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5 Things That’ll Make Playing Your Parenting Roles Easier

5 Things That’ll Make Playing Your Parenting Roles Easier

By Terri Mauro

Parents are human beings with emotions, stressors and fuses of varying lengths that often interfere with the vital roles they play. Keeping these simple tips in mind helps:

  1. Think before you react. Yeah, you know that, it’s common sense, but since we all have such trouble doing it, it’s worth repeating. Just a minute or two to come down to earth can save you so much trouble. Give yourself a time-out if you need to.
  2. Have a sounding board. A friend who you can call or text to say “I’m about to do/say/write this. Whadya think?” is a valuable resource to give you a viewpoint from outside the heat of your emotional moment.
  3. Look at things from your child’s point of view. If you were a young person, would you want your parent behaving the way you’re about to behave? How would you want it handled instead? Let this be the start of self-advocacy.
  4. Consider alternate strategies. They may not give you as much of a rush in the moment, but calmer and quieter approaches that involve collaboration rather than confrontation are often more effective the long run.
  5. Avoid triggers. You know the things that get you wound up and spin you into temper-tantrum territory. Just as a high base level of stress can cause your child’s behavior to spin out over something small, keeping yourself in a constant state of agitation is asking for trouble. Unplug, disengage, stick to doing what you love for a little while.

And when you slip, as most of us will from time to time, forgive yourself and start over. Probably things aren’t as bad as they seem in the throes of your parenting hangover.

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