calm parent

How to Be a Calm, Cool, and Collected Parent

Sometimes the daily stress of parenting can be overwhelming, especially with the weird things kids do, the unique ways they think, and the constant barrage of never-ending questions. Kids sometimes just have a way of pushing our buttons, don’t they? Some parents lose it with their kids at the drop of a hat when faced with these situations. They yell and threaten while other parents respond without getting their feathers ruffled. So what makes the difference between the reactive parent and the calm parent?

Let’s be honest—parenting can be very intense, but that doesn’t mean we have to be. Our children deserve parents who know how to balance the emotions associated with parenting without taking those emotions out on their kids. Here are 3 practical reminders for how to stay calm, cool, and collected as a parent.

Let’s be honest—parenting can be very intense, but that doesn’t mean we have to be.

1. Your response affects your child’s response.

Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” In other words, when I as a parent stay calm and controlled, it is more likely that my child will as well. But when I lose it, it stirs up more of the same in them. It’s no secret that louder voices don’t raise more obedient kids. Yet many parents continue with their volume default on high despite the fact that it rarely produces their desired results. If we desire a calm and respectful response from our children, it’s helpful for that to start with us.

2. Your kids are playing a game you’ve created.

I hear parents often say that they have to raise their voice or get mean because it’s the only way they can get their kids to listen. If that’s you, it’s because that is exactly how you have trained them to respond. Our kids may be small, but they are terribly smart. They figure out the rules to the control game very quickly, and they know who’s in the driver’s seat. This is why many kids take advantage of parents in public places or repeatedly disobey before their parents actually do anything. They know the rules to this game that you’ve chosen to create (yes, you created it), and so they know your tolerance threshold, as well as your breaking point, and as a result, they take advantage of it. So maybe it’s time to change the rules to the game.

3. Self-control is a choice.

We easily get frustrated with our children when they fail to demonstrate self-control, and by doing so, we become guilty of the very same thing. I’ve told my children, when they are faced with acting on impulse, “You’ve got to stop, think, and then respond by making the right choice.” Yet, sometimes as a parent, I would do well to heed my own advice. The way we respond to children is a choice—nothing more, nothing less. Regardless of whether you were raised by calm parents, you have no excuse for not being one yourself if you want to be. Because self-control really is a choice.

While these reminders are very pointed, they are also very honest. Being the calm, cool and collected parent our kids deserve boils down not to our circumstances, our past, or even our personality. It boils down to a choice.

Sound off: How do you remain the calm parent?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is the best way to control your emotions?”