“I get so emotional….”

                                                             

e – mo – tion: noun

An affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness (www.dictionary.com)

Does that say what I think it does? That emotional responding and thinking are mutually exclusive? “Distinguished from cognitive?”  You can’t think while being emotional?  I think it does…and I think this has so much to say about parenting.

Emotion plays a huge role in parenting.  It is the spice of life in many ways. BUT, lets face it…we are horrible decision makers when we are acting on emotion or in the “heat of the moment.”  Some of our worst decisions are made when we are emotional, in either direction.  How many times have you reacted differently to your child because of the way YOU felt, not the way HE behaved?  That’s what I’m talking about here…

Depending on the age of your child, you probably know the things she does to get herself in trouble.  The things that really make you red in the face and make you want to scream (or actually scream).  Emotion should not play a role here.  You need a plan:

  • Given these are “hot button” experiences for you, go ahead and make decisions about what you are going to do when it happens.  AHEAD OF TIME.  
  • For example, when he hits his sister, “I am going to take him to his room,” “when he spills his milk, I’m just going to ask him to clean it up,” “when he has a huge tantrum in the middle of the kitchen, I’m going to go to the den and read a magazine,” “when he freaks about leaving the store, I’m just going to leave and not threaten to take away toys.”
  • Discuss this with anyone else who is responsible for your child and who might experience similar experiences.
  • Follow your rule.  You have already made the decision based on sound and logical thinking.  

Much better.  Go be mad somewhere else.

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