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Speak from peace

June 3, 2011

A Great Idea …

“We can’t help feeling angry or upset with our children from time to time, but, as a rule, it’s not a good idea to discipline your children when you’re mad or distressed. Your anger may be perfectly legitimate…but you’ll exercise better judgment as a parent if you’ll calm down and wait for your anger to subside a bit.” (Psychologist Laurence Steinberg, in his book The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting, p. 26)

In Other Words …

Parenting often combines life’s frustrations with childish mistakes. It’s perfectly natural to get angry, but it’s not very helpful. We will be more effective if we take time to calm down before we respond to our children’s misdeeds.

How This Applies to You …

The next time you feel like exploding with your child, take a break. Maybe you ask the child to go to their room while you collect your thoughts. Find a peaceful place. Take some deep breaths. Think about your child’s point of view. Consider what will help them learn. The key is not to make the child sorry but to help them live better lives.

To Find Out More …

For an excellent (and free) program on parenting, see The Parenting Journey at www.arfamilies.org and if your children are younger than six, check out See the World Through My Eyes.

For more in-depth reading, we recommend The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting by Laurence Steinberg or Soft-Spoken Parenting by H. Wallace Goddard.

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