Our words went back and forth like ping-pong balls.
She said something rude.
I replied with the same snippy tone.
She tried to hit me and kick me.
I just moved away and tried to ignore her.
This is not how I usually parent. Somewhere along the line, I slipped back into the world of punishment, threats, and isolation.
Positive parenting strategies went out the window.
Our day probably would have just continued down this path to nowhere, but in the middle of the chaos, two words came to mind:
It’s not the first time I thought these words.
I know I am a better parent when I respond slowly, when I take my time, when I stop and listen.
But life is busy. And sometimes, it moves too fast.
Positive parenting is not a quick fix. I can’t just snap my fingers and force my kids to make better decisions. I have to be intentional.
And, unfortunately, I cannot be intentional if I am multitasking, feeling overwhelmed, or stressed.
The first step is to slow down.
Making the conscious choice to move slowly reminds me to:
- Take deep breaths
- Repeat a positive mantra
- Pause before responding
- Listen with empathy
- Talk less
- Stop trying to win
- Connect before I correct
It’s amazing how these simple steps make me a totally different parent. I can be patient and empathetic, even if my daughter is still upset. It’s not about getting through this challenge quickly or brushing her emotions to the side.
It’s about reminding myself what kind of parent I want to be.
Then, slowing down enough to make that happen!
I take a few deep breaths and get down to her level. I decide to stop the back-and-forth comments and offer her a hug instead of moving away.
It’s no longer a battle, but a struggle to re-connect after a difficult experience. She needs something from me, and I need something from her.
And now, we can (finally) move toward that goal.
Do you need to slow down?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, tired of fighting, or just want to get back to the basics, check out Positive Parenting Made Simple.
It’s 20 days of straightforward, encouraging, positive parenting tips that you can put into action immediately.
You don’t need more chaos. You need simple.