This is one of those posts where I must begin with a disclaimer. I’m no psychologist or relationship expert, but for quite some time now I’ve been on a journey to be a lot more zen, calm and composed than ever. And these are the things that are working for me right now.
These are the things that have helped me deal with my parenting woes in a more positive manner; be gentle and soft-spoken in my relationships with my loved ones; not resort to raising my voice and losing my temper at every opportunity.
With motherhood especially – it’s a struggle sometimes to adopt a more positive parenting approach and you often feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall. But the end result is always worthwhile when you choose calm over hysteria.
Taking the time to assess what’s actually going on will help you channel your thoughts towards a resolution. I have noticed that in the past, I’ve been so quick to react without really pausing and taking a moment to realise what was going on, what led to the situation and what the problem actually was.
For example, my children wanting a bit more time to finish their video game before doing the washing up I asked them to do… There are two ways to deal with this: I can either lose my temper, or simply give them those extra 3 minutes they need to wrap up their game. The latter is a solution that would maintain harmony in the house, and the chores would still get done. Losing my temper over a video game, on the other hand, would only cause unnecessary upset.
It’s very difficult to be ‘the bigger person’ during a confrontation but ultimately, this is the only way to arrive at a resolution. When one person decides that they will divert their anger towards finding a common groud, compromise or even forgiveness, this helps de-escalate the situation.
My aim is to choose to be the person who is solution-minded rather than focusing my energy on arguing.
This is what I struggle with the most. I envy people who are able to address issues without raising their voice. Although I never resort to swearing or personal insults, maintaining my composure is a challenge.
Showing respect and kindness must be a priority if you want to address issues peacefully. The moment insults and nasty language is being used, it becomea very hard to revert back to peace and mutual understanding.
Listening to one another is another very important step during conflict resolution. And it’s one thing to listen, it’s another to actually take the person’s feelings into account in order to truly understand them.
When it’s my husband’s turn to speak, I’ve learned make the conscious effort to give him that moment, without interrupting him. Even if I disagree, I aim to remain calm and listen until the end. This is vital, not just to help resolve the issue, but also to make my husband feel valued, and to reiterate the fact that his opinions and feelings are taken seriously.
I say this for the parents out there. As much as positive parenting is a beautiful way to raise our children, and (to me) the most effective, I cannot stress enough the importance of reaffirming our role as parents.
My children need to know that as long as they live under our roof, we as parents are here to lead and discipline them. Respect and obedience are still very much part of our parenting approach and something we will continue to uphold in our house.