Solutions For Parents

Middle Childhood » Communication

BOILING OVER? STOP! TAKE TIME!

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BOILING OVER??  STOP!! TAKE TIME OUT!!!

 

If you are boiling over, don’t take it out on your kids! Try any or all of these simple alternatives – whatever works for you.

         Take a deep breath. And another. Then remember, you are the adult.

         Close your eyes and imagine you are hearing what your child is about to hear.

         Press your lips together and count to ten. Or better yet, to 20.

         Exercise to release tension.

         Phone a friend.

         If someone can watch your child, go outside and take a walk.

         Take a hot bath or splash cold water on your face.

         Turn on some music, maybe even sing a song.

         Drink a glass of cold water.

         Rethink about what you want to say and what you want to do.

         Empathize and try to understand the point of view of the person who is making you angry.

         If you do lash out, apologize.

Encourage your children to practice these techniques also. Empower your children by setting the example for how to deal with anger.

 

For children in school there is a valuable tool that can be used.  It is called the “I” statement.  The child fills in the blanks of the following statement or something similar.

 

“I feel _____________when you ____________ because ______________.  I would like you to ______________________________.”

 

The child fills out the statement.  The two children are brought together for a meeting.  The first child reads her “I” statement and the second child listens.  The second child acknowledges her statement and what the first child would like to happen.  Then the second child may present his or her own “I” statement.  They should both come to a resolution and shake hands at the end.  This lets children express their feelings in an appropriate way and helps them to resolve conflict.  This is a great way for children to learn how to handle issues throughout their life.

It is important for the teacher or parent to listen to the child’s “I” statement first to make sure it really is an appropriate conflict. 

Ask Dr. Susan