Every so often my computer or iPad has a glitch, or hiccup. My husband's advice is to shut it down and start over again. The computer resets itself and I go on with my work. (What's really ironic is that this is my second attempt at typing this tip. The first time, a brand new glitch appeared: it was typing double letters all over the place! What did I do? Shut it down and start over again, of course.)
So what does this have to do with parenting? Everything. When dealing with kids (and people) of any age, you invariably find yourself in a challenging or no-win situation. Rather than continuing to pound your message home, take a break. Give everyone a chance to decompress, to shed some of the anger and frustration. When you're calm, you can come back to it and experience the magic of starting over.
Think about a situation or discussion that didn't go well. Write a short script of how you can approach the other person to revisit it in an open and productive way. Then gather up your courage and do it. (For example... "I was thinking about what happened the other day. I've had some time to settle down and want to calmly talk to you about it. Would that be okay?")
Fern Weis is a parent coach, specializing in supporting parents of teens and young adults who are going through difficult situations (including underachieving, disrespectful behavior, addiction recovery and more). With parent-centered coaching, Fern helps parents release guilt, end enabling, and confidently prepare their children to thrive through life’s challenges. Learn more about coaching and workshops at www.fernweis.com or www.familyrecoverypartners.com.
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