Sometimes as parents, we can forget to take the time and respond in a positive way when are child needs us. We might react and say, “Stop crying right now!” or leave them to throw a fit and walk away. We have the choice to take the time, help develop that strong relationship and help your child through the situation they are struggling with. Do you react or respond to your child? Below I will share some examples, and why it is important to respond vs. react.
Reacting to Situations
If your child is having an issue not listening, throwing a fit, you simply tell them to stop crying or get over what they are going through. You give a short answer and don’t try to help in the situation.
Responding to Situations
When you respond to your child, you make sure to take the time to work through the problem and show empathy. You allow your child to share how they feel and try and help find the best solution. If your child is throwing a fit, you say come here let’s talk and offer a hug or a kiss. Allow them to feel their emotions are validated even if you think they are a bit dramatic.
Examples of React vs Respond
React: Quit crying right now.
Respond: Come sit down and let’s calm down and tell me why you are so upset.
React: Good going you just made a huge mess on the floor.
Respond: Uh oh, we better get the broom and pick it up, we had a little accident.
React: All you are doing is whining today, I can’t stand it.
Respond: You seem to be having a rough day, why don’t you tell me what is going on, and what we can do to make this better.
When kids are little they can be pretty dramatic, but we have to remember that they are learning how to deal and control their emotions. It is up to us as parents to take the time to help them and teach them how to work through those emotions! If we simply shut them down, they are not learning valuable skills for later on. But, if we take a deep breath and help them work through it in a calm, cool and collected manner we are setting them up for success as they grow! em what they want. You just want to offer a positive spin on things. Don’t always be quick to anger and tell them to stop or their feelings don’t matter, just try to work through it.
I will admit some days are easier than others, but you will benefit your child. They will learn that they can trust you and that you care about their emotions. If your child is throwing a huge fit, tell them to talk in a regular voice and tell you what the trouble. If you have a bad day, and react instead of respond, know that it is okay, and tomorrow is a new day!
Next time a meltdown arrives, choose to respond and step away from reacting! Your child will learn from you how to deal with situations, and if we don’t take the time to teach them, they will miss out on these valuable lessons for their future!