From Nancy Samalia, Love and Anger: The Parental Dilemma
Here are the first 4
EXIT OR WAIT: The two most important four-letter words to remember when you are angry are exit and wait. When we are so incensed that we’re about to lose control, exiting or calling time out can give us a breather so that we’re not at the mercy of our “short madness”. Attacks that occur in the heat of anger are usually met with reactive anger.
“I” NOT YOU” – When a child does something to make us angry, our automatic response may be to shout in accusation. “Why are you behaving like such a brat?” “What kind of kids are you – throwing your jacket on the floor?” The message we communicate is that the child is unacceptable not the action. “You” statements have the ability to wound. “I” statements make the point much more effectively, without damaging the child’s self-esteem. When you’re angry it’s better to say (or even shout) “I’m mad” not “You’re bad.”
STAY IN THE PRESENT – Don’t use the incident as a springboard for gloomy forecasts or as an opportunity to dredge up ancient history. Say “I’m disappointed in this report card,” not, “Your report cards are always bad” or “At this rate, you’ll never amount to anything.”
AVOID PHYSICAL FORCE AND THREATS – If spanking worked, we’d only have to do it once. And when you’ve won by asserting physical power as a big person over a small person, you’ve won nothing.
2013 Cynthia Klein has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with dads, moms and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, webinars, and private parent coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the magazine Parenting on the Peninsula. Contact Cynthia at bridges 2 understanding, bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com or call 650. 341.0779.