“Sean and I had already been teaching our children to count and breath in relaxation exercises that would reduce their anxiety (Fraser, 1996) so I decided to “practice what I was preaching”. (Parenting Strategies on the Go , p. 1).
Fraser, M. (1996). Aggressive behavior in childhood and early adolescence: An ecological-development perspective on youth violence. Social Work, 41, 347-362.
The children are running, fighting, yelling or whatever. We parents with multiple children have all been there. You, the parents, are TIRED OF IT! In your most controlled voice you state, “Sit down and be quiet.” Begin counting to 10 in silence.
Three things Counting to 10 can do for you and your children.
- It is a signal to your offspring that this is serious enough for silence. It builds their schema (the mental map) that their behavior was unacceptable.
- It gives you time to “think through” the exchange of dialogue that is coming up. It may be the children can explain their actions then change those actions through dialogue with you. So, they have the opportunity to correct the problem, or you, the parent may have to correct the problem through positive or negative reinforcements.
- You are the parent who needs to control the situation not the children. You counting to 10 calmly lets the children know that their ruckus did not control your actions where you act inappropriately (yelling, cursing ). Screaming, cursing, and ranting don’t help solve problems. Thinking, discussion, and changing inappropriate actions do.