Often kids get angry, just as adults do; they may get upset with a sibling or just be in a bad mood. We have all witnessed temper tantrums from a child when something does not go the way they intended or they did not get what they wanted. How we as parents handle these situations can make a tremendous difference in our children’s lives. Many parents react on their emotions too quickly, they often get angry or upset when their child is not behaving in a respectful manner. How we react to this is very important. Just making a few changes can make the world of difference.
Peaceful parenting is being mindful during feelings of anger towards your child, so we can make smarter healthier choices. Instead of yelling or raising your voice when your children are fighting with each other, try taking a breath and really help your child feel their emotions by getting down to their level and saying something like “I see that you are very angry right now at your sister for not sharing her toys with you”, this simple response will help your child know that you see them and empathize with them. Just imagine the same situation with a parent screaming loudly “stop yelling, stop fighting”, at this point all our children see and hear are an angry loud parent. Which scenario do you think brings more joy in to your child’s world?
Physical touch is another way to bring joy into your child’s life and your own. Making the decision to give your child a hug when they first wake up in the morning can make a difference in how you both approach the new day. Hugging your children and letting them know how much you love them during the day, is also a powerful message; it tells our children that we care about them enough to stop what we are doing and acknowledge them with touch and kind words. Bedtime is another perfect time for hugs and snuggling during story time. Psychotherapist Virginia Satir famously said, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” Hugging increases the release of oxytocin, which can boost our emotional and physical health. Everyone benefits from a hug whether you are the hugger or the hugged. How many hugs do you give or get each day?
Peaceful parenting produces happier and more well balanced children. Taking the anger out of parenting and readjusting your style to a calmer state will benefit not only your child, but also you! Next time you are feeling angry because your kid is getting on your last nerve, ask yourself this question: what can I do in this very moment to make my child feel acknowledged, loved and understood? Showing our kids calmness, acceptance and affection makes for a happier more joyful life for everyone.