“Insider Tip” #2- Self-Awareness:
You may have read my how to set limits effectively and my “Insider Tip” #1-Proximity. As a follow up, I will share my “Insider Tip” #2 of developing your self-awareness.
I have asked you to use (proximity) how close you are to your child when giving a limit. Now, I am going to ask you to get to know you! What do you look like? Yes, I asked it. What do YOU think you look like when you talk to your child? You definitely know what your child looks like. It’s time to step up your awareness about yourself. So, what are your mannerisms? Your facial expressions? Does your eye twitch when you become frustrated? Do you start to rub your brow feverishly when you’re angry? Guess who knows the answers to these questions? Your child! You especially need to be aware of how you look, stand, move and sound (not body language) when you are asking your child to do something he doesn’t want to do.
Here’s how: Take a breath. Breathe! Always take a breath when you are entering a situation that has tension. Walk slowly toward your child rather than abruptly approaching him. You have now begun to slow your thinking process down). Now, take another breath and in your mind smile. This will make it more difficult to purse your limps, crinkle your eyebrows and squint your eyes which are all the subtle expressions that your child sees before you even realize that you were felling frustrated/angry. Lastly, tune into your posture. Leave your hands by your sides or if you must use them when you speak, move your hands slowly and calmly, Never point! These tips will avoid escalating a potentially stressful situation or your child’s defensiveness. Controlling your actions will help you regulate your emotions.
A high level of self-awareness takes time to develop. It’s often easier to learn about ourselves in a group setting. It’s often fun and inspiring to learn about the things we do everyday and never realized it.
Remember, “Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”- William Faulkner
If you would like to know more about setting limits, Lisa Navarra offers Parenting Groups and presentations focused on empowering the parent, school staff/faculty and safety personnel. With over 16 years of experience Lisa is the Founder/Director of Child Behavior Consulting, LLC. For more insider tips and information, log onto www.childbehaviorconsulting.com or contact Lisa at info@ChildBehaviorConsulting.com.