Parenting Tip #4

Take a deep breath. When you are about to yell, stop and breath. Take a second to think about if it is really worth yelling or if a different reaction may be better.

A few days ago, Leah had one of those days where she totally gave me a run for my money. Everything I asked her to do took forever because she would not cooperate. After struggling for twenty minutes to get her dressed, the last thing I wanted to do was chase her around with a comb trying to brush her hair. When she dove under the kitchen table to hide I just about lost it! But instead I took a deep breath, gently pulled her out, and put her into a time-out.

Time-outs are very effective for my daughter. I believe every child is different and some methods of discipline work better than others depending on that child’s personality. Leah gets a two-minute time-out right now. She usually starts off pouting, or even screaming, but by the end of the two minutes she is remorseful. I always ask her why she was in time-out to make sure she understands what she did wrong. On the rare occasion that she is unable to tell me, I explain it to her. Then she must say that she’s sorry and give a hug. It works like a charm 99% of the time!

Anyway, that fateful day, Leah wound up in time-out no less than four times! By the end of the day by deep breaths got longer and deeper as I struggled not to lose control. I had to remind myself that she is just a kid. She was having an off day. I was having an off day. It’s okay, it happens to the best of us. I have been told that I have the patience of a saint. I don’t know about that. I just love my daughter and I understand that she has bad days.

I am not perfect. I have had days where I totally lost it and flipped out and yelled at her. But the thing is, I don’t feel good at the end of those days. I feel horrible. There are better ways to handle it. Leah and I had such a rough day last week, but at the end of that day I still felt pretty good. I still got a kiss and hug, and my daughter was still my happy little girl.

Take a deep breath. Decide if it’s worth it.

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