Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cool, Calm and Collected

I don't know what the temperature has been like in your area over the past few days, but over here it's been very hot and humid! And honestly I don't do well when its too hot or too humid. All I like to do is laze around, taking things slow and try to be very intentional about what I do. In other words, with the temperatures being so hot, the last thing I want to do is to feel even hotter. I like to try to stay cool, calm and collected!

This made me think about my children and when they do things that make me feel hot...when my blood starts to boil and I can feel the sweat dripping down my face. Okay, maybe its not that bad, but they really do know how to push my buttons sometimes! But there is hope for all of us when it comes to getting hot and bothered by our children's behavior.

A few months back I did a mini teleseminar with Susan from The Confident Mom. (Check out her website at She lead a great series through the book "ScreamFree Parenting" written by Hal Runkel. Basically the whole premise of this book is controlling your own emotions so you can better parent your child. Plus the book provides lots of great tools to help you be that better parent. And with Susan's teleseminar you even get personal Q&A time after each presentation. It was a great month of study and I highly recommend signing up for her class.

My most favorite chapter in the ScreamFree Parenting book was "Resistance is Futile; Practice Judo Parenting". The section on "refusing to pick up the gauntlet" was just wonderful and was much needed information for me. My daughter is a big gauntlet thrower or button pusher or pushing the boundaries. Call it what you like, but these things really make me hot and frustrated! But now I really stop and think and try practicing being calm, cool and collected.

Take the other night for example. My daughter, after specifically being told to be quiet for bed or the door will be shut, decided to push her boundaries and continued to playfully scream and be loud. So I followed through with what I said I was going to do (have I mentioned before the importance of doing what you say you will do? Um, sounds like another post...) and I shut her bedroom door. No sooner was the door shut that she got out of bed (she repeats her bedtime rules before bed, and the first one is "stay in your bed") and she tried to open the door. I know that this is her natural tendency so being prepared (have I mentioned the importance of having a plan...okay, I'll post about that later too!) I was standing on the other side of the door holding onto the door knob so she couldn't open the door. So now comes more gauntlets. She starts screaming. I continue to hold the door shut and I just stay cool, calm and collected. She then turns her bedroom light on and turns her white noise machine off. I stay cool, calm and collected. Then she starts throwing her toys off the table. I continue holding the door shut and continued to stay cool, calm and collected even though inside of me I was wanting to throw open the door and start yelling at her for her behavior and for not throwing toys and to get back into bed - but then who's being the one out of control and now being the child?! So, I stayed cool, calm and collective...Finally, she calmed done and it was quite. I calmly opened the door and in my most cool and calm voice, I said to her "Anna, pick up those off the floor." And guess what, she did it right away. She did it because I was being cool, calm and collected. If I came in there like some crazy lady yelling and screaming out orders, she most likely wouldn't have listened to me. I mean seriously, would you do what a crazy lady was yelling and screaming at you to do? Then I calmly told her to turn her white noise machine back on and turn her bedroom light off. Right away she did it. And then finally I calmly told her to climb back into bed and pull her covers back on (this is another HUGE gauntlet we have worked on and occasionally she likes to test where we stand...) and to stay there until her blue star goes off (see previous post on our "magic blue star").

In the end, I didn't get hot and my blood didn't boil because I choose to stay cool, calm and collected. I felt good about myself that I remained the one in control. One of my favorite saying from the ScreamFree Parenting book was "if you're not under control, then you cannot be in charge". In other words, you need to be cool, calm and collected to be in charge! So remember that next time your blood starts to boil and you feel the sweat dripping from your forehead - just take a deep breath and repeat "I am cool, calm and collected" then follow through with being that cool and calm and collected mom our children truly need! If I can do it, you can do it too!

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful post, and not just because you mention my series in it! You do a great job of giving a specific example of how to implement some of the principles daily and the importance of remaining calm. I look forward to more posts :-)