Today is Saturday and since this blog is all about balance, and weekends are sacred time in our family so I will keep today's post short and sweet.
This is not an emergency.
Today's gem comes from the teachings of Dr. Laura Markham of Aha Parenting. She suggests parents use this phrase to help them calm down in the moment and realize that they have a choice in how to respond.
Often times as parents we find ourselves in situations were we are reacting to what's happening much too quickly and too intensely. We are perceiving situations as emergencies that simply are not. For example: a child snatching away a crayon from a sibling or a child speaking in a rude voice or actively defying a request. These situations can raise a lot of feelings in parents, they can make us angry and frustrated almost instantly. And they feel like emergencies, and so we react without thinking, and often in ways that aren't ideal. And this is often because these things are triggering for us. Often in our past these types of things: disrespect, defiance, conflict, were treated as emergencies. We were punished, reprimanded, or isolated and learned, ultimately, to be afraid of these things. So when we encounter them as adults, they still feel scary and we react from a place of fear.
Instead we can slow down, remind ourselves that this is not an emergency, that these are small humans figuring out the world and having a hard time and we can respond with compassion and love rather than fear and anger.
This does not mean that we don't set limits or enforce them. That would be permissive and it isn't the goal here. The goal is to simply shift the WAY we set and enforce limits. And this is simply easier when we approach limit setting from a place of calm confidence rather than anger and frustration.
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