A client yesterday told me a story of an incident in her house that morning, which you may find helpful.
With Parenting support you can be proactive not reactive
Her daughter is finishing junior school and there is a lot of emotion around that in these final days. Following the graduation ceremony the previous evening (which had gone on late), her daughter was tired, cranky and raising her voice. Her mother, a single parent rushing to get out to work said ‘Normally, I would match her mood with mine, I would raise my voice and everything would escalate until we would both leave upset for school and work’.
“With parenting support I was able to respond more effectively”
Because of the parenting support she had been receiving, instead she decided to ‘Be the change she wanted to see’ and met her daughter behaviour with calmness, gentleness and kindness.
Acknowledge the feeling
She acknowledged her daughters feelings ‘sounds like you’re tired honey; it was a late night and not easy to get up this morning’.
The importance of physical contact in reducing anger
She rubbed her back and simply gave her a moment attention and a little compassion.
Angry? Take action for self instead of against child
As the daughters mood did not immediately evaporate, the mum realised that she herself was getting irritated and rather than ‘Take an action against the child’ by losing it; she instead ‘Took an Action for herself’ and excused herself in order to calm down.
On entering the kitchen shortly after, she encountered her daughter in better form and they both headed off to school and work without the usual conflict they would normally have encountered.
Every parent needs support
Every parent needs support for the hard job that parenting is, a single parent even more so, needs support and some tips that will make a difference. This parent has learned that her child’s behaviour is only about the child; and she no longer personalises that behaviour as being about her. This allows her to deal with conflict from a place of boundary, which achieves a better result.