The way we talk to our kids becomes the way they talk to themselves.
This truth makes it that much more important to be very mindful of the things we say to our children and the WAY we say it to them.
It’s too easy for anger and frustration to take over when children do not meet our expectations, but it’s crucial that we as parents TRY to remain calm and mature as we attempt to correct behavior.
This can be done by mastering mindfulness.
While no parent is perfect, and every parent I know loses their cool from time to time, it’s still a worthwhile goal to yell less and be mindful more. This can be done in 3 ways:
1 – Breathe – Once you feel the anger coming on, consciously decide to pause and take 3 deep, slow breaths. This little habit can be just enough to diffuse tensions rising from within. It’s a break from your intense emotions and a chance to regroup.
2 – Hug your child – While this may seem counter-intuitive if your child has broken a rule, it can work wonders when trying to be mindful of your behavior. While you’re hugging your child, you can also tell them that you love them, but you are angry. The very act of expressing your anger verbally in a calm manner is very helpful in releasing frustration.
3 – Take a time out – Just like we ask angry children to take a time out, us adults can benefit from the break as well. Before engaging with your child, excuse yourself for a minute to reflect on the situation. Completely remove yourself from the room if possible and give it a few minutes. Not only will this give you fresh perspective on the situation, but you will also be able to gather your thoughts to speak respectfully.
If you do find yourself lashing out verbally, it’s incredibly important to apologize to your child and to forgive yourself.
Not only does this teach your child that we all make mistakes and it’s important to own up to it, but it gives us the opportunity to show self-compassion which ultimately will help us do better the next time we get overly frustrated.
If you would like to improve mindfulness with your children, we recommend this mindfulness parenting book* which can help change behaviors in a meaningful way.
What are some other tips for being mindful about what we say to our children in the heat of the moment? Good luck and HAPPY MINDING!
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