Friday, February 22, 2008

Tips for Maintaining a Scream-Free Home

It is sometimes hard to get children to listen and follow directions, especially if they have ADHD. This leads to stressful feelings and frustrations on the part of the parent. The child’s behavior may end up escalating; as a result, the parent may feel a loss of control and escalate his or her own negative feelings. Sometimes arguing and yelling begins. The child may throw a tantrum. Madness ensues.
How Can Parents Keep Their Cool?

1. Control Yourself
Realize that we cannot control our kids, nor should we want to. Our primary job as parents is to control ourselves and model proper behavior. How many of us throw our adult tantrums when something goes wrong, then expect our children to remain calm?
2.Make a Conscious Choice to Remain Calm
No matter what your child or spouse does, remain calm. Screaming or withdrawing emotionally only makes the situation worse. When we are calm, we can solve problems instead of creating more of them.
3. Have Self Respect
We are not responsible for our children’s behavior, attitudes and actions. If your child is in a bad mood, so be it. Choose not to give in to or join his pity party. If your child comes into the kitchen barking orders and being rude, you are not obligated to respond. Walk away calmly, go about your business and let your child know that when he’s ready to talk and be polite, you’ll help him with breakfast.
If your child refuses to do his homework, then he will suffer the consequences at school. Our children need to learn that they are responsible for their choices, and you are responsible for yours.
4. Assume a Calm Posture
Each time you approach your child or spouse, ask yourself, “Do I want to have a conversation or a confrontation?” Instead of standing by and barking orders, sit down, put your feet up and relax. It is much harder to yell and lecture when you assume a calm posture.
5. Take Care of Yourself
Exercise, walk your dog, pray, listen to music -- do whatever helps you feel good. Make a decision that no matter what your child or spouse does, you are only responsible for your actions. This liberates parents and frees children to be responsible for their choices.
6. Be the Calm in the Storm
When your home is spinning out of control and you are working to keep a sense of calm, recruit others to your mission by sitting down and coloring or reading a book. Let everyone else know that you are in control. You’ll be surprised at how your children (and spouse!) begin to calm down once you do.

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