Keeping Your Cool

Dr. Carla LeHouillier
Wishing Star Associate

Let’s face it – children can sometimes be exhausting!! At the end of a long day, it often seems that they are behaving in ways that are designed to push every button their parents have. It can be difficult during these moments for parents to remain calm and not become frustrated or escalated themselves. Despite this challenge, the importance of keeping your cool is paramount. If parents let their frustrations take over, explosions, yelling and harsh words often ensue. This can be very scary for children, who are feeling out of control and need, above all else, to experience security and safety at all times with their caregivers. Children are constantly looking up to their parents to always be wiser, stronger, and kinder, even in those difficult moments.

If you are finding yourself becoming frustrated and at the end of your rope with your children, stop and take a few deeps breaths. Try to find the softness in your heart for your child, think about those loving moments, or close your eyes and imagine yourself in a peaceful place. Whatever route you take to remain calm, if you can ensure that your child understands that their relationship with you is not in jeopardy, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can de-escalate the situation and move to happier times. Instead of getting angry or frustrated with your child’s behavior, imagine the world from your child’s point of view and try to understand how they’re feeling in this moment. You might say something like, “you’re really upset right now”, or “that was very frustrating for you”, while conveying that you understand how they feel.

And in those moments, remember the proverb, “this too shall pass….”.

This blog posting is not a form of psychological counselling, advice, therapy, or assessment and should not be used as such by any individual. This blog posting is provided only as an article intended to encourage thought and discourse. For specific psychology related services, please contact an appropriate healthcare provider.