Have you ever thought about how things seem when you watch yourself, and your child from another perspective? Take a moment to think about the last time you felt your child was behaving inappropriately. You may have lectured them, or even shouted at them. Indeed when we reach this point and are exasperated, and trying to ensure that they don’t repeat the same behaviour again, and again, we often can become irrational ourselves.
And the shouting? It rarely works. Because when we start shouting at or lecturing our children, they tend to ‘switch off’ and will seldom remember what we are trying to teach them. And there’s a reason for that. When we are shouted at, our cortisol levels rise in the brain, and this – induced stress – causes us to enter fight or flight mode. That’s why some kids when shouted at, shut down and can’t listen, or engage, and others, well, they answer back, and things begin to escalate even further. So with this in mind, what we parents actually need to do, is have a technique that diffuses the situation, stops it from escalating, and allows us to engage with our kids productively, and for them to also learn how to speak and behave appropriately.
So the next time you find yourself in a heated situation, instead of losing your temper, try using the ‘Rewind’ technique. This is simple and makes the world of difference fast. In fact, the kids can use it too. This one word, not only immediately reduces the heat but helps you, and your child regains composure, and engage constructively. Importantly, it gives your child (or you) the opportunity to reset and handle things in a more appropriate manner.
So how does it work? Take an example that triggers many of us parents quickly… when our children speak to us disrespectfully. Rather than immediately lecturing or shouting, simply say ‘REWIND’. This is a clear signal for your child to begin again, and use a different tact if they wish for you to engage. It’s also a great way, when you, as a parent begin to shout or feel yourself acting in an irrational way. Just stop, take a breath and say ‘REWIND’ to demonstrate to your kids how this technique can help the whole family.
It really is incredibly simple, but yields great results and is a super-effective way of teaching our children the right way to do things, without having to resort to shouting or lecturing. In giving our children the opportunity to reset, and behave or speak in a more appropriate way, we also help ensure that this lesson sticks in their memory.
Importantly, rather than jeopardising the connection, we have with our kids, this technique helps teach them to stop, reflect and learn about the impact of their behaviour on those around them, and maintain a strong and supportive connection to those they care about.
So give it a go, and let us know how you get on… and if you want to have some fun while building deeper connections why not try our much loved Conversations Cards, with 50 cards across 5 categories to get the conversations started.