There’s nothing that matters to us so much as our children, they’re quite rightly the most important factor in a parents life and the motivating factor behind so many decisions we make. So when something goes wrong that affects our kids, it’s easy to see why so often we completely go to pieces and lose our cool. But this can make a bad situation so much worse, and it can also affect our children all the more to see someone they trust to have control of a situation completely freak out. Learning to stay calm in a crisis is definitely a parenting skill that can prove extremely valuable.
Learn About Cognitive Self-Help
It sounds complicated, but helping ourselves to stay calm is actually a very simple process and it can be learned. Whether it’s something like a difficult toddler having a complete meltdown at the supermarket, or an accident where your child has hurt themselves, if you do some training you’ll be able to remain unflappable. This powerful anti-anxiety strategy starts with simply becoming more aware of the negative thought process and making a very conscious decision to halt the spiralling flow of ‘what ifs’. Recognise them as unhelpful and thoughts that will not serve you or improve the situation, and replace them deliberately with affirmations, calming phrases or positive self-talk. This simple technique can really make a huge difference to how calm you can remain in a challenging scenario.
Try Some Mindfulness
Connected to the above practice, implementing some mindfulness practise as part of your daily routine can also have a very positive effect on your life – and it’s something that gets more helpful the more that you are able to practice. Start by downloading a mindfulness app to your phone and setting aside some time each day to use it – prior to going to sleep works well. The practice is rooted in being able to focus on the here and now and stopping too much concern about things that happened in the past or that may or may not happen in the future that you can’t control.
Do Some Scenario Planning
So much of our panicked response to family troubles has to do with the fact that we find ourselves in an unfamiliar situation – so arm yourself with some knowledge. From preparing a home emergency kit, or taking a first aid pack with you in the car, to knowing the number of the emergency dentist, having a plan in place to deal with challenging scenarios will help you to feel much more in control, so that you can approach things rationally rather than giving way to panic and upset.
Slow It Down
Kneejerk reactions have the potential to turn a stressful situation into an absolute disaster. So if disaster strikes try to give yourself the space to slow down your thought processes before reacting. Be patient and get as much information as you can. As far as possible, take emotion out of your decision making processes. The result, whether it’s medical treatment or even a dispute, is likely to be far more favourable.
** This is a contributed post **