The Story of Home: Creating Family Culture

Saturday, January 23, 2016 No comments


Home is the place where we first receive and practice love. It’s our first view of relationships. It’s the place where we (hopefully) experience acceptance, compassion, affirmation, and solace. Home is where we are shaped by the words and actions of those around us and by the atmosphere, the traditions, the routines, and the day-to-day experiences that we are provided.

All stories begin at home, and for us parents, we have an incredible opportunity because each and every day, we are writing the beginning of our children’s stories.

The question is, then, what story are we telling?
This is a broad topic which I cover in depth in my forthcoming book, Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide. Here, I will outline the 7 pillars of family culture mentioned in the book. Intentional, positive parents must create a plan and set themselves to the mission of crafting a beautiful beginning.

Without putting thought into the family culture we want to create, we will fall into a default culture created haphazardly over time.

7 Pillars of Family Culture:

Pillar #1: Values
Deciding what values you want to pass on to your children is a great starting point for creating your family culture because those values will determine your own behavior and the expectations you hold for yourself as well as the children. Values are predominantly learned through the example you provide.

In my book, I say this: “It’s counterproductive to say respect is a family value if disrespect is often shown in the home. These values should be upheld so that they become simply a way of being and relating.”

Pillar #2: Dispositions
Disposition is defined as the quality of your mind and character. Your disposition must be brought under control to reflect your values and to create a positive home atmosphere. Allowing yourself to be very moody, easily shaken or angered, critical, or negative will have a poor effect on your family culture.

Bringing the quality of your mind and character in line with the culture you want to establish is easier said than done, but it is key. And while striving for excellence is good, we will never be perfect people living in a perfect family. Therefore, it’s important to learn to respect each other’s differences and quirks so that we can live in harmony.

Pillar #3: Expectations
Norman Vincent Peale said, “We tend to get what we expect.” I’ve found this to be quite true. If I expect to have a difficult, rushed day, I will have one. If I expect my children to get on my nerves, they will. Expectations are important because they color the way we view people, things, and situations. What you expect from your partner sets an example for what your children should expect of theirs one day. What you expect of yourself (whether too much or too little) is also being catalogued in your children’s minds.

Going further, what you expect from society, politicians, servers, police, etc. is being learned. What you expect in regard to lack or abundance, hardship or blessing, good luck or bad is being passed right down to your children, as are your partner’s. It’s easy to see how all these expectations play a part in shaping the family culture.

Pillar #4: Habits
Like our values and expectations, children pick up our habits, whether good or bad. Therefore, it is wise to drop any habit you don’t want your child to pick up. We must drop the “do as I say, not as I do” nonsense and realize that it is our example that speaks the loudest. Also, of course, some habits are just detrimental to the family and must be confronted before they cause lasting harm.

Pillar #5: Communication
Positive communication skills build positive bonds. I’ve written about communicating positively with children here. To summarize, this includes active listening (listening for the purpose of understanding, not just waiting your turn to get your point across), using respectful language and tone, empathizing with the speaker, being direct and assertive, and avoiding criticism and harsh words.

Pillar #6: Conflict Resolution
Even in the most connected families, conflict sometimes arises. Though this is really part of positive communication, it is so vital that it deserves its own discussion. This involves emotional intelligence and peaceful ways to talk the issue through and reach an agreement. This is a skill that takes a lot of time and practice to master and should be modeled in the home by the adults as well.

Pillar #7: Traditions
Traditions and rituals help every member of the family feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. They solidify the family unit. I’ve written about the benefits of family traditions in this post.

Research has shown that family culture may play a more important role in shaping children than parenting style, and the type of culture a family creates strongly predicts happiness. This is the story of your home. Write it with vision.

**This article was originally published at Creative Child Magazine. See more of my Creative Child articles here.


Beyond Behavior: Looking at the Heart of a Child



All three faces on his behavior chart were flipped to the sad face side. Again. That meant he had to go to time-out. Again. It didn’t take much to get a card flipped on the chart, which I thought was a simple and brilliant concept. From a sheet of construction paper labeled 'Behavior Chart' hung 3 cards, each with a happy face on one side and a sad face on the other.

My children started each day with 3 happy faces. Everything I deemed a misbehavior, from fighting with brother to not obeying my rules and commands, meant a card got flipped over. Three sad faces resulted in a time-out – three minutes to sit in a little chair in the hallway alone to “think about what he’d done.” At the time, it felt like a fair system of discipline, which I was assured needed to be completely consistent lest my children should get the idea that I could be manipulated.

Yet, every day was the same thing. Faces got flipped regularly as my immature children failed to spontaneously grow their brains upon my command. Time-out was enforced consistently, but no improvement in behavior resulted. I only saw more defiance. Frustrated and disconnected from my sweet little ones, I decided this story had to change.

It took a lot of research and heart searching to change my views on behavior, but what I finally came to believe was that discipline wasn’t about flipping sad faces on cards but about flipping sad faces on people. Discipline is reaching and teaching the heart.

Behavior is an outward reflection of the inner state and so poor behavior is a signal to me that my child is in need of help to restore his inner state to peace (or he needs to be taught specific skills). Defiance, though, is a heart issue and can only be resolved by restoring heart-to-heart connection.

The way our society views children doesn’t make this shift easy. For a couple of years, I bought into the wild accusations that my child would try to walk all over me, run my home, and become a nightmare if I didn’t put my iron fist down right away. I believed that discipline must be calculated, swift, and consistent. Although I considered myself “positive” because I didn’t use physical discipline, the goal was still to control behavior, albeit as nicely as I could.

Making the shift from control to reaching and teaching the heart meant I had to let go of my predetermined system and look at each child and each situation uniquely. Although there is no formula, I have found the following gifts of understanding to be helpful when looking beyond behavior to what my child’s heart is saying.

1. Understand brain development.
I wrote an article about the brain science that changed my parenting here. Knowing some basic information about which parts of my child’s brain were developed at birth and which parts would take years to develop helped me understand his behavior. When I realized that the area of his brain responsible for logic and reasoning wasn’t well developed at age 3, I finally understood why it was so difficult for him to foresee the consequences of his actions.

This didn’t mean that I waved off his behavior as something he couldn’t control but rather shifted my focus to helping him access his logic and reason more (which he couldn’t do when he felt threatened in time-out).

2. Understand the power of connection.
The more connected we are – the more our children feel safe, valued, and loved – the more influence we have. Shaming, isolating, and punishing only cause disconnection, making it much more difficult to have influence. Connecting even when (especially when) correcting gave me more influence to reach his heart. 

...continue reading at Creative Child Magazine

Turning Toward Our Children: Answering Bids for Connection



World-renowned relationship researcher and co-founder of The Gottman Institute, Dr. John Gottman, has conducted 40 years of research with thousands of people. From his research has emerged a practice that is important to the emotional connection between two people – the act of “turning toward” your loved one when a bid is made. What is a bid?

According to Gottman, a bid is an attempt to get attention, affection, or acceptance. It is a bid for emotional connection.  “Will you play with me?” is an obvious bid, but not all bids are so clear. Therefore, it is good to familiarize ourselves with what bids are and to be mindful, being on the lookout for what our children say or do that may be a bid for connection. How we respond to these bids has a great impact on the connectedness we share with our loved ones. There are 3 responses to bids: positive (turning toward), negative (turning away), and no response (turning away).

Take for example a simple bid for attention. “Will you play with me?” A positive response would either be “Yes, let’s play” or something like “Oh, I would LOVE to play with you. You are my favorite person in the whole world to play with. At 6:00, I’ll be finished with my work and ready to play. Let’s make it a date!” This helps the child feel acknowledged and important. Each time you turn toward your child in this way, Gottman says you are making a deposit in their Emotional Bank Account.

A negative response would be “Can’t you see I’m busy?” or a flat “Not now.” Too many negative responses significantly damage the relationship.

No response might be a scowl and a waving away of the hand or completely ignoring that the child even spoke, which may be the most painful response of all.

Bids are offered both verbally and nonverbally, and it isn’t always easy to discern that a bid is being made, which is why being aware and positively responsive is key in building emotional connection. A toddler who holds his arms up to be picked up is making a bid for attention or affection. Poor behavior may also be a bid. How should we respond if a child makes a bid in a negative way, such as through misbehavior or a tantrum?

Conventional parenting wisdom says to respond negatively so as not to reinforce the poor behavior or tantrum, but children are often doing the best they can in that moment to get their needs met. No matter if the bid comes in the form of a sweet “mommy or daddy, let’s play” or a screaming tantrum, the message is exactly the same. “Notice me. Show me I matter.”

By giving a positive, loving response to the bid no matter what form it comes in, we fill our child’s emotional bank account and build connection. A child with a full bank is less likely to make bids in negative ways.

Here are some ways to “turn toward” your children when a bid is made:

  • Be attentive when they’re speaking to you. When we are too busy to look up and pay attention, we miss an important chance for connection.
  • Be intentional about putting away distractions and focusing on your loved ones as often as possible. 
  • Be concerned about what they are concerned with. Even if what they are concerned about seems trivial, showing that you are concerned because they are builds the relationship. 
  • Convey the message “you are known and accepted” as much as you can. Avoid criticism and these 3 other relationship destroyers.
  • Say “yes” to play. We have lots of other things to do, but nothing more important. 
  • Greet with enthusiasm. In the morning, after school, or after any extended separation, greet your children with warmth and a smile. Showing our children that we delight in them is a very simple but powerful connection builder.
It isn’t possible to always give positive responses to bids, and that’s okay. The intention is to try, and when we fail, we can always come back to repair by making our own bids to them. As with all relationships, it’s about the quality of connection, not the presence of perfection.

**This article was originally published at Creative Child Magazine. See more of my articles for Creative Child.



Two Words to Soothe a Child's Heart


I had just gotten out of the shower and dressed when a knock came on the bathroom door.
"Yeah?" I answered.

"Mom, can I come in?"

"Just a minute" I said.

"It's really important."

I opened the door to the worried face of my 9 year old boy. He looked to be holding back tears.

"What is it?" I asked him.

"Mom, have I been a bit rude to you today?" he asked, tears welling up in his eyes now.

Confused by this, which I'm sure was evident in my facial expression, I said, "No, baby. You haven't."

He said, "Oh, OK. Good" and turned to walk away, but his face still had that worried look and I could tell he wasn't yet content.

I'm not sure where he had gotten the idea that he'd been rude that day. We'd had a small struggle with multiplication tables earlier in our homeschool in which he'd let me know he most certainly didn't want to memorize them. It hadn't been a big deal to me, and he hadn't been rude. He was irritated over math, and I can certainly relate to that feeling. Yet, apparently it was weighing heavily on the heart of this gentle-natured, soft-hearted, highly sensitive boy of mine.

"Hey," I called to him. He turned back toward me, eyes cast down. I lifted his face with my hands and said, "Hey. We're good." And the tears overflowed his eyes with my two simple words, and I held him in my arms until they ran dry.

Two simple words, "we're good," had released the ball of worry and tension inside him and soothed his heart.


Our relationship is still strong.
I still love you forever.
I still like being with you.
You're still welcome in my arms.
Nothing can separate you from my love.
You're good. I'm good. We're good.


I'm glad he was able to speak to me about the worry of his heart, and yet I wondered how many times there had been that he hadn't spoken it out. I wondered how often this tender boy had kept that ball of worry to himself, wondering if he'd gone too far. Wondering if he was still loved just as much. Wondering if he'd hurt me, or his dad, or his brother. Worrying. I was able to soothe him because he'd shared his thoughts with me, but how could I soothe his heart when he didn't say it was troubled?

I believe one of the greatest things we can do for our children is to offer a repair and reconciliation after any disturbance in the relationship, no matter how small or trivial it may seem. What hadn't been an issue for me had weighed heavily on my child, bringing him to tears.

What you didn't think was a big deal may have bruised a heart.
What you didn't see as an issue may be weighing heavily on a loved one.
What you think is just another conflict, just another argument, just another harsh word spoken may leave your child wondering "Are we okay? Am I still loved as much? Does she still like me? Does he still want me around?"

"Are we good?"

Our connection matters. Our children feel it. They need it. They need to know that, no matter what transpired today, no matter what was said, no matter what was spilled or knocked over or broken or uttered, we are good.

I'm not counting your mistakes or flaws.
I keep no record of wrongs.
Nothing can make me love you less.
I will always love you.
I will always want you.
My arms are always open to you.
You are safe with me.
We're good. Always, we're good.

We mean so much to our children. Our love and acceptance is their lifeline. Make sure the sun never goes down with a worry of connection on your child's heart. After every struggle, tell them "we're still okay." After every correction, let them know, "I still like you." After each argument, every harsh tone, every piercing scowl, each display of irritation, let them know, "Hey, we're not perfect, but my love for you is."

"My love for you is perfect and strong and can never diminish. I like you. I adore you. I'm so glad you're mine. So very thankful that you are mine."

Release the worry and tension that may be bound up and allow them to rest in your love. Always.

"We're good." Yes, we are.

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To learn more about this offer, visit http://bit.ly/PPbookclub




Rebecca Eanes, is the founder of positive-parents.org and creator of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. She is the author of 3 books. Her newest book, Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, will be released on June 7, 2016 and is available for pre-order now. The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parenting and a co-authored book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles in Action in Early Childhood are both best-sellers in their categories on Amazon. She is the grateful mother to 2 boys. 

21 Days to Positive Parenting

Thursday, January 7, 2016 No comments
I invite you to take the next 21 days to commit to being a more positive parent. Whether you are new to positive parenting or you’ve been practicing it for a long time, we are all works in progress with room for improvement and growth.

Journaling has many benefits, including helping us to clarify our thoughts and solve problems more effectively. Remember the saying, where your attention goes, energy flows. By focusing your attention on your parenting for a few minutes a day for 21 straight days, you’re creative energy will flow in that direction.

The following journal prompts are to help you assess your relationships, thoughts, needs, and goals.

1. What is your relationship with your child like at this moment and how can it be improved?

2. What makes your child feel most loved?

3. What area do you need to improve in? Patience? Consistency? Calmness?

4. What or who inspires you to be a better parent? Why?

5. If you could start over in your parenting journey, what would you do differently? Can you start that now and make a difference?

6. Name one thing that you feel is keeping you from being the parent you want to be. What can you do about this?

7. What part of the day causes the most stress and how can it be changed?

8. Which of your child’s behaviors triggers you the most? Why?

9. What is the most important thing you can do for your child today?

10. Are your expectations of your child too high? Too low? Age appropriate?

11. Are your expectations of yourself too high?

12. Name 5 good qualities that your child possesses.

...Continue reading more Journal Prompts at Creative Child


25 Ways to Calm an Upset Child

The first step in teaching children how to manage their emotions is learning to manage our own. If adults are easily upset and thrown off balance, their children will usually follow suit. Growing ourselves may be the hardest part of parenting. Many of us are simultaneously learning new skills and trying to teach them to our children.

In The Newbie’s Guide to Positive Parenting, I discuss the importance of owning our feelings and actions in chapter 6 and list several tools parents can use to calm their own upsets. I’ll share a few of these below:
  • Choose a mantra to repeat to yourself (or out loud) when you are angry. Examples are “I’m capable of remaining calm” or “I am safe; there is no emergency.” I find it helpful to repeat the beginning of a children’s book I always read to my children when they were very little. This brings back feelings of warmth and calm for me.
  • Do something physical. Splash cold water on your face. Jog in place. Put on some music and dance. Get outside for fresh air.
  • If you feel the need to yell, use a loud, silly voice or make a “toot toot” noise while cupping your mouth with your hands. Don’t worry about looking silly to your kids. They’d rather see you look silly than look scary.
Practicing these steps when you are angry is a great way to teach your child emotional intelligence; they learn primarily through what we model for them.  While anger is the tough emotion many parents ask for help in dealing with, both for themselves and their children, feelings of worry, sadness, and many more difficult feelings need to also be managed. Below is a list of ways to calm an upset child (and yourself)!

Because everyone needs something a little different to calm with, choose which works best for your unique child. By teaching your child these skills, her emotional intelligence will grow as she learns to manage her emotions and her behaviors.

For Calming Anger:
  1. Balloons stuffed with play-dough are fun to squeeze and a great way to release frustration. There’s a tutorial here at Somewhat Simple.
  2. Calm down jars are a very popular tool to calm children’s brains. Watching the glitter swirl and settle is soothing and shifts the brain out of fight, flight, or freeze and back to calm. You can find the instructions here at Instructables!
  3. Hug it out. A simple hug can go a long way.
  4. Mr. Mad Balloons are balloons with angry faces drawn on them that children can pop when they are angry. You can tell the child to pop the Mr. Mad Balloons and watch the anger deflate.
  5. Breathing strategies are beneficial for calming and resetting the mind. Meaningful Mama suggests teaching your child to blow out their fingers like candles.
  6. Jumping jacks are a good way to release the energy flooding the body with intense emotion.
  7. Use a visual chart that says “When I’m angry, I can…” and paste photos of your child doing a number of the activities listed here. Point your child to the chart when needed.
  8. Create a calm down area filled with comforting items, like the one I talked about in this post.
  9. Ask the child to draw a mad face on a piece of paper, and then let him rip it apart and throw it away.
  10. Hand her a coloring book and some crayons.
  11. Offer a back rub. The children especially whose love language is touch will be soothed by a simple back rub.
  12. Create a busy center. This is much like the calm down area but with simple activities to busy the body and mind, such as putting pom poms through holes in a cardboard box, sorting cups, or busy boards like this one from Melissa and Doug.
  13. Make them laugh! Humor diffuses anger, so when you see frustration building in your child, do or say something funny. This shouldn’t be used if the child is already really upset, but it’s a good trick to diffuse frustration before it builds too high.
  14. Let them draw. You could cut a coloring page in half and paste it to a sheet of plain white paper and ask the child to draw the other half.
For Calming Anger:
  1. Balloons stuffed with play-dough are fun to squeeze and a great way to release frustration. There’s a tutorial here at Somewhat Simple.
  2. Calm down jars are a very popular tool to calm children’s brains. Watching the glitter swirl and settle is soothing and shifts the brain out of fight, flight, or freeze and back to calm. You can find the instructions here at Instructables!
  3. Hug it out. A simple hug can go a long way.
  4. Mr. Mad Balloons are balloons with angry faces drawn on them that children can pop when they are angry. You can tell the child to pop the Mr. Mad Balloons and watch the anger deflate.
  5. Breathing strategies are beneficial for calming and resetting the mind. Meaningful Mama suggests teaching your child to blow out their fingers like candles.
  6. Jumping jacks are a good way to release the energy flooding the body with intense emotion.
  7. Use a visual chart that says “When I’m angry, I can…” and paste photos of your child doing a number of the activities listed here. Point your child to the chart when needed.
  8. Create a calm down area filled with comforting items, like the one I talked about in this post.
  9. Ask the child to draw a mad face on a piece of paper, and then let him rip it apart and throw it away.
  10. Hand her a coloring book and some crayons.
  11. Offer a back rub. The children especially whose love language is touch will be soothed by a simple back rub.
  12. Create a busy center. This is much like the calm down area but with simple activities to busy the body and mind, such as putting pom poms through holes in a cardboard box, sorting cups, or busy boards like this one from Melissa and Doug.
  13. Make them laugh! Humor diffuses anger, so when you see frustration building in your child, do or say something funny. This shouldn’t be used if the child is already really upset, but it’s a good trick to diffuse frustration before it builds too high.
  14. Let them draw. You could cut a coloring page in half and paste it to a sheet of plain white paper and ask the child to draw the other half.
For Calming Worry:
  1. Worry Peg Dolls can be helpful for children who have anxiety or a tendency to worry about things. Tell these little dolls all your worries and then place them under your pillow.
  2. Create an anti-anxiety kit like this one from The Chaos and the Clutter.
  3. Worry Eaters are cute plush critters with zipper mouths. Have your child write down their worries and then feed them to the Worry Eater.
  4. One Creative Elementary School Counselor keeps a box of worry stones. She says the idea is that, when you rub a stone, it will help your worries go away. Really, just fidgeting with the stone, feeling its smoothness and rolling it over and over in your hand, calms the brain.

    ...continue reading at Creative Child 

How to stop yourself from doing something you regret in a moment of anger by Andy Smithson

How to stop yourself  from doing something you regret in a moment of anger
by Andy Smithson

Our kid's big emotions tend to be a major trigger to our big emotions as parents. Anger often begets anger. Emotions are truly contagious. With that said, our emotions do not have to be our masters.

I recently experienced a little emotional contagion of my own with my six year old son, Berkeley. As I emerged from the bathroom one morning I noticed that my oldest son Cuylar was huddled on my bed, the door to my room was locked and there was a rhythmic crashing and pounding coming from the door. I quickly deduced that Cuylar had teased Berkeley and now Berkeley was going to destroy my bedroom door as well as his brother if he could. It took only a second for my fiery indignation to go from 0 to 100 on the anger meter.  My initial thought was to fling open the door dramatically and yell commandingly for Berkeley to go to his room and “NEVER touch my door again!” Another thought was to grab him and remove him forcefully. Both of these thoughts ran through my mind even though my wife and I don't sue any of these tactics in our parenting. The contagious nature of his aggression and the damage he was doing to the door sent my mind down angry paths even though I have practiced and taught parents to calm themselves.

Instead of following those initial thoughts into a course of action I knew I would regret later, I saw the red flags and went straight to using the Quick Calm technique I teach to parents in my Stop Yelling in 21 Days Coaching Course. I gently opened the door as he continued to bang against it and looked at Berkeley. He was slightly startled by the door opening so I took the opportunity to get down on the floor at his level and softly held his hands in mine. I said to him, “You're really mad. I'm sorry you're so mad. I'm not going to let you hurt me, Cuylar or the door. Let's calm down.” Here's where you shake your head and say sarcastically, “I'm sure he just calmed right down.” Well, that's not what happened, at least not right away. He continued to push and fight and try to get to his brother. I offered him a hug to help him calm down. He refused. I tried to just sit holding his hands until he calmed but he didn't work eaither. Finally, I said, “I'm going to let go of your hands now but I won't let you hurt me or Cuylar or the door. I want to keep you and everyone else safe. I hope you will calm down so we can work things out and we don't have to separate from you.” I let go and he tore in the room determined to do the same thing to Cuylar that he was doing to the door. I quickly replied, “Think buddy. Don't hurt anyone.” he slowed himself and I could see the wheels turning in his head as he turn to look at me. He ambivalently walked to the edge of our bed and sat against the edge. His anger almost instantaneously dropped to a manageable level. He sat there breathing deeply. I walked to his side and thanked him for calming himself. I remarked, “You're really learning how to calm yourself down. Thanks for working hard on that.” He gave me a small smile and the hug that he had previously refused.

We've all been there:

It's no secret that we all have our moments. Parenting can be a great incubator for frustration, overwhelm, worry and irritation, all of which can lead very quickly to anger. There's nothing wrong with being angry from time to time. You're not a bad parent if you've been there. Anger is a natural response to threat, harm, injustice or disappointment and can actually be a useful emotion. It can teach us things about ourselves and our surroundings. It can help motivate us to change things. The trouble with anger is that it's often coupled with behavior that we are not particularly proud of and action that we regret.  Anger is compelling. It induces a sense of urgency that is rarely necessary in the conflicts we experience as parents.

We all know the results of acting in anger. Aggressive, cruel words, yelling, and frighting behavior often accompany our feelings of anger. Parents I counsel with and parents in my courses often say, “ I know that I want to teach through positive, gentle means but how do I stop myself when I'm in the middle of a fiery moment of anger?”

An ounce of prevention is worth a gallon of cure.

Spend some time identifying and understanding what makes you angry and why it makes you so angry. Think about other perspectives and ways to view your triggers. Seek to separate old hurts, traumas or grudges from new and unrelated situations. All of the points below are important to consider ahead of time, but steps 3 through 5 are the points of action that will save you and your child a lot of grief and regret later.

1.      Know what anger feels like to you. What does it feel like in your body and what do you think about? Think this out thoroughly and even write it down to bring it more clearly to your awareness.

2.      Separate Your anger from your negative behavior. They are not the same thing. Acknowledge that hitting, spanking, yelling, harsh words and punishment are not anger. They are non-thinking reactions to anger. Speak or write down other ways to express anger and/or resolve anger productively.

3.      Know your blinking red flags. Know your triggers for anger and your first involuntary reactions. Use those reactions as a new kind of trigger. Think about them as being a warning or prompt to slow down and act in some predetermined positive way (Step 4). Role play it ahead of time.

4.      Have a “go to” calming tool, phrase and action. “Any time _______ happens, I will _________.” Plan ahead of time with your kids to have a code word to alert each other to pause and calm before acting. Drastic sensory changes can help us “snap out of it.” Move slowly and deliberately.

5.      Accept and validate your anger and wait: “I'm angry. It's okay to be angry. Sometimes parents get angry when _________. Now I know what we need to work on or change.” Realize that the problem that needs to be solved can be more productively dealt with when your blood is no longer boiling. If all else fails, wait. Keep yourself and others safe but otherwise, wait.

If you do the preparation work here and practice following these steps, you'll be able to stop yourself from saying and doing things you regret in a moment of anger. It takes practice so be gracious with yourself and realize there will be mistakes. Don't wallow in those mistakes for too long. Simply use them as lessons in what worked or didn't work for you and prepare better for the next time around. If you would like help learning and applying these skills and many others to stop the frustration, yelling and hurt feelings in your home, the Stop Yellingin 21 Days Coaching Course starts soon. Register and put these skills to work for you and your family! 

In my exchange with my son Berkeley I was mad and that was okay, but if I had chosen to throw the door open, yell at him and threaten punishments we may have been there all day reinforcing each other's anger. I would have carried regret later for the diminishing of our relationship and with it the loss of my parental influence. Instead, he learned something about calming himself, the crisis was diverted and we were able to part ways with our relationship intact. No regrets, just helpful lessons. You can do it! Anger does not have to be the enemy. Start today and you'll find a much brighter tomorrow where you are happier, kids learn and your family thrives!


If you found his helpful and would like to learn more skills and techniques  and get the support you need to make it happen, learn morehere! When you register, you can download a free copy of the Quick Calm Toolkit immediately.

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About Andy:
I’m a city born GQ wannabe (sometimes I don’t shave for 2 days to get that cool scruffy look) transplant to rural Idaho. When I married almost 10 years ago, I traded in waiting on rush hour traffic for waiting on farming tractors and cattle crossings. I never used the phrase, “Do we need to go to town?” for anything until I started my family. I enjoy the solitude we find close to the snake river now.

Still, don’t mistake my new country environment for making me a country boy. We still have running water and electricity and even that new thing called the internet. In the summer the beautiful Snake river calls our family’s name several times a week. We love to play, swim and ski on the river. Come winter, the nearby mountains beckon to us. The whole family loves to snow ski and spend time making snowmen, snow forts and throwing snowballs.