Most days I feel like that; a strong, capable, empowered woman ready to handle almost anything. However, some days I feel like the blob. Stumbling into everything in my path.
I think we all shift from one extreme to the other, depending on what’s going on.
I hope you feel like Wonder Woman or Superman today, because you survived Spring Break!
I don’t know about you, but when I do a good job, some part of me wants a present!
Well, I have one for you … if you’re not interested in the tip I’m sharing today, skip to the end of this.
I experienced spring break too. Kids and parents were everywhere, having fun and rushing around in their own personal bubble.
Sometimes when I’m out and about I see the same type of behavior again and again. That’s my clue to begin thinking about it. And because I am me, I tend to look at things from a slightly different perspective, today’s example is no different, and it’s a big one.
CLUE: This idea applies to all ages, all stages, including adults, not just 3 yr. olds.
Last night I was at the grocery store. A dad and his 3 yr. old were walking the isles. Things were going well, then all of sudden the 3 yr. old began swinging her arms trying to touch things on the shelf. Dad stopped and pulled the child’s arm, making it clear that she needed to stop right now. The child had a meltdown.
I think we’ve all experienced something like that, at one time or another, and gotten similar results too. What can be done to change that outcome?
I have two points to share, and the first one is the one that applies to all ages, all stages, even adults.
When emotions are present, it is important, if you can, to wait, take a breath, and wait for the other person to settle down emotionally and so you can catch up to where you are emotionally.
That’s huge. Let me explain.
When anyone, including your child, comes at you in an intense, highly charged emotional state, they derail you emotionally. It’s like you’ve been pushed off your emotional center. In child-language it’s like being hit by a water balloon filled with goo. You can’t immediately deal with how you feel, you have to get that goo off of you first, and that takes a moment.
How do you get the goo off?
You have to wait. Take a breath. Give yourself a moment to think about what you want to say, or what you want to do? You have to take a moment to ask yourself, am I reacting to the intensity of their delivery, or the impact of their words? Is what they said true? How should I respond?
Nothing is wasted while you take your moment to think. While you’re thinking the other person is processing things too, even kids.
The other person is actually reeling from the intensity of their delivery. If it’s your child, they’re wondering, what will mom/dad do next? It’s in that silent waiting moment where the sudden realization occurs that I’m out of line, I made a bad choice, or I spoke to you disrespectfully.
If you react, then the moment becomes confused and diluted. If you jump in with both feet without waiting, the moment is no longer just about what was said or how it was said, or your feelings about it, the moment becomes a sling fest, an emotional explosion. The moment becomes 100% about reactions, and not about what was expressed or the behavior.
So take a moment. Take 10 seconds. Breathe. Think. Let the other person wait for your reply.
Choosing to take a waiting moment is far more powerful than you think. It shows the child you’re in control no matter what’s happened.
Let’s get back to the store.
My suggestion is to remain calm and say something like, “Uh oh, swinging arms can make things fall. Let’s go back to the end of the isle and begin again so you walk the way you’re supposed to.”
The “Uh, Oh” informs the child that a correction is going to happen. The words, “swinging arms can make things fall” tells the child what they did wrong.
Saying, “begin again so you walk the way you’re supposed to.” tells the child what your expectation of behavior is. There is no anger, no punishment, and the behavior is corrected!
Yes, it takes a few seconds to do that. But that few seconds creates the waiting moment.
And the waiting moment stops reactions between the two of you. More importantly the waiting moment expresses to your child, “I understand that you can’t control yourself right now, so I will help you.”
All children want that kind of help from their parents, even when they’re crying or pushing you away, physically or emotionally. Unconsciously every child wants their parent to be strong enough to help them help themselves.
And as I said in the beginning, I’m giving you a gift for making it through Spring Break.
I think someone needs to acknowledge that feat! My gift to you is all downloads are 30% off till May 1, 2016! Everything but the print copies of our book.
That’s a huge savings for you.