Tips and Key to Calm Parenting - Tips On Parenting

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February 6, 2020

Tips and Key to Calm Parenting

Ever feel like your consequences keep going up and all you feel like is my kids still doesn't care, it's a really common problem and we'll start first with an easy fix.
Tips and Key to Calm Parenting

Tips and Key to Calm Parenting

Most of the time when consequences keep getting bigger and bigger it means we keep getting more emotionally involved into it. So, one of the biggest things to do is when you're giving a consequence is to make sure that everybody is back to emotional zero. When a negative behavior occurs, instantly signal them that this doesn't work and then let everyone take a timeout or a brain break.

When you're gonna come back and give consequences you need to be in palace where you feel neutral. Sometimes you need to call a friend, do something else, go yell in the room whatever it takes, but once you are neutral that’s when you set consequences.

One of the easiest systems is actually to have the consequences ahead of time. Make a minor and a major list of things that people can't do in your house. Some minor things could be being disrespectful at the table, watching TV when you've been told not to and major things are more like curfew problems or high levels of disrespect or certainly something like hitting a sibling. Know ahead of time what the penalty.

So minor things can be losing 15 minutes of electronics while major consequences include things like being grounded or potentially having breaks from friends or other activities that they like.

Once you know the consequences and everyone is calm then you sit down and deliver what they are. A lot of people want a big emotional response when they deliver a consequence. Kids tend to move on quickly and as adults we feel all that hurt all that frustration. So, until you are neutral it's likely you’re gonna keep building and building and building.

Effective consequences actually last short periods of time but aren’t fun. So, if your kid is continuing to dawdle around and isn't getting something done. What I like to do is say actually you owe me this time. So, you owe me the 15 minutes that you were doing something when we had another place to be but I get to pick when it is. So, for instance if you have a favorite TV show then I get the first 15 minutes of the TV show. The key is that it's not that your show starts 15 minutes later, it’s that you miss the first 15.
What about removing privileges. This is a big one for teenagers. This is a place where escalations really can and do get out of control. If you are in conflict in the moment you tend to say okay that's another 15 or that’s another three days. So, first off, we’re back to neutral if they’re continuing to escalate. Then you can addon time levels, but it's more effective when small pieces of time are added, hours rather than days because if you get to the point where someone has a multi-week consequence the only game in town at this point is to beat you at caring less or being upset for all of those pieces.

The key for a consequence short amounts of time that are unpleasant and are decided on long before there's a whole bunch of conflict.

If you feel like you’ve tried all of these things, you’re neutral when it happens, you're using agreed-upon consequences and you feel like things keep escalating out of control it's a good time to get more help. Talk to your pediatrician or child psychiatrist and see what's happening emotionally. Sometimes kids don't feel like they're being heard in the moment or feel like they're pieces you don't understand. What we really want to make sure is that behaviors are clearly yes or no but the emotional subtleties and the need for connection and love are happening consistently.

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