“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside you.” Deepak Chopra
I believe we can all agree sometimes we need a break. I have been working at it for a long time now but I can finally keep calm and composed in most situations because I have practiced it on many occasions and continue to everyday. In this blog I will share with you some tips on how I am able to keep calm in moments of chaos.
It was bed time and Kennedy, my 4 year old, was screaming hysterically. I was at my wits end and realized I needed a moment away to calm down. I looked at her in the eyes as she was yelling at me and told her, “Kennedy I need a break, I am going to go to my room now.” I then walked away as calmly as possible. She continued screaming. “Hungry!, I’m thirst, it’s hot, I’m cold.” “No mommy, I’m not sleepy.” However I knew she was tired, she was up early and we had a busy day. Usually I can sit next to her in silence and she will calm down. As I sit in silence next to her showing that I am here to support her I began to feel like my presence is what is causing her outburst. My room is across the hall from hers so I was in close proximity and she knew where I was. It took her about 30 seconds to calm down, she began to play with her sister for a minute and then she walked into my room. I was sitting on the bed taking a few moments to regain my composure when she came in, puppy dog eyes and all. “Sorry I did that mommy,” she said in a calm voice. I asked her to come over and give me a hug, so she did, we sat there for a moment and then we went to her room to finish story time before bed.
I knew the poor girl was sleepy but she didn’t understand what her body was telling her and she was crying out for help. Our poor children can’t control their emotions like us adults, well most of the time we can. Think about how many years it has taken you as an adult to learn how to control or even hide your emotions. Our children are barely able to understand why they feel the way they do, let alone control their emotions. It is our role as parents to help them learn these emotions and to help them to work through them.
I use to be the mom that if my child was crying I would make them stop unless they were bleeding or seriously hurt. It wasn’t until I began to listen to some parenting podcasts that I wanted to change. My job is to be a stay at home mom and I decided I wanted to be the best mother I am capable of becoming. One of my favorite podcasts “Hand in Hand Parenting” has an episode about the human brain. It explains how a child’s brain works when they are in stressful situations or when they get upset and have no control over their actions. These principal can be applied to adults as well. I have listened to this podcast multiple times and suggest all parents give it a listen. After learning how the child’s mind works I’ve decided to change my parenting style.
I went from that no excuse to cry mom, to the one who allows my child to cry, even when people are staring at me. I sit next to them and try my best to stay silent allowing them to work through their emotions. Your child may need you to hold them, be near them or even just place your hand on theirs so they know you are there. Think about how many times you have gotten mad or upset and all you needed was a few moments alone to compose yourself or to know someone was nearby in case you needed them. You didn’t necessarily need them to talk or solve your problem but to just be present. I believe this is what our kids need, for us to just be present for them.
Have you ever had someone tell you how perfect your children were at their house, or how perfect they are acting out in public only for them to have a complete meltdown when you get home? It’s because they feel safe with you. Just think about that for a moment. When you have a problem or concern do you talk to the random person in the grocery store line or the barista at your local coffee shop? Probably not, but you know who you do talk to, cry with or feel emotional around? Your husband or wife, your mother or father, brother, sister or even your best friend.
Therefore it only makes sense our kids act out when they are with us. They feel safe around us. They know that you will love them and help them no matter what and this gives them the security to think they can have a meltdown with you.
Why does my child have outbursts about the littlest things?
Do you ever recall getting mad at your spouse over something so little even if you didn’t understand what made you so upset. Sometimes it is not the actual event that made you so upset but many smaller things throughout the day that have bothered you. However they were not big enough to be verbalized to anyone. The dirty undies on the floor, dishes in the sink or muddy shoes in the house. But it was the spilled water you almost slipped on that really set you off.
Now imagine the same situation for a child. In the morning sister was given breakfast first , and then they noticed brother got more milk than them. Later in the day sister got more bubbles in the bathtub and brother got the last cookie. None of these may trigger her to say anything until its bed time that night. She wants to hold the book at bed time but you tell her its easier if you do it and she loses it. She starts crying and yelling and you can not wrap your head around why she is so upset about the book. What you don’t know is all the little things that have been bothering her all day.
Just remember it may not be the actual situation that is upsetting your child but something prior, maybe even a few days ago. It is our job as a parent to help our children through this emotional ride so they can learn how to control their emotions because one day you will not be around to help them. This may include sitting in silence next to them or talking with them through the problem as they find a solution.
Be an example for your children. Be a leader and practice what you preach. Act towards your children how you wish for them to act towards others. Talk to them with respect and teach them how to give respect.
Please email me with any questions or comments.
Jade San Nicolas
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