Because Losing Your Cool Never Actually Feels Cool!
Ah, parenthood. One minute, everything is going swimmingly: your kids are sleeping soundly at night, getting along like the BFFs you’ve always dreamed they’d be, being kind, helpful, and (suspiciously?) sweet. You find yourself admiring your angelic babies with heart-emoji eyes, just savoring the moment…
Then, without warning, someone’s screaming, heavy objects are thrown in your general direction from a tiny – yet freakishly strong – human, and now you’re near tears because someone’s very full diaper also managed to fall off along the way, leaving you a niiiice big mess to tend to once the tantrums are under control.
If parenting doesn’t give you emotional whiplash every so often, are you even a parent?
We’re all friends here and can admit that we’ve snapped under the pressure and constant chaos that seems synonymous with parenting. No judgment here!
There’s something about handling an uber-stressful moment with composure, though, that feels like you’ve unlocked a new level of parenting. And, when we respond versus react, we’re modeling healthy coping and processing skills for our kiddos (because they’re always, and we mean ALWAYS, watching!).
Want more of those moments in your life? Us, too! Here are some tips on how to stay calm amidst whatever (literally or metaphorically) is thrown your way.
1. Time-out Time - Pause and Compose Yourself:
We’re not talking about giving your kids a time-out. Give one to yourself! When noise volumes are deafeningly loud and it seems like your kettle is moments away from whistling, announce that you’ll be taking a few minutes to yourself. Make sure your kids are in a safe spot and take five in a separate space, or with them present, count to 10 before reacting to the issue at hand. In that time, close your eyes, take some deep breaths and then repeat a mantra or affirmation to yourself. “I’ve got this,” “Respond with love,” or “I am what they need,” are examples of gentle reminders that you can give to yourself to calm your physiological response and ultimately help you approach a difficult situation with empathy.
2. Jot Down Your Triggers
We all have our triggers when it comes to parenting.
None of these are pleasant experiences, even for the most patient parent! Being aware of what triggers your anxiety or heightened emotions can help you get ahead of them. As an exercise, try writing down a list of times you felt overwhelmed and see if there are any common themes/triggers that could be addressed.
3. Follow the TEAM Method of Calmer Parenting
The TEAM method follows four main principles:
- Minimal Interference
Developed by anthropologists after investigating non-Western styles of parenting; the TEAM method recommends parents don’t batter or negotiate with their kids but include them in their parent’s daily activities. If you’re playing a sport, invite them along, if you’re making dinner suggest occasionally to your child that they could help, and don’t argue if they aren’t interested. The TEAM method is about encouraging a kid's helpfulness by doing things together as a family. Letting kids participate or not gives kids autonomy over their lives and the importance of being helpful to others.
4. Pop Some Chocolate
This little trick is also a treat! Is there a time of day that you know gets wild? For some it’s right before dinnertime; for others, it's the early morning rush. About 15 minutes or so before those crazy timeframes, have a few pieces of our Calm Milk Chocolate supplements. Our key ingredients – an amino acid called L-Theanine, magnesium, and chamomile – work to help you feel calmer and more relaxed. And, the fact that those natural stress relievers are enrobed in delicious chocolate doesn’t hurt, either! Our Calm chocolates are indeed relaxing but they don’t cause any drowsiness, so you can take them any time you need to take the edge off.
And, if sleep is eluding you, consider taking some of our Chocolate Sleep supplements with melatonin to give you a better night’s rest. Parenting on no sleep is a recipe for short tempers!
5. Observe and Listen
Sometimes, taking a step back from the situation by observing and listening can help diffuse it, because it can also help you see things from their 3-foot-tall point-of-view. Next time your toddler is screaming that his milk is too wet, give it a try! Sometimes kids just need to feel validated before they can calm down themselves. And if that fails, bust out the silliest dance moves you can muster up. If it doesn’t cause your kiddo to crack a smile, just remember physical movement is always good for you!
6. It’s about Practice, Not Perfection!
Even on our most well-rested, well-intentioned days, we may crack. And that’s okay. If you lose your temper, give yourself grace and try to create a learning experience out of it: apologize, explain to your kiddo that adults make mistakes, too, and how you calmed yourself down.
Sometimes it can feel like a bad moment can overshadow an entire day. But, who has time for that? We hope these tips can help you get ahead of those inevitable stressful moments and keep them to mere moments rather than days, so you can keep calm and parent on!
Please consult your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding taking Calm with a medical condition or treatment.