“If your kid (even your teen) falls apart or blows up at the end of the day, that`s your cue to listen, support, and connect. Your kid isn`t looking to upset you. In fact, your kid is likely looking to be soothed by you” (Katie Hurley, LCSW)
There are so many moments, where we as parents, forget that our children are also human. They too get overwhelmed by the world around them, and feel emotions, sometimes even deeper than we do. They may not receive the emotional attention they need from us for several reasons. We may be so busy and stressed ourselves from our day. We may hold certain worldviews around parenting (e.g., our children should obey as no matter how their day was or how they are feeling). We may even not even know how to respond, due to the way that we were raised. Here are some conscious discipline principles that you can apply in your daily interactions with your kids. They will help you support, connect, and listen to them, even on the challenging days.
- T.A.R ( Smile, take a breath, and relax)
“The biggest threat to a child`s sense of safety is an out-of-control adult. The key to safety is a conscious, mindful adult”
Children need to be calm before they can access their reasoning skills or process their thoughts and feelings. In order to ensure that they are calm, you as a parent must first find a way to breathe and relax. This will help you to consciously respond to them instead of reacting. If you react to their negative behavior with yelling or remarks that may exacerbate their emotions, they will not be able to calm down. Instead they may begin to struggle with self-control even more. While you breathe, think loving thoughts about the child. They can feel your energy and that can determine the level of safety that they feel. If they are struggling with controlling their feelings in that moment, you can even invite them to breathe with you. Don`t be alarmed if your child`s upset increases. This may happen because your child is strongly feeling the emotions that they are experiencing (i.e., anger, sadness, guilt) Once you are both calm and united, you may offer redirection.
- Apply a redirection strategy that works for both of you.
As parents, we may not be able to always take away their negative experiences and negative emotions, however we can offer them healthy coping strategies that they can use to manage or handle themselves in these occurrences. Maybe you can create a calm corner where they can go to sit, hold their stuffed animal, read a book or cuddle with a blanket until they are calm. Or maybe you sit together and comfort them by holding hands or hugging your child. In doing so, you are also providing them with the tools to handle future stressors independently. You can explore and identify the methods and strategies that work for you in various ways: (a) Through your own trial and error-identifying what hasn’t worked in the past and doing something different until you find an approach that works;(b) researching and reading material on conscious discipline and positive parenting approaches, and (c) attending therapy to explore and identify the best approaches that work for you both. The Heart Connection Center in Boca Raton, FL, has dedicated therapists committed to help you with this process
If you are ready to see your child/adolescent succeed in all facets of life, I invite you to call us today at 561-660-1692.
Dr. Yiolanta Sofiali-Brunvert
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