Parenting today is a multifaceted, complex and challenging undertaking, especially for working moms who need to balance work and parenting. A stressful day at the office can quickly turn into a stressful night with the kids if you let it. That goes double for moms who work from home as the boundaries between work and parenting often get blurred and business problems become family problems and vice versa.
So how can working moms maintain a stress-free, scream-free household?
It’s important for parents to remember to key principles of Scream Free parenting: “You are responsible TO your children, not for your children.” Parenting is about parents – that’s why it’s called “parenting”. If it were only about kids, it would be called “kidding”.
The biggest enemy we face as parents is not the media, the influence of so-called ‘bad company’ or even the temptation of drugs and alcohol. The single biggest challenge we face as parents is our tendency to react instead of respond to the challenges our children bring us.
The truth is that if we want our children to become the adults we want them to be one day, it’s important that we keep ourselves under control. It is imperative that we figure out how to respond to their behaviors instead of just losing our cool!
Parents often ask, “Does keeping calm mean that my kids get to do what they want?” Or “Does that mean that they get away with any kind of behavior?” And the answer is always a resounding and absolute “NO”! The key is balancing guiding them while at the same time letting them take responsibility for their own behavior.
The solution is not to focus more and more time on our kids at the expense of our sanity. The bottom line is we can’t control what our children do no matter how hard we try! How long did it take you to realize your kid had a mind of her own?
You need focus on controlling what you can actually control and the only one you can control is YOU. We cannot be present and available for our kids if we are not in control of ourselves. Success in keeping ourselves cool and calm, especially when your children have pushed every single button, requires some prep work:
1) Take care of yourself – Fill up your own emotional tank, so you can handle the stress that is raising children!
2) Set boundaries and stick to them – Whether your promise your child a treat or threaten a consequence, follow through!
3) Once the boundaries are set, the consequences will speak for themselves – No need for you to be the “bad guy” anymore!
4) Be prepared – Keep a few short, simple phrases, or scripts that you can tell your children in those moments when things are escalating.
5) Have a clear picture of the adult you hope your child will become – It makes it much easier to make decisions when we know the goal we are heading toward.
Raising children in this new, more open, more balanced way is simple yet, not necessarily easy. It requires a lot more work, patience, and more focus than yelling at them or sending them to their room every time they do something we don’t approve of. I promise you will be amazed when you choose to parent the Scream-Free way.