Be Patient, Genius
When facing a growing fit from a seemingly inconsolable child, there are two kinds of parents:
- The parent who asks the question, “How do I get this boy to calm down and behave?”, and then remembers that in the past, it took either the promise of candy or the threat of spanking to do the trick. She then chooses one, according to her patience level at the moment.
- The parent who asks the question, “How do I teach my child to manage his own emotions?”, and decides to pause. And observe. And then gets calmly curious about what might happen if she doesn’t react at all. She just stands there, breathes as slowly as she can, and waits to see what happens when she no longer needs her son to calm them both down.
One of these parents feels deeply responsible for her son and his behavior; the other feels deeply responsible to her son for her own behavior.
One of these parents feels powerless to influence until she uses force; the other is beginning to realize the amazing influence of her own powerful, calming presence.
Before you dismiss option #2 because it seems too hard, ask yourself: Is option #1 really any easier? Especially when you have to up the reward or punishment the next time?
Try option #2 this week. Lemme know how it goes.