We have all seen those moments in a shopping mall or on a busy street where a mother or father screams at their young children for misbehaving. There are two types of reactions. From those who have never had a child they usually tut and say how terrible a parent it is. From those who have kids, they usually look over with empathy and know exactly how tired, stressed, hungry that mother or father is and how hard parenting can be at certain times. If you want to avoid being in a situation like this in the future, read on.
The first step to being a calm parent is to expect your child to misbehave sometimes. Often parents take it so personally when their child misbehaves as if it is a reflection on them as a parent, that they react with anger and disappointment. They quickly want to solve the situation before anyone sees what a terrible parent they are. In reality, children will go through many stages, some will have them sitting quietly, others will have them screaming and crying. There is a reason they call it the terrible twos after all. Once you expect this behavior you will not be surprised when it takes place and you can react calmly.
One of the best ways to react calmly to your children is to have a set routine. By establishing a routine with your children they know what to expect during the day as well. If you are making breakfast and your child is trying to play in the kitchen, it can be stressful. If it is clear to that child that playtime is never between 8 am and 9 am because dad is making breakfast, this situation will rarely arise (and when it still does, see step one).
The most important thing to ensuring you are a calm parent is to look after yourself. Before you were ever a parent you likely got hangry with someone. You were so hungry that you lost if over the smallest thing with your parents, friends or partner. Of course, if you are without sleep, hungry, or stressed you will do the same with your child. Ensure you are getting enough sleep and are looking after your nutrition so you can deal with all of these situations. While that may sound difficult you need to cut things that out of your life if they are costing you precious downtime. Don’t burden yourself with a busy schedule if you can’t do it.
The key to being a calm parent is to have the right perspective and the right preparation. Don’t demand too much of yourself. If you need help, ask for it. There is always a partner, parent, friend, or neighbor that will help you if you are struggling alone. Any problem shared is a problem halved.