So here’s something I think we all need a little reminder of now and again. It’s too easy to get caught up in the stress of day to day life and find yourself snapping at your kids or telling them of for things without good cause. Don’t get me wrong, we all have bad days, but here are a few tips I find help me keep calm as a parent.
- Look after yourself – It’s so important to make sure we get enough food and water, and it has a big impact on our mood. I know if I don’t have breakfast I get super cranky in the afternoon (the word ‘hangry’ springs to mind). So don’t put yourself at the bottom of the list, you matter too!
- Breathe – When the situation occurs and you feel like your going to lose it, stop and take a couple of deep breaths. If you pause for a few seconds it will give you time to assess the situation and think about how best to deal with it, without shouting. This really helps to keep your cool and stop things escalating.
- Be understanding – cut them some slack! If you think about it children are going through so much in the first few years of their life. They are growing and learning so many new things, most of the time they are not being deliberately naughty they are just learning their boundaries or how to communicate. Just be patient and try to understand what is upsetting your toddler. And if it’s simply because they’re tired from lack of sleep, remember it’s not intentional.
- Practice gratitude – When you find yourself having one of those days (you know the ones!), reflect on what you have. Simply thinking about how much you love your child and how grateful you are to have them in your life will really help you feel better. When your living your busy life we can sometimes forget how lucky we are, so try to practise gratitude daily.
- Stop (and cuddle) – Pause. Hold it. If you get yourself into a row or find yourself shouting it’s not too late. Think about it, are they being naughty or are you being unreasonable? Whichever it is just stop. Take your child to the side, get down to their level and talk it out. Explain the situation calmly, apologise if your in the wrong and have a big cuddle! I find this always works for both of us when I find me and my toddler have both become worked up! It makes me feel heaps better and calms him down. It’s kind of like pressing the reset button.
So these are my best tips for keeping calm whilst parenting. Remember them when you’re having a hard day with the kids and you just need to take a step back. I hope they help!