“Parenting isn’t about what our child does, but about how we respond. “- Dr. Laura Markham
Sometimes all we can control is how we respond, this often more true than not with parenting!
Trying times, lack of energy, and stress can really affect how we respond.
The thing is….
If our child is misbehaving–
Responding with empathy is THE ONLY THING we need to remember.
The only way our child will calm down (or want to calm down) is if they feel understood and their feelings are acknowledged.
Think about the last time you were really upset.
Maybe your partner did something that really made you mad. What would be your reaction if your partner said, “Calm down! Take some deep breaths!”
What about if your partner said, “Hey, I’m so sorry. You have every right to be upset. I totally understand why you are so angry. Is there anything I can do?”
Way different, yes?
When our feelings are acknowledged and met with empathy, we start to feel better and we actually WANT to calm down.
You don’t have to agree to empathize.
You only have to acknowledge and try to understand.
Sarah Rosensweet is a certified peaceful parenting coach, speaker, and educator, and the parenting advice columnist for Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three big kids (ages 13, 16, and 19). Peaceful parenting is a non-punitive, connection-based approach that uses firm limits with lots of empathy. Sarah works one-on-one virtually with parents all over the world to help them go from frustrated and overwhelmed to, “We’ve got this!”
Read more at: www.sarahrosensweet.com