Monday, October 26, 2009

Calm as the Ocean, Calm as the Ocean

When K was an infant I heard a child psychologist speak and she said that regardless of what behavior your child was exhibiting your job as a parent was to act like an emergency room nurse. Deal with the problem without letting emotion, fear, etc enter into it.

Man is that hard. When my kids are tantruming it is difficult not to get caught up in the drama and emotion. I cringe when I hear myself yelling.

I thought this was a great article on Businessweek.com that talks about how to be a better boss at home and on the job. Now I am not anyone's boss at work. And despite the occasional protests, I AM the boss of my children. I thought this article was a good reminder of this technique.

3 comments:

Lil Mouse said...

I have a hard time believing that never reacting to your kids is a good idea. That's like never fighting in front of them with your spouse. They will grow up to believe that people shouldn't fight and if they do, something is wrong, and we know that couples fight, if they don't fight THEN something is wrong. Will they ever get to know how to be upset about something if it truly upsets them? Now I'm not saying you throw a tantrum, but for instance my baby bit me on the shoulder last night. Apparently she's teething, again, because all she's wanted today is to chew on cold things and pull at her mouth. I said 'ouch' and sat her down away from me and told her it hurt and it wasn't nice to bite (low, upset tone of voice, exaggerated pout). Her eyes filled with tears, of course she didn't realize that biting would hurt, but she didn't do it again, either. She's at the age where she is learning whether to do something is good or not, and I'm not positive that just moving her away from me and saying nothing, nor letting emotion go across my face is a good idea. How do they learn right and wrong or good and bad if they don't get some sort of visual cue? When they are old enough to 'reason' with, sure, but that isn't for quite a long time. I agree it is a great way to be a boss, though!

Mordermi said...

I think there's a huge difference between what a baby (or small child) knows/can understand and what a school-age child knows/can understand (the younger child wouldn't necessarily understand). I think the main point is that in not letting emotion get the better of you, it's not that you are *not* showing emotion, but rather that you are not letting it rule you or add to the emotional content (the kid's tantrum) that's already present in the air. Two angry/upset people "talking" to each other builds emotional tension and makes it harder to reach a good decision/outcome. The kid doesn't necessarily know how to get hold of themselves so the parent has to show them.

I know it's easier said than done (I've roared at our kids a few times and not always appropriately either), but the parent that loses control of their emotions in disciplining their child has, IMO, lost control of the situation. Again, been there/done that, and had to apologize later as a result.

Jennifer Juniper said...

I'm looking forward to reading this article. Any help is worth it!