1. Stop whatever you are about to say or do with anger. It will not be effective!
2. Take time to release your own limbic system in a safe way.
- a. Call a listening partner or a friend to just listen.
- b. Check in with yourself. What are you really feeling behind the anger? What are your thoughts behind these feelings? Can you reframe the situation?
3. Take time to listen empathetically to your child. Keep checking your reactive thoughts that may cause you to disconnect.
4. Remember that your relationship is what matters the most!
5. Ask yourself if you are acting in ways that result in all of you feeling respected and important or the relationship will be broken.
6. Your connecting thoughts and actions will lead in a positive direction when you keep this as your focus.
We actually have more control over our anger than we think. Try choosing a different perspective that won’t lead to anger. For example, instead of thinking “My child (husband, wife) is so disorganized. Why don’t they pick up after themselves.” Try thinking “S/he has so many thoughts going at once that it’s hard for her/him to keep everything straight. S/he isn’t doing this deliberately. I know s/he doesn’t like it either. Everything they try doesn’t work.”
This is how I’ve kept my sanity in my marriage. When have you changed your thinking so anger defused?
©2013 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 25 year-old children. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 679.8138 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.