Parenting can be challenging, and there are moments when we lose our temper. In such situations, it's essential to handle the aftermath with care. This article discusses three crucial steps to help you reconnect with your child.
Accept the Mistake with Self-Compassion
Parenting often involves juggling multiple responsibilities, and sometimes we react in ways we regret. When you find yourself yelling at your children, the first step is to acknowledge your mistake with self-compassion. Embrace the fact that everyone makes mistakes, and it's okay to admit when you've lost control.
"I yelled – I make mistakes. I lost control. I can learn from this." By saying these words to yourself, you demonstrate self-awareness and the ability to grow. This self-compassionate approach not only benefits you but also sets a positive example for your child.
Express What Happened and What You Want to Change
Once you've accepted your mistake, it's time to have an open conversation with your child about what happened and what you want to change. Honesty is key. For instance, you can say, "I yelled because I was frustrated. Next time when I am that upset, I will take deep breaths to calm myself before I speak."
By explaining your actions and outlining your plan for improvement, you model effective communication and problem-solving skills. Your child learns that it's okay to make mistakes as long as you take responsibility and actively work towards being a better parent.
Use Curiosity to Avoid a Repeat Scenario
Encourage curiosity both in yourself and your child. Ask questions like, "I wonder why this situation triggered me so much." This introspection helps you understand the root causes of your frustration, enabling you to avoid similar triggers in the future.
Involve your child in this process by asking them questions like, "How did you feel when I yelled?" or "What can we do differently next time?" This fosters their emotional intelligence and reinforces that relationships require effort and open communication.
Teaching Valuable Lessons
Through this process, your child learns important life lessons. They grasp that relationships demand effort and communication. They realize that mistakes are part of life and not catastrophic. When you acknowledge your slip-ups in front of your child, you show them how accountability works and encourage them to be vulnerable and willing to grow.
Parenting is a journey filled with challenges. Don't be too hard on yourself when you lose your temper. Instead, use these moments as opportunities to teach your child about self-compassion, accountability, and communication. By sharing your experiences and lessons learned, you can become a better parent. Remember, mistakes are opportunities for growth.
This content is adapted, with permission, from Book 1 of 2 : The Wonders of Nutrition by Dr Ang Poon Liat. MBBS, M.MED (PAED), MRCP (UK PAED), FAMS, MD.