Keeping Your Cool
The Peaceful Parenting Newsletter
A free e-mail newsletter from Naomi Drew
"We have the power to create within our homes peacefulness and nurturance,
giving ourselves and our children a base of each to take out into the world.
from Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Kids
What a joy it is to be back in touch with you this week. How quickly these weeks of summer have flown! Thank you so much for all your positive responses to this newsletter. Keep sending me your stories and comments. I love hearing from you.
Once again, I invite you to pass Peaceful Parenting on to friends, family, and colleagues. If you do not wish to receive further editions, just drop me an e-mail and let me know. My hope is that this newsletter touches the lives of countless people in an unending chain, helping greater numbers of parents make peace a reality in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods, and one day, in the world.
Peace to all of you!
Naomi Drew, author
Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Kids
The past has no hold on me. I create each day anew
and the words I speak reflect this.
from Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Kids
I have a need of silence and of stars.
To much is said to loudly. I am dazed.
The silken sound of whirled infinity
Is lost in voices shouting to be heard.
William Alexander Percy
Regaining Your Cool When Things Heat Up
Something thats true for all parents is that life gets hectic and we go into overload from time to time. Thats when tempers flare and reactions get charged. In moments like these the peace we strive for can begin to feel like a distant vision rather than an attainable reality. However, there are actually concrete things we can do to turn these moments around as well. these strategies will also work in those moments when our kids do things that make us a little crazy.
Ten Strategies for Regaining Your Cool:
1. Take a step back and tell yourself stop. Do your best not to say or do anything you will later regret. Imagine yourself in a public place in this moment.
2. Breathe deeply and repeat a calming statement like I have the ability to remain calm. Walk into another room for a moment if you can. Then create mental picture of yourself mastering the situation.
3. Catch your bad thoughts and prevent them from making the moment worse. Thoughts like, These kids are driving me crazy; Im not cut out for this job, can be turned into, Im having a bad moment. It will pass.
4. Look out the window and notice the sky, the trees, the sun or the rain. Know that this bad moment is not as enduring as the things of nature which sustain us every day.
5. Step outside for a moment and breathe in the fresh air. Sometimes just shifting to another physical environment can shift our reactions.
6. Splash cold water on your face. Literally, cool off.
7. Or do the opposite: make a hot cop of tea and sip it slowly. Let the warmth of the tea soothe you.
8. Munch on something crunchy like a crisp carrot or some pretzels - this releases tension. (Oreos not suggested!).
9. Go into another room and do jumping jacks, sit ups or push-ups. Count each one. Release the tension physically while toning your body.
10. Keep your perspective and focus on the larger picture instead of getting stuck in the aggravation of the moment. Remember that these years with your children are finite.
Any of the above techniques can provide you with instant relief from hot reactions. Choose several and use one each time your pot starts to simmer. Dont even wait until it gets to the boiling point. By cooling off instead of going into the heat of the moment we provide powerful role modeling for our children. Remember, they learn what they live by in watching us.
Adapted from Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Kids (Kensington 2000)
- Be an observer. Notice when you start to feel stressed or overwhelmed. Instead of doing what you usually do, stop and make a different choice. Remember that every moment is an opportunity for change.
- Practice one or more of the strategies above each time you feel yourself getting overloaded. Add your own ideas to the list. Send me your ideas so I can share them with others.
- Tell your partner and your children about these strategies.
- Create a calming statement you can say next time you feel stress building. Write, it, post it, use it like a mantra. We can actually retrain our minds by doing this. My calming statement is I can handle this. Id love to hear yours.
Thoughts from Readers:
From Leslie Moore, Hopewell, New Jersey:
Thanks for your peaceful words of encouragement....as I sat at my pool today, with the sun beating on me, I watched my boys playing together beside the pool. So happy to have no where to go. As I picked up the phone, I then put it down and resisted the temptation to make the moment "better." Call a few friends over, have someone for the children to play with. Someone to entertain. But then I realized this moment could not have been more perfect. Peaceful. Just the three of us enjoying the quiet of the summer. That moment lasted for three hours....
Love and peace,
Recognize the joy of simple moments. Life doesnt always have to be improved upon.
Keys to Peaceful Parenting
An International Teleworkshop
(a workshop conducted by phone)
Join parents across the globe for this cutting-edge workshop simply by dialing in to a main phone number. There will be two free introductory sessions (except for the price of the phone call) on Sept. 7 and Sept. 11 from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Then a 4-session series will be offered during the months of October and November.
Each session will include concrete strategies with immediate applicability, interactive exercises, and answers to your most important questions. You will learn:
- How to be a more peaceful parent
- Anger management strategies
- Positive discipline
- Practical ways to resolve conflicts
- Ways to improve family communication
Sponsored by World Family Connections, a wonderful program whose mission is to foster healthy, strong family living for people across the globe, reaching beyond boundaries in support of justice, peace, unity, and service.
If you would like further details or wish to register, go to the World Family Connections website - http://www.worldfamilyconnections.com or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Love to all of you!
Next Issue: Back to School: Creating a Peaceful Beginning
NOTE: My apologies to any of you whose newsletters contain computer glitches. Im working very hard to get the kinks out. Please bear with me.
Visit my website, Learningpeace.com
To schedule a complimentary "Peaceful Parenting" coaching session by phone, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 609-844-1138. Peaceful Parenting Coaching enables parents to work individually, as couples, or with their children on practical strategies that create greater harmony, less conflict. Sessions can be done by phone or in person.
Copyright Naomi Drew, August, 2001 All Rights Reserved.
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