Friday 18 April 2014

Count to five - tips for keeping calm as a parent

Keeping calm as a parent is no easy task. Who would have thought that someone so small could have so much power over your time, resources, energy, and your restraint for alcohol. Some days you will have lost your cool before breakfast and you feel it's all downhill from then on in. Well, if you're on the edge and wondering how you will get through the day I'd like to give you five tips on how to keep calm amongst the chaos.

1. Take a deep breath.
This is mainly to stop the instinct to shout expletives at your child. Imagine if you stopped every time you got angry and allowed for a long, deep breath? Screaming at your children is like an alarm bell in their heads for turning their misbehaviour up a notch, they love the attention and will only make you react further. Besides which, it's not even breakfast time yet, you haven't cleaned your teeth. Please don't submit your child to last night's curry.

2. Count to five.
Despite making your child feel time pressured into doing what you want them to do and allowing you time to calm down, this also bides you time for working out what the hell the consequence will be at the end of it. You've just about reached to five when you remembered the chocolate cake you promised him for pudding is potentially yours. It's basically a win win situation. Calm child or chocolate cake.

3. Talk to them like children
They hate it. How would you feel if you were told you didn't get that work promotion because you didn't quite have enough intelligence? Damn right you do, and you'll prove it! Before you know it, your child will be sat compliantly, waiting for their next promotion. This is the perfect opportunity for your child to prove just how 'adult' they want to be by getting them to do all those chores you hate. Before you know it you have a ready-made cleaner and you can put your feet up (until they twig that you're an adult too and you might need to chip in).

4. Hide.
If all else fails and your child is safe (good parenting disclaimer) go and lock yourself in the bathroom. Having a child screaming in your face isn't going to do your stress levels any favours, you need to compose yourself. Alone. If your child cannot be left to his own devices then invest in some rather large headphones and play some sort of tranquil whale music or something to calm you down. And if that doesn't work, try drowning their whines out with Metallica.

5. Wine. For you, not the child. And always drink responsibly (good parenting disclaimer).

The last resort.

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