You can't have an effective conversation with your child if you are unable to remain emotionally centered. Modeling emotional self-regulation to your child is the most important non-verbal communication technique you can use to mold their behavior and help them to self-regulate.
Video #3 of our Communication Guide teaches you seven (7) ways to keep your cool in any situation, so that you can avoid the power-struggles, arguing, whining and tears.
I've taken some notes for you below so you can review the concepts in this video at a glance:
VIDEO GUIDE: How to Stay CALM in ANY Situation (Parents)
#1 GET CURIOUS
Where in your body do you feel your emotion?
Is your jaw clenched?
Is your neck stiff?
Is your heart racing?
Are you sweaty?
Is your body tense?
Does your stomach hurt?
#2 USE SELF TALK
Choose one or two statements to repeat to yourself in a tense moment (or create your own):
What is she/he really telling me right now?
What feeling is behind this emotion?
I'm not a bad parent, I'm having normal feelings.
It's my job to stay calm and be the bigger person.
To her/him this is a big deal, it feels like the end of the world.
#3 VISUALIZE FEELINGS AS WAVES
Close your eyes and visualize that your emotion is an ocean wave crashing over you.
Inhale deeply and hold your breath as it crashes and exhale.
Repeat this as your visualize the waves getting smaller and smaller.
You'll ride out the peak of your emotion and start to calm down.
Repeat for 90 Seconds to get through even the most stubborn emotion.
#4 EXCUSE YOURSELF
If you just can't get a handle on your emotions, remove yourself by stating...
"I need to take space for a few seconds, I'll be right back. I need a calm-down moment."
Then take a moment to take a break and meet your needs.
There is no shame in feeling angry, frustrated, annoyed, or disappointed. These are normal feelings that come with parenting, and sometimes you just need a few minutes to collect yourself.
Come back to the conversation as soon as you can if it still needs resolving.
This is a great skill to model to your child and they will eventually follow your lead if you practice this consistently.
#5 TALK TO SOMEONE
Find someone who can help you emotionally regulate yourself. Whether it's your therapist, a good friend, a supportive family-member...etc. Having a reliable support network will help you to gain strength, clarity, and support when you're burned out or feeling like giving up.
#6 TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN NEEDS
Find a few minutes every day to take care of your needs:
Sleep a few extra minutes a night
Make healthier food choices
Add some fun and joy into your routine
#7 PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
Be present with your kids. When you feel yourself wandering, simply bring your attention back to the present moment.
Get down to their eye-level
Practice eye contact
Create a NO JUDGEMENT ZONE
Think through your actions
Act with intent (to solve the problem and help your child grow and co-regulate with you)
Do not act on hope & fear, act from understanding and love
Check out Video #1 of this guide here: What is the MIRRORING TECHNIQUE?
Check out Video #2 of this guide here: Responding vs Reacting to ADHD/ODD (4-Steps)