Nanny 911: Keep Your Cool
Let's be honest: Sometimes our kids drive us nuts. Sure, sometimes it's their fault. Sometimes it isn't. Frustration is part of the parent's job description. We've already told you how to pick your battles, but understandably, the stress of being a parent can take its toll. Which is why we teach parents how to tame their own tempers. Your challenge: Keep your cool
Here are the Nannies' tips on keeping your cool:
- Know your limits. Everyone has their own thresholds, and you can probably sense when you're at the edge. If you're extra-stressed, your patience might be thinner than usual. So just be aware of your mood and circumstances when you're dealing with your kids. So if you're in the car after a long day, and your kids are fighting in the backseat and you find yourself getting upset ...
- Take a deep breath. Inhale deeply all the way in. Then exhale through your mouth. Relax. This is also a good tool to teach your children for calming down. Kids can't cry and do conscious breathing at the same time, just like parents can't yell and breathe.
- Count to 10. (Advanced: Count backwards from 20!) The idea is to take a moment to collect yourself, and not take it out on your kids. Think about what you want to say, instead of just reacting.
- Make up a mantra. We nannies say, "This too shall pass." It can be something you mutter to yourself to bring you peace. Again, it gives you another moment just to help collect yourself.
- Speak calmly. Tone is everything. Your kids can sense when you mean business by speaking in low, serious tones. Yelling isn't necessary.
If after you've counted to 10 (or 20), you're still too heated, then either:
- Step away. If you are getting way too upset, simply put yourself on a Mommy or Daddy Time-Out. Or ...
- Explain yourself. If you lost it before you could count to 10 (or even after!), apologize to your kids for losing your temper, tell them that you're doing your best and you'll try to do better in the future. Because it's never right to treat anger with anger. Remember AMMO: Acknowledge mistakes and move on.
So to repeat: Know your limits. If you find yourself getting upset with your kids, take a few deep breaths and count to 10. Collect your thoughts. If you're still upset, give yourself a time-out. And if you do lose it, apologize and move on.
Happy Counting! And my question to you is: What happened today to make YOU count to 10? And did it help you out? Remember: The tools we're giving you are not just for today, but every day. Share your stories in the comments below.
Be sure to check in with your mommy allies on the Child Behavior Message Board. Check out these other challenges:
- Challenge 1: Plan Ahead to Avoid Tantrums
- Challenge 2: Stop Whining & Screaming
- Challenge 3: Say No to Saying No
- Challenge 4: Get Your Kids to Clean Up
- Challenge 5: Reward Good Behavior
- Challenge 6: Establish House Rules
- Challenge 7: Work on Your Most Challenging Challenge
- Challenge 8: Take a Mommy or Daddy Time-Out
- Challenge 9: Give Your Kid Compliments
- Challenge 10: Acknowledge Mistakes and Move On
- Challenge 11: Say Please and Thank You
- Challenge 12: Work on This Week's Most Challenging Challenge
- Challenge 13: Pick Your Battles
- Challenge 14: Be a Better Listener
- Challenge 15: Get Your Kids Talking
- Challenge 17: Use a Timer
- Challenge 18: Give Effective Time Outs