If you are a parent, you know that your own children are those who are most skilled at knowing and pushing all your buttons. Since we are generally in contact with our children more than anyone else, they become very knowledgeable about who we are and what makes us tick. They also know what to do when they are seeking a reaction from us. Here is what you can do to remain cool, calm and collected when your children push your buttons and are waiting for a reaction.
Count to Ten
This is not for the sake of your child, nor is it a countdown to consequences for him (or her). This is a countdown for you. Sometimes when our children are being immature, which is normal for their age and to be expected, we simply need time to refocus and put things into perspective. Stop, count to ten, and remember that your child is only acting this way because they are indeed a child.
Talk It Out
The best way to resolve a conflict between you and your child is not to explode in anger, but to talk it out with them. Sit down and discuss what is really going on. Talk to them calmly and aim to find out why they feel the need to push your buttons in this manner.
Do a Relationship Checklist
Often when a child is intentionally pushing your buttons, there is a reason he wants your attention. It is possible that you have not been spending enough time together, and he is looking for a way to connect? Does he feel like at this point, any attention is preferable over none? Jog your memory and see if you can find any reason why your child may be acting out in this way towards you.
Remember How It Felt to Be That Age
Sometimes pushing buttons is simply the normal actions of an immature child. Children do not have the life experience we do, and often struggle to find efficient ways to communicate with others. Take a moment and remember how it felt to be that age. What made you feel good? What made you feel sad? What made you feel connected to your parents, and disconnected? Remember what it was like to be a child, and this will surely lead you to a place of greater understanding and patience with your own.
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Picture you and your child 20 years from now. What will you fondly remember about these days? What will make you wince with regret?[/pullquote]
Think about Life in 20 Years
When all other methods fail to help you feel calm, think about the future. Picture you and your child 20 years from now. What will you fondly remember about these days? What will make you wince with regret? This can be an effective way to quickly put things back into perspective. Times passes so quickly and we only live each day once. Think about how special these days are as a family, and you are certain to emerge as a more caring parent who is slow to react in a negative manner.
Children can surely push our buttons, but our time as parents of non-adult children is relatively short. If you can keep this in mind, and compile a list of distraction strategies for your own benefit, it will help you get through the moments that you feel you are close to losing your cool. When your child is saying and doing everything to get a reaction out of you, maintain your composure and stay cool, calm and collected.