5 Secrets To Calm Parenting

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There are many times in our parenting journey where our patience is tested. Even the calmest of us may have lost it once or twice. Here's some tips to just keep calm...

This article is done in collaboration with Families for Life. You may read the original articleĀ here.

Parenting is no easy task. Remember those moments when juniorā€™s shenanigans tested the limits of your patience? When that happens, it can take a superhuman effort to maintain self-control and keep your cool.

Angry parents can lead to unhappy consequences. Singapore has seen a troubling rise in child physical abuse over the past decade, with 660 cases in 2019 alone. Itā€™s a number set toĀ rise even furtherĀ in 2020 as families were forced to stay home together due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Extreme and abusive reactions aside, anger and harsh words can still take a toll on the day-to-day relationship between parent and child. Learning how to parent calmly is hence essential to maintaining a strong parent-child bond.

The next time the kids act up, try these tips to turn down the heat:

1. Giving (yourself) a time-out

Time-outs are not just for kids aloneā€“adults need them too! When emotions get the better of us, it might be hard to think rationally. Trying to correct our kids when we are still fuming is often a recipe for disaster.

Walk away and find a quiet corner to recollect your sanity. Save that teachable moment for another time when you are composed and calmer.

2. Walk in their shoes

Sometimes we forget that children are not adults. Part of the reason younger children act out is because, unlike adults, they donā€™t have the tools to express themselves.

Help your little ones recognise their trigger or source of frustration and find the words to explain their emotions. Not only does it build self-awareness, talking through the process lets them feel heard.

3. Try using humour

Humour defuses touchy situations. To ease the tension, try deflecting attention off the topic of disagreement. But avoid sarcasm and sore points in case it makes matters worse.

If your teen is upset that heā€™s not allowed to stay out late with his friends, donā€™t moralise. Share with him tales of your own youthful escapades, such as the time when you had to scale the garden wall to avoid grandpaā€™s wrath.

4. Act, not react

A furious mom or dad can be terrifying, especially for young kids. Hurtful words take a greater personal toll on children who are dependent on their parents for their sense of self. While blowing up might help you vent your frustration, oftentimes it doesnā€™t resolve the problem.

Nip the problem in the bud before it escalates. If junior is headed for a meltdown because of his siblingsā€™ teasing, it might be a good time to take him out for a short walk or find a fun activity to distract him from the situation.

5. This too shall pass

Parents of older children will understand this. Whether itā€™s the toddler tantrums or the angsty adolescence phase, kids go through different development stages where they will challenge parental authority. Sometimes, all you need to do is to wait it out.

Got a sulky, uncooperative teen who refuses to join in family activities? Instead of confronting her, it might be better to just let her be. Once the testy teenage years have passed, that sweet-tempered kid you used to know may return, except older and wiser.

*Families for Life (FFL) Councilā€™s vision is to inculcate a ā€œFamilies for Lifeā€ mindset and value among Singaporeans, by building strong and resilient families, as that makes for stronger communities and better individual well-being. The FFL Movement rallies like-minded individuals, families and organisations to strengthen family bonds through large-scale events, national celebrations and online digital campaigns.


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This article is prepared by

Jiarong Yu
Daddy to 2 adorable little ones. Misses them the moment they are not around, regrets missing them the moment they are around.

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