Last week, I wrote to you about how we can find it really difficult when we feel that others are watching how we are parenting and when we feel that we are being judged by them. If you missed it, you can find that post HERE.
I said that this week I wanted to give you a practical strategy to cope with situations just like that.
First, I want you to consider moving away from saying to your child, ‘Don’t talk to me like that,’ or ‘Stop yelling at me,’ or ‘Stop disrespecting me.’
The thing is that when you use phrases like this, you’re making yourself the victim in your mind.
You’re saying that your kid is doing something to you and you are the victim.
This puts you even more in opposition to each other.
So, what we wanna say is something like, ‘Honey, we don’t talk like that.’
Or, what you could do is go straight to suggesting a do-over.
What’s a do-over?
A do-over is where you go back to the point just before things went crazy and act it out the way you wish it would have gone.
A do-over doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be in the right direction. Having fun or a bit of humor in a do-over is also totally allowed.
You could just go straight to telling your kid, alright, we’re gonna do this over. Say this is a very calm and matter-of-fact voice.
Part of the do-over is for yourself.
You’re practicing the habit of thinking ‘My kid is not doing this to me. He/she/they are just doing it.’
If you think they’re doing it to you, you’ll just end up feeling more and more of a bad parent because you think your kid is always disrespecting you.
That’s not gonna help the situation.
Your kid is not doing it to you. They are just doing what they are doing.
Your kid didn’t wake up this morning and say, ‘I’m gonna yell at my mom/dad/parent and treat him/her/them poorly.’
We play mind games with ourselves unknowingly. We wear ourselves down like, ‘Oh, my, my kid is always doing this to me.’
Then we start judging them. ‘He/she/they are out of control, he/she/they are, he/she/they are this kind of kid…’
Your kid is just yelling.
Your kid is not yelling at you.
He/she/they are just yelling.
And that will help you feel calmer, and less like he/she/they are out of control with his/her/their behavior.
This change of perspective along with using do-overs can make a whole load of difference.
Next time, I’m going to write to you about how to stop using bargaining to control your kid and what to do instead.