Every parent has had those times when their child is acting out emotionally or just simply getting on our nerves and, in our rage, we say something that makes everyone feel worse.
That’s why one psychologist and family interventionist has created a ready supply of one-liners for you to use to stop any tantrums or misbehaviour while also giving everyone a chance to calm down.
Author of ‘How To Do Parenting With Confidence’, Vanessa Kahlon says, “One-liners can be used to replace certain negative or ineffective reactions in parenting, such as it can help parents avoid the temptation to lecture their children, which can lead to boredom, disengagement, and resistance.”
“Additionally, one-liners can also replace critical or judgmental comments that might hurt a child’s self-esteem and damage the parent-child relationship.”
Here are some simple changes suggested to improve your communication with your child(ren):
“Let’s get started” - Kahlon suggests that this is a better way to implement action from your child, rather than nagging and repetitively asking to do tasks.
“I love you too much to argue” - This is a simple way to express your feelings, without the need for the situation to escalate.
“Let me know when you are calm so we can talk” - This allows your child to sit with their feelings and process their emotions to then reapproach the situation without emotions being high.
“What choice do you want to make: A or B?” - Don’t tell. Ask.
Swap “you need to listen to me!” to “Let me know when you are ready to listen.”
Here’s what you can say to calm your child down when emotions are high:
- “All your feelings are OK.”
- “We all make mistakes.”
- “Take a deep breath.”
- “This is hard.”
These all allow your child to process their emotions and validate what they are feeling in the heat of the moment, according to Kahlon.
There you have it. Next time you notice yourself having a negative or ineffective reaction, replace it with one of these one-liners and see if the reaction from your child improves - it’s definitely worth a shot, right?!