Parents arent interested in justice, theyre interested in peace and quiet (Bill Cosby). Peace and quiet, ahh, if only. Yes, kids can be noisy, argumentative, fight like cat and dog, and whine like mad. Thats their way of communicating, negotiating, getting their own way, and we know that theyre not interested in anything but getting their own way! But there are things parents can do to foster a quieter home. What we sometimes dont see, amid the noise and conflict is that our own actions and words can be powerful, if we use them correctly:-
1. When those around you are shouting, do not be tempted to shout yourself. Yes, it may seem like you need to raise your voice above the noise, but this is not necessarily so. You can grab your childs or childrens attention by keeping your voice at a normal, calm tone and volume, and by engaging with them eye to eye. Do not be willing to sort out any argument unless all are listening and quiet, do not be willing to allow a certain, favourite activity they may be doing, to continue until all are listening and quiet. You do not need to shout. As parents we are our childrens number one role model, so if we shout ourselves, we cannot be surprised if they do so too.
2. Keep your emotions under control. When children do those unbelievably silly things, rather than turning bright red, showing your anger, or shouting, stay calm and find a way they can learn through what theyve done wrong, rather than focussing on chastisement. Children, especially when they know they have done something wrong, learn to respect adults who are not quick to anger. They are always observing us, our actions, and our reactions, and can learn so much from such observation.
3. Pay particular attention to how you are talking to your children. Our language, the words we use and how we say them, is very powerful. The way we are speaking can actually create our environment. For example, if we are tired, our tone can be one of impatience or lack of interest in what others are doing or saying. Our children pick this up, maybe not consciously, but unconsciously, and we can be affecting the environment of the home, just like we are usually aware when there is an atmosphere in a room vibes are travelling through the air so that others can sense them, be they good or bad. A peaceful home has good vibes.
This all sounds very perfect, I know. Remember, the perfect parent doesnt exist, especially with all the pressures on parents today. Its worth, however, being aware or reminding ourselves of these points every now and then, for a slightly more peaceful home, with more love and patience rather than shouting and fighting!