Saturday, July 21, 2012

The IPP Strategy for Keeping Your Cool

We've all been there. You're brushing your daughter's hair and she yells "MOM! You're HURTING me!"

Being a parent requires so much patience and sometimes we just don't feel like we can take another minute of crying, whining, or arguing! But the truth can! Really. Parents often yell or walk away when faced with these challenging situations. We often rationalize our own behaviors by saying something to ourselves like, "well, at least I didn't get physically aggressive" or "well, I didn't do what my parents would have done" But, this kind of thinking can lead us down the wrong path. We need to expect more from ourselves as parents and teach our children that there are ways to handle situations which don't involve yelling or walking away. Once we make the commitment to change our ways we can make it happen...truly you can. Here's how.
Identify. Identify the problem and say it in your head. Here's an example. "The problem is she will not finish her homework."
Pivot. Ask yourself what another solution is to the problem. If the problem is that your child will not finish her homework, maybe the answer could be...
1. Setting a timer. Allow your child to continue to work until the timer goes off. Often this creates a different element in which the child becomes responsible on her own and eliminates you as the middle man (which is often necessary).
2. Taking a break. Sometimes our children need a break to get something to eat or re-energize.
3. Using humor. Using humor can often transform a stressful situation. Ask your child to "turn things around" by standing up and turning around and starting the homework over again (I guarantee kids think this is funny!)
Take Pride. Every time that you catch yourself using these techniques successfully allow yourself to feel good about it. Remind yourself what a good job you're doing and give yourself a little pat on the back!
Remember you are a good parent! Do you know how I know your a good parent? You are a good parent because you are reading this (which means you care!) Many parents do not want to take the time to evaluate their role in these situations and try to place the blame elsewhere. If you put these tricks in your back pocket you will be on the road to a more positive, patient, and cooperative relationship with your children!

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