likelier to be calm and focused. That’s because playtime allows children to burn off excess energy and explore and learn at their own pace.
As a result, parents who promote playtime as part of their daily routine are more likely to raise confident and self-directed children. So if you’re looking for a parenting technique that will encourage calmness and child-led learning, make sure to give your kids plenty of time to play.
Avoid unreasonable expectations, but praise effort
It’s important to avoid putting too much pressure on kids. Unreasonable expectations can lead to feelings of failure and disappointment, even when kids are doing their best. Instead, it’s better to praise effort and provide positive reinforcement.
When kids feel that they are supported and appreciated, they are more likely to be motivated to achieve their goals. So instead of setting unrealistic standards, let’s encourage our kids to do their best and celebrate their accomplishments, big and small.
Further reading: Praising effort is especially important for children who struggle with perfectionism. Perfectionists often struggle with starting new tasks because they fear failing when trying something new. Addressing perfectionism in children and praising them when they make a genuine effort to try something they’re not experienced in.
Remember: You’re talking to a child
Parenting is hard, there’s no doubt about it. But one of the most important things to remember is that your children are not adults. They don’t have the same emotional regulation skills or fully developed frontal cortexes that you do.
This means that they will be more reactive than you and won’t always be able to use reason or logic. As a result, it’s important to avoid responding to your children’s behaviors in ways that are not developmentally appropriate. Instead, you need to calmly guide them through difficult situations. It can be easy to forget that children are still learning to regulate their emotions and make sense of the world around them.
Trust me, I know it’s not easy. But by keeping this in mind, you’ll be better equipped to handle whatever parenting throws your way.
Parenting can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that children are still learning and need calm guidance. Following the tips for calm parenting listed in this article can help your child learn how to regulate their emotions and behave calmly.
Remember to praise effort rather than perfectionism and avoid putting too much pressure on kids – let them play!
Featured photo credit: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio