Bringing Down the Intensity
According to Lawrence Shapiro in How to Raise a Child with a High EQ, 55 percent of emotions are communicated nonverbally and 38 percent through voice tone. That leaves only 7 percent communicated through actual words! Often it's much easier to monitor your actions than it is to name your feelings.
During dinner one night, my daughter turned to me and asked, "What's wrong, Mom?" I was startled by her question. I hadn't said anything.
"Why do you ask?" I questioned.
"Because you just let out your 'something's wrong' sigh," she replied. Kris was right. I had had an upsetting day, but I wasn't even aware of my feelings. The sigh had simply come out of me. Her observation made me stop, reflect on my day, and check my feelings.
Think about your body cues. What do you do when the stress hormones are surging through your body? Here's what other parents have said.
- I slam doors.
- I become impatient.
- I start sounding like a drill sergeant.
- I start screaming at the kids.
- I don't smile.
- I won't talk on the phone.
- I rush.
- I forget things.
- I lock into my deadline or schedule and refuse to alter it, even though everyone is falling apart.
More on: Discipline Strategies
From the book KIDS, PARENTS, AND POWER STRUGGLES: Winning for a Lifetime by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, published by HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. Copyright © 2000 by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. All rights reserved.
Buy the book at www.harpercollins.com.