Recently I had a couple in one of my classes who wanted to learn how to stop yelling at their young children. They realized it had become a pattern, their coping mechanism, but they didn’t know how to stop it. Here are some suggestions:
BREATHE: If your children are driving you crazy, usually your first reaction is to get them to behave. Instead of trying to control a situation, control what’s going on inside you first. How do you do that? Take a deep breath for 3 counts. Hold it for 3 counts. Exhale for 3 counts. Hold for 3 counts and then repeat this exercise. If you can do something as simple as breathing, you’ll oxygenate your brain and be able to think of a resourceful and creative way to manage the chaos. If you hold back for a moment and not jump into the frey, you’ll get perspective and know what’s really going on and how to address it. You won’t have to shout or discipline, which is another word for control, your children. Remember that your kids are stressed out as much as you are. Most kids are overwhelmed by all of their activities, babysitters, and school.
HUGGING: If you and your partner are together when you feel overwhelmed by your children, try something innovative and unexpected that will catch the kids off guard. Do a special kind of relaxing hug that I describe in my blog about hugging. If your children see their Mom and Dad hugging, that embrace will automatically calm them down. They might even want to join in the hug with you!
Having a happy home environment is not about disciplining your children, it’s about what you show your children as role models. Can you discipline your own emotions, your level of stress, the very thing you’re asking your kids to do? When you’re balanced, your children see that you love yourself – proof that you’re capable of loving them.
Understanding your anxiety is the key to changing your relationship with yourself and everyone around you.
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