How to activate your brain's superpowers.
Verified by Psychology Today
How to raise self-disciplined, connected, happy humans
Laura Markham Ph.D.
One great way to course correct when you see a collision coming, or when you find yourself sitting in a pile of emotional wreckage, is to ask for a "Do-Over."
Once you pause, you can make the choice to shift gears.
With preventive maintenance, you meet your child's needs before the unmet needs cause a breakdown.
Not only will appreciating yourself make you happier with the way you parent, you'll find you enjoy parenting more. See how long it takes your child to comment on the difference.
Kids really do rise to meet our expectations, as long as we stay connected.
After a good cry your child is happier, more affectionate, more cooperative.
Why would a child choose, over and over, to do the harder thing?
How do kids develop their sense of right and wrong?
Slow down, so you can listen.
The secret is managing our anger so we stay connected with our child while we set limits.
Every time you do this process, you diminish the emotional charge of one of your emotional triggers.
Ever wondered why one parent can keep a sense of humor in the face of a child's challenging behavior while another starts yelling?
The path to happiness requires you to accept and love yourself just the way you are, messy imperfections and all.
The most important factor is whether your child feels loved, unconditionally. That means she feels loved exactly as she is. Even when she's acting like a monster!
Remember, your child may be triggering them, but these are your emotions.
Observing what your child and other people are feeling, and commenting on it in a nonjudgmental way, teaches children to identify emotions in themselves and others.
Our fantasy of the perfect family holiday can drive us to do more, more, more – but more of what we didn't need to begin with can't fill those deep longings. There's a better way.
When your emotions are "triggered," your child looks like the enemy. You can't be the parent your child deserves at those times.
When kids feel understood, they're more likely to do what we ask, even if they don't see any benefit for themselves. So EMPATHY is your magic wand.
When we stuff our feelings down rather than acknowledging them, we carry them around like a boiling pot. We make ourselves sick and tired.
When kids express irritability towards us, often called "back talk," they're trying to tell us something and if we don't listen, they just escalate.
Most of the time, when kids (and adults) feel their emotions are understood and accepted, the feelings lose their charge and begin to dissipate.
The only way to keep your cup full in the constant vortex of parenting is to tend to yourself even while you tend to your child.
The truth is, what you say is not nearly as important as your attitude. Your child feels your warmth and love even when you don't say a word.
We all need to learn to stay grounded in our own dignity and compassion as we cope with the unhappy people who will inevitably come our way.
That doesn't mean you don't set limits. And sometimes children do have to do what adults say. But children also need to learn they have a right to say no sometimes.
What we can do is make the commitment to increase our ratio of good parenting moments, and keep working at it, day after day.
Limits give children essential practice in shifting gears between what they want, and something they want more--which is to cooperate and contribute.
Here's the key. Don't just decide to act differently next time. Instead, reprogram your subconscious, and give yourself a new script for how you want to respond.
But Sam isn't laughing because he's enjoying her pain. He's so upset that he can't cry. His laugh is letting off the tension of his upset feelings.
Laura Markham, Ph.D., is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting.