All parents want a good relationship with their child, one that is founded on good communication and mutual understanding. Does this sound like utopia? Well, it’s not! Some people actually manage to create such atmosphere in their homes. But how come so many parents want this and so few actually manage to obtain it?
To succeed in this endeavor, you need to go through one important phase, that most of us ignore. We know we have to pass it. But somehow, we never do.
The joy of spending time together, not in a permanent conflict
The secret to a perfect relationship with your child comes from you truly understanding him, his moods, his intentions, his behavior. This is ground zero, which will decide, in time, if you will have a beautiful relationship with your child or a cat and mouse sort of an affair, loaded with tension, anger, stress.
If you want to never get angry at your child and to succeed in building a wonderful relationship with him, there is only one thing you must do. But many parents skip this phase. It’s like math – you skip to the exercises without having read the theoretical part. And then you wonder why you can’t solve any of the exercises!
When you react to a tense situation with anger, all you do is complicate things. If you want to change, than you need to choose a new way of communicating, both before and during the conflict. This new way of communicating will help dispel tensions and will safeguard our children’s emotions.
If you want to stop getting angry at your child, you need to learn how to become aware. Here’s how you can do that:
1. Learn how to efficiently communicate with your child;
2. Be aware of how your own emotional baggage is influencing your decisions and your reactions towards your child (the way you were brought up by your own parents, your own frustrations);
3. Consciously evaluate and acknowledge both the positive and the negative consequences of you parenting style.
The purpose of all this is to gradually generate a parenting style that’s built on respect, trust, mutual understanding. All these must replace the traditional model, based on force and authority.
But, regardless of how many parenting articles we read, of how many new techniques we discover, the change must start from within. We have to change the way we communicate and relate to the child.
As parents, we’ve all been through situations where we had an exaggerated reaction to our child’s behavior. When something really insignificant made us angry. And we had stress, exhaustion and lack of patience to blame. We instantly regretted this misstep. It doesn’t define us as parents, and it’s not the parenting style we’re looking for. But we simply couldn’t avoid this trap.
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We all have our own vulnerabilities. We don’t all react the same. Some become angry faster than others. We all need to analyze the mechanisms that trigger our own overblown reactions. And once we’re aware of our weaknesses, of the moments when we become victims of our own exaggerated reactions, then we’ll be able to really be in control and eliminate them gradually.
Getting angry is normal. The important thing is to learn how to communicate what we’re feeling. A hand gesture, a word – it’s important that the family knows the sign through which you tell everyone that you’re tired, stressed and irritable.
Then, we must use as many stress management techniques as possible. We will most likely try many of them until we find one that fits us perfectly. What works for one parent may not work for another.
One way of calming our nerves and toning down any overblown reaction is through breathing exercises. Even if it sounds stupid, breathing is a strong ally, because it instantly reduces stress.
Take a break, and then breathe in and out a few times. Your impulsive reaction to your child’s behavior will be dramatically reduced.
And, most importantly, this technique is so simple, that even your kids will learn how to use it. Don’t forget that parents are role models to their children and what makes them act in a certain way is usually our own way of reacting.
Because stress isn’t the only thing that’s contagious – calm is too.
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