Do you really want to be screamer?

Our reactivity undermines anything and everything we do. We wonder why we don't have influence over our children. We try and control through reactivity but we don't gather respect this way, we actually lose influence.

Screaming and shouting at our kids has been normalized.  Yet if we look at the stress response that sits behind our screaming and their receiving our wrath it is anything but healthy.  No one shouts when feeling calm, it is always a symptom of raised stress levels and coursing adrenalin and cortisol. 

When we shout we amplify this toxic physical, mental and emotional state for us and our children.  What this does is it clouds judgment and reason.  It removes all of our higher order faculties that would be useful in a situation when discipline is required.

Remember, discipline shares the same root as disciple, which essentially means to lead. However when we try and influence our kids through our own reactivity rather than influencing them through considered responses we lose our leadership power.

 We don't gain respect when we cannot manage ourselves & keep our cool.  We want to influence our kids positively yet we cannot manage our own reactions so they battle to respect us and our influence minimizes.

The ideal is to move from a state of reactivity to a state of respond-ability.  Responses, rather than reactions, are based on choice.  Responses are mindful, considered and reactions are knee-jerk and automatic.

 So what do we need to do to shift to the leadership state of respond-ability?

Here are 4 steps;

  •  Be Proactive:  Consider the areas that are triggers for us, for example; poor manners, ingratitude, whining, sibling rivalry, mess, not listening and so on. Explore what it is about this triggers that set us off and plan a strategic approach for the next inevitable event.
  • Collaborate: In an age appropriate way discuss with the children what the triggers are and put your heads together for some creative solutions and options. Have these discussions away from the heat of the moment and share with your children what your needs and values are that are in conflict with some of their choices.
  • Pause:  In the moment as you recognize that ‘that’ thing that gets you going is happening take a moment and pause which will give you time to remember your planned response over your default reaction.
  • Reflect:  As you learn a to grow and define your respond-ability muscle make peace with the fact that it may take some time.  Even if you react and realize you have reacted and reflect on this for next time, that is progress. 

 Take baby steps and commit to one change area at a time. Changing gears in any sphere of our lives takes time, commitment and practice. We encourage parents to make change initiatives in baby steps and to be gentle in the process. 

Change is wonderful and possible and it is important not to lose heart by the struggle as it is not always easy.  So the smaller the steps the greater the forward momentum that can be achieved.


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