Have you ever seen a perfectly happy baby start to cry when she sees another child crying? Or have you gotten agitated when someone in a crowd starts to yell?
Our emotions are so tied to the people around us. And when our kids get worked up about something, it can be really difficult to keep our cool. I’ve seen moms have anxiety attacks over a screaming child. We want the people around us to be happy and peaceful, especially our kids!
The problem is that when we react to our child’s emotional outburst we shake their confidence that we are strong enough to take care of any problem they have. We need to be the rock when a meltdown starts to happen, whether it be our child or the people around us instigating the chaos.
It isn’t easy, but it is possible to stay cool and collected when your child is losing control.
Look around you. Most of the time nothing serious is actually happening. It helps to keep that in mind when you start to feel desperate to get out of the uncomfortable situation. You need to stay peaceful to help your kids (and sometimes the other adults around you) calm down.
Take a breath. It’s important to purposely keep your heart rate down and your breathing relaxed. Move slowly and keep your composure. You might even try smiling, it’s amazing what a difference it can make!
Talk to yourself. Internal dialog is a great way to keep your composure. Tell yourself that you are in charge, your child needs to learn not to do this and figure out a plan of action. Remind yourself of what God says about how we should treat others and what is important right now. It’s less important to get your child to simply stop crying and more important to teach them not to act like this anymore. Assess the situation and strategize.
Pray. Maybe this should have been #1, but it’s hard to do in the midst of a struggle. Once you have calmed your nerves, it’s time to ask the big guy for help.
Take control. Once you have gotten a handle on your emotions, it’s time to put your prayerful plan into action. Speak softly to your child and be sure that even though you are being calm, you mean business. Be confident and mean what you say. For example, “No, you can’t have candy,” means no candy. No amount of wailing will make candy happen.
Mom and Dad, it’s so important to keep your cool when your kids start to lose it. And by keeping these few tips in mind you can teach yourself to do just that!
The book Make every Day Count – Teen Edition by Max Lucado is a great resource for helping your kids learn to appreciate life and keep their own cool! Life is not going to be perfect. When teens understand that and realize that God is their constant source of support, help, and blessings, even the difficult days can be faced with a cheerful spirit.
What do you keep in mind when the kids start to melt down? Do you have a verse that you repeat to yourself or an action you take to remind yourself to stay calm?
Lisa Pennington: Lisa Pennington lives in the Texas Hill Country with her husband of 27 years and their 9 children. She homeschools while trying to figure out how to run their little farm with no real knowledge of how to care for goats or grow a garden, turning her life into a comedy of errors. When she has a few extra minutes, she loves to help other women find their identity in Christ and have the courage to live their calling. She blogs about her family life at The Pennington Point, and runs an etsy shop with her daughters, Shop 24. When people ask how she does it all she replies, “I’m not sure, but I know I need a nap!” Connect with Lisa: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest