How to be a calm parent

How to be a calm parent

I’ve always been a dreamer. Oh yes .. I was going to change the world. I was going to raise the best children ever to walk the earth. I was never going to make the same mistakes OTHER parents made. No way.

Then I had children.

My first lesson in patience happened immediately while sitting alone with two crying infants for months at a time. I often felt pretty helpless. I mean, you can’t just leave two crying infants and go for a run.

People always ask me how I managed twin infants and I always respond the same way … “With a lot of tears.”

Staying calm as a parent may come easier for some more than others. It hasn’t always been easy for me.

Yeah, where’s the handbook?

I call it Parenting from the Heart.

I’ve learned so many lessons on this topic in the last six years. I hope to pass a few on to other parents who might be struggling with keeping their cool.

In fact, it is my great wish that parents would read this blog and change the way they are parenting so that they, too, can be the change they wish to see in the world.

 

Original Photo by Tanya_Little via Flickr

 

This week, I asked on my Facebook page how you stay calm as a parent and boy did you deliver! Read all of the responses on Facebook. And, please add your own ideas to the comments below as well. Here are just 25 Ways to Stay Calm as a Parent — some are mine, some are yours!

  1. Own your Nos. There are times when I say no without even thinking and then one no leads to another no and soon we’re in a vicious cycle. I’ve learned that by really thinking before I respond I feel authentic power when I do say no — or yes. Try hard to not rush to saying no to your child just because of inconvenience.
  2. Be open to Yes. There’s a ton of power in the word YES. Y-E-S. Conscious Yeses are beautiful. Conscious Yeses transform families. Conscious Yeses are cause for celebration.
  3. Read. Read everything you can that makes you feel good and that reminds you to remain calm. For me, it started with Momma Zen by Karen Maezen Miller but it’s hardly ended there. I have a whole nightstand filled with books that I pull out when I need a pick-me-up or as a reminder to remain calm and relaxed as a parent. Some are parenting books. Some are inspirational books. Others are just beautiful and get me thinking creatively, which is the best way to parent, in my experience.
  4. Solitude. I suspect that many of us who struggle with staying calm in the chaos also struggle with noise. Some people — extroverts — are happy with a ton of noise. I am not. Silence is often the medicine we need to replenish and rejuvenate ourselves and yet it may be the hardest to make happen. There are many other ways to stay at peace.
  5. Take a deep breath. Never ever punish when angry. Just don’t. Heed this advice and you’ll always be a calm parent. Separate the kids and then walk away. Step outside. Or, go to your room and close the door and lay on your bed until you are calm. Run down to the basement. Put on some music in your ear buds. Something. Anything. Just breathe and calm down before you even attempt to react.
  6. Get up early. Having time to yourself is absolutely essential. Period.
  7. Go to bed early. Being fully rested is key. You can’t be a good parent if you are too tired to think, too tired to come up with creative responses and solutions or too tired to ignore the small things.
  8. Get a hobby. I write therefore I am. For others, it’s cooking or sewing or quilting or crocheting. Even more are finding a love in photography, baking, blogging, or gardening. We all have that one thing that just fills us up, that gives us a different purpose in life. Devote yourself to yours.
  9. Energize yourself. This is my all-time favorite thing to do in my day. Choose the things that you love and that make you happy and do them every day. In my e-course, I’ll share my own list.
  10. Ignore the small stuff. What’s that book say, it’s all small stuff? I don’t know about that. But I do know that some parents — myself included — can get wrapped up in micromanaging their children and their every move. Delegate some of that worry and stress to the Universe. this includes NOT arguing back with a child.
  11. Think of the Big Picture. A few mentioned this on the Facebook page as important and I agree. Will this tiny infraction of behavior like drinking the bathtub water and spitting it out matter in the long run? No. Will it delay bedtime, yes. So what. Move on. Nothing to see here.
  12. Clean. When your children are frustrating the bejeezus out of you, clean. Do those things that you need to do and work off the frustrations by cleaning. This is the only time that I stress the importance of cleaning. It gives you something productive to do instead of micromanaging the children. While your at it, think of the chores they will have to do as a result of their bad behavior. Some call it an uh-oh chore. I just call it a chore to help fill my bucket back up.
  13. Speak your mantra. Each of us has phrases that give us comfort, sayings that we can say over and over again in our heads until the difficult moment passes. Some of you suggested mantras like “I am the adult” or “Mommy is the greatest!” I have a whole list of mantras that I use.
  14. Exercise. Walk. Do yoga. Run. Whatever you can do to feel good on the inside will make parenting from the heart a lot better.
  15. Slow down. Don’t plan a ton of things because the minute you want to get a long list of things done is the very minute that you will find things blow up. Stress is what causes us to lose our cool so the less we have to stress about, the less crazy we’ll become.
  16. Get silly. I’ve said this before but doing something entirely out of the ordinary is a great way to turn things around quickly. Tell jokes. Just act nutty. You’ll laugh. SING. DANCE. Laugh. Deal with the consequences later, when everyone’s thinking more clearly.
  17. Talk it out. Establish a talk-it-out rule. In this house, we talk out our problems with soft words, not our hands and not by yelling. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
  18. Role model. If you want your children to grow up calm, cool and collected than keep that in your head at all times. What you say to your children becomes what they hear in their heads. That’s powerful stuff to consider.
  19. Eat. There have been many times when I’ve been starving and not taking care of myself. Stop and make sure you’re not feeling the result of low blood sugar.
  20. Set your rules. This is a really big deal and something I didn’t really do early on. The sooner your establish your household rules the better off you will be as a parent. Our rules are on our refrigerator so that when a rule is broken we can immediately point to it and say look here, you’ve broken Rule No. 2, keep your hands and feet to yourself. When you are confident about the rules in your house, you are confident in enforcing those rules.
  21. Don’t set too many rules. Seriously. Children are still learning and experimenting. We can’t expect them to never make mistakes. To stay calm, stick to no more than five rules at a time and make those the important ones. Let little infractions go by with teachable moments rather than discipline.
  22. Change your routine. If you find yourself in a stressed out rut, perhaps it’s time to change things around and do something exciting and different. A change in fresh air or environment is enough to keep me feeling calm and peaceful a lot longer than going through the motions of the same-old, same-old.
  23. Be Grateful. Many of you mentioned that reminding yourself of how special it is to have a child is the best way to calm yourself down. Savoring the little moments. Being grateful for the time we have with our children. These are all big, heart-filled reminders of what it really means to be a parent, even when times are challenging.
  24. Replenish your spirit. For some this means prayer or meditation. For others it might be sinking into a hot bath at night. Taking care of your spirit is as important as taking care of your body. Whatever you use to de-stress and center yourself, do it often.
  25. When all else fails, hug it out. I love this one that came up on the Facebook page. Too often what our children need — and what we need in return — is that close connection and touch of the ones we love. My very spirited daughter responds positively to touch and so we snuggle often. So, instead of yelling or hurting, hug it out. If only we could pass this tip along to the rest of the world, right?

There are certainly many other ways to stay calm, cool and collected as a parent and I expect anyone who reads this post to add their own positive  ideas that are meant to help inspire parents. These are ideas I wish I had on that second and third month home with twin infants, and again when those infants moved into their terrible twos. But, no matter where you are on your parenting journey, I suspect this list will at least be worth keeping, for one of those days. You can now download and print this list for yourself to keep close at hand.

 

Ready to start taking care of YOU? Ready to start taking charge of YOUR life? Rediscover your happy place in The Abundant Mama Project E-Course that begins very soon.

178 Responses to How to be a calm parent

  1. Jennifer Acquisto Morris says:

    When people ask me how I handled twins, I have the same response as yours: I cried and I cried a lot. Love your page!

  2. I agree with all of the above! My big reminder to myself is just don’t take anything too seriously. When my baby is screaming her head off in the store and I know she’s been fed and changed and is gas- and burp-free (in short, if I know there’s nothing I can do to calm her) I just let her go and say, “Oh, I knoooow! Life is soooo haaaard when you’re a little baby!” If we’re in the car and this happens, I just open the windows and turn up the tunes. I’m a big fan of the serenity prayer- I have learned to accept the things I cannot change and just let them be. I call them my baby’s “lung exercises” for the day. :-) My other 3 kids turned out okay, so I guess it’s all good. :-)

  3. I burst out laughing. This works for tense situations especially with older kids. Just burst out laughing for no reason. Then you start laughing for real. Everyone freezes, asks "What's so funny?" and ends up laughing with you. I choose to laugh instead of crying. It also helps you to pull out of the situation and realize how ridiculous it might look to an outsider.

  4. Theresa Ryan says:

    yes to all these great ideas. like everyone says, twins get easier as they get older, but they're still a challenge. as a SAHM with an older sib in school, two things I CANNOT do without are days of nothing scheduled–only freeplay and books, and having at least a 1/2 day to myself a week OUT of the house. works wonders.

    • Jennifer Nelson says:

      Hi! I'm a twin. :) It's true, we do get easier as we get older. By the time we were 12, we were our own self-contained entertainment unit…albeit one that needed lots of reminders to finish up all the homework.

  5. Hi there. I like what you have to say about calm parenting. It is a struggle for me. I would like to set some house rules, better late than never… What rules do you use?

    • Shawn Ledington Fink says:

      Thank you. Someone else asked about this so I'm going to write a post all about RULES. Stay tuned. Thanks for reading!

  6. Juliana says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE these ideas. Thank you for sharing.
    We thought we were done parenting, but we were blessed to adopt a sibling group of 3 kids 7 years ago. It has brought new and different challenges than we had with our “first set of kids”. :O). It can be extremely difficult on a daily basis, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have struggled in the past with being a calm parent, however, I now work hard at it every.single.day. because every child looks to adults for guidance. And who do I think I am to feel “inconvenienced” by their curiosity, questions, or their need to express themselves. This is an honor to have another human being want to spend time with me and ask me what I think about whatever. Thank you again for sharing the ideas. I love brainstorming with others to make the world a better place for all. AWESOME!

    • Shawn says:

      Juliana — thank you for your honest expression here. You are FAR from alone. Together we are working to make the world a better place — one family at a time! Glad you are here. xoxo

  7. [...] Calm Parenting Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

  8. Great list…I need to print:)

  9. Amber says:

    I have struggled this past week with being calm. This list will be a great go-to when I am in the middle of my own impatience and can’t think straight! Thanks for putting it together. Stopping by from the Sunday Parenting Party!

    • Shawn says:

      Amber — Thanks for visiting! This was my first entry in the Sunday Parenting Party but it’s perfect for my site. So glad you find it useful and inspiring to use personally. That’s what I’m aiming for! Peace to you.

  10. Carrie says:

    I L-O-V-E the refreshing and positive advice. I teach elementary aged children and found these tips SO helpful. Again, thank you, for putting such a positive vibe out in the world :)

  11. This is a lovely list with so many wonderful ideas to stay calm. It can be so challenging. I love that saying yes and hugging are on there as well. Sharing with our positive parenting connection page!

  12. Jenny Carlson Prusakiewicz says:

    I really needed this.

  13. Brooke says:

    I am trying to anger manage my 2 and 5 year old and after reading this realize I need to anger manage myself….TY for the insight! Definately gonna hug it out ALOT more often!

    • Shawn says:

      Everything’s better with a hug!

    • heather says:

      I also wonder why my kids are so ahort with me sometimes and realize it is a reflection of myself being too tired, too everything. Hugs can help so much. Another idea for a grumpy 5 year old or 3 year old is to say that you need to turn the mood around and then spin them until they laugh and the mood is changed :)

  14. Nat Nanton says:

    I feel calm just reading this post. I wholeheartedly agree with all your advice. Low blood sugar is a sneaky one that can turn me into a monster! Lovely reminders.
    Grateful to have found a like-minded mama!

  15. Twyla Dean says:

    Thank you for sharing these calming ideas! As a very busy single mom of two beautiful girls I want them to grow up confident, kind and very happy! Now that isn’t going to happen if momma has bad days and is a bit irrational! Sisters argue and girls talk back, flail their hands in the air and roll their eyes right?? THIS is why I needed to read your post! Thanks again for sharing! :)

    • Shawn says:

      You are SO right on both points. Sisters will be Sisters! I was raised mostly as an only child so it has been difficult for me to understand the sibling dynamic. The other day they were smacking each other in the car and I said nothing. Not a word … until we got home and then I told them they each had to do three chores. Turns out, they loved doing chores. The fight was over, everyone was happy.

  16. Laura says:

    Found you through pinterest. My husband and I are both very strong willed and have apparently passed this trait onto our 2 yr old! Just recently I realized that we are really approaching her the wrong way. No one is ever going to “win” in a battle of wills. Very affirming to see some of the things I have realized in black and white. The one about spitting bath water actually made me lol because the exact thing happened tonight. Thank you for this great list! Hoping it will help our whole house be a little more calm.

    • Shawn says:

      Fantastic! We ALL need more calm homes. My daughter feels the need to spit out bath water after every single shower. Very annoying but now that I know she’ll do it, I just walk away. : ) I think the colder weather will put an end to that soon, though. LOL Thanks for finding me here in my little part of the Universe.

  17. Rachel Lincoln says:

    Cant even tell you how bad I needed this post today! Thanks for all the great tips ;)

  18. The Monko says:

    this is a brilliant post, I need to print this and stick it to my fridge to help me remember some of the basics. Thank you so much for linking to the Sunday Parenting Party. I’m pinning this to our SPP pinterest board and sharing on Taming the Goblin’s FB page.

  19. Shawn this is such a beautiful, practical, helpful list of idea. Thank you for linking up to The Sunday Parenting Party. I’m featuring this on my bog today as one of my favourites from last week’s link up (I’m behind on publishing the linky this week) Thanks so much for contributing.

  20. [...] linked up last week. Which ones inspired you? This week I’m honored to feature posts from Awesomely Awake and Famiglia&Seoul which focus on ways to stay calm and keep connected on those difficult [...]

  21. Chérie says:

    Hi Shawn,

    Thanks for your post! Found it via Ness (A Perfect Day). I like those calmind reminders! It’s so important to remain calm as a parent and I really appreciate all those ideas! Will need to print this once I get home! :D

  22. This is such an important and helpful list, thank you so much for sharing it. We’ve shared it with all of our friends/fans and followers. Its so easy to lose your cool in the heat of a moment but your list will be a great go-to for many!

    • Shawn says:

      I truly appreciate the help you are doing to spread the message of this post to other moms and dads who may need this bit of inspiration today or for the future. xoxo

  23. I really enjoyed this and I’m also loving your whole site. I struggle with micromanaging, as you say, so the advice was very good.

    Do you have a post about what rules you have?

  24. Erin Williams says:

    I really needed this! It seems to be very tense and stressful around my house on a daily basis. I have tried a couple of these, mostly walking away or cleaning but what I do most when I’m stressed is I turn music on and turn the volume up and sing as loud as I can with it! It helps a lot lol..also turning on music that my boys ( ages 7 and 10) like and they will sing and dance along with it immediately erasing their anger then we are able to talk about the situation after. Thank you for this list, I’m definately gonna keep coming back to it!

    • Shawn says:

      Dancing is a great relief, isn’t it? Sometimes we get so serious, we forget that. Glad you have found this list to be helpful!! Peace to you.

  25. Mom of 6 says:

    As a mom of 6 & 2 on the way……all under 5! I have a 5 year old, triplet 2.5 year olds, twins that are 9 months & twins again on the way, I can’t say I ever get me time but I do the best I can! I loved this post

    • Shawn says:

      You deserve some sort of award. Seriously. Honored you found my little part of the universe and hope you return again and again. xoxo

  26. [...] How To Be A Calm Parent  [...]

  27. lyndsey says:

    I’m struggling with this now with my five year old and as an unfortunate result my youngest 1&1/2 now gets most of my attention which is only making it worse… how do you get dad on the same calm plan bc he is way worse at being calm???

  28. Kellee Lacy says:

    Thank you soooooooo much for this! I have been NEEDING this for awhile…because I WANT to be a good, happy mommy. But I get frustrated WAY too easily! I am printing this right now and posting it on my fridge! Thank you, thank you THANK YOU! =)

  29. Hey, I'm working on getting a bachelor's degree in family life. This was a wonderful post, I was so happy to read it and am definitely saving it for later. A comment about vocabulary however. Under "not making too many rules", you said to let little infractions go by with teachable moments rather than discipline. I believe that what you meant was punishment. Discipline is derived from the same word as disciple, so when you discipline your child you're teaching them. Taking advantage of teachable moments is called positive discipline, while punishment is part of negative discipline. I know it seems like a little thing, but I'm going into community education, and would like to do my part now to make sure that discipline does not have solely negative connotations. Why don't you give Jane Nelson's website positivediscipline.com a try? She's a highly regarded parenting expert in the family studies field.

  30. Lupe Rodriguez says:

    thanks

  31. [...] 25 Ways to Stay Calm as a Parent ::: Awesomely Awake [...]

  32. Mom of teenagers to toddlers says:

    Great advice!! And good practice because as they grow they push the envelope (TRUST ME) start these now when they are young….children live what they learn…I love your post and wish I had it written on my hand at all times. With a husband with a temper I find myself having to really having to lead everyone by example. Throw 2 ADHD boys in the mix and patience takes on a whole new meaning. I needed this positive vibe, trually you may not know how much this can be someone’s only encouragement in a rough week. Makes a difference more than you know. Blessings!! :)

    • Shawn says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I hope it does make a difference for who ever needs it today, tomorrow or any day in the future!

  33. Sandra says:

    Hi Shawn,

    I wanted to say Thank You so much for sharing this. I have had the worst day as a mother today and I happen to just see this on Pinterest. I am so glad that i did because I really needed to read this today. I’m definitely going to write these down to remind myself and hopefully be a better and calmer mother to my children. Thanks again!

    • Shawn says:

      Sandra — Oh, how we all have those days. I’m so happy the Universe brought you here today. It’s never too late to turn things around. xoxo

  34. Willow Burke says:

    I really needed to read this. Thanks! Oh and my kids say thanks too!

  35. Amber 'Miller' Monroe says:

    Ahhh–LOVE this. Words to live by. :)

  36. Kelli Chasteau Mitchell says:

    I love all these thank you! I'm hitting PRINT! :)

  37. Kay says:

    Read this after a hectic day with my little ones and I must thank you for replenishing my spirit =) great reminders!

  38. I found this post just when I needed it most. As a single mom, I struggle with so many things on this list, especially when it comes to taking time for myself. It is so true that if you are exhausted and empty, it is so much easier to lose patience. I have taken this list to heart, and vow to take better care of myself in order to give more to my 3 year old son. Thanks again.

    • Shawn Ledington Fink says:

      Thank you for your comment on this post. I am so happy it's getting out into the Universe and soothing those who need it.

  39. [...] found a different blog on Pinterest the other day and clicked on it, as the title was “25 ways to stay calm as a parent” and thought I could really use this! I was right. Some of the suggestions [...]

  40. Samina Javed says:

    wonderful post….luv it.

  41. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for this FANTASTIC list. I am going to compile most of this into a poster and read this every day. You have no idea how much this helps my attitude!

    • Shawn says:

      That is wonderful, Sarah. I’m thrilled out found us here and can take something away to change your mindset. xoxo

  42. I pinned this a while ago. I had a tough tough day today. I needed inspiration and that’s what I got. Thank you so much for a great list. You’re Rule #2 is the same as ours!

    • Shawn says:

      I am so happy you remembered to find this post … we have to know where to get that boost. Thanks for letting me know your story!

  43. [...] 25 Ways to Just Be with your childrenCreative Ways to Break a TV HabitReal mantras for real parentsHow to be a calm parentAmaze Yourself & Act SillyAmaze Yourself & Let GoA Love Letter to Mothers EverywhereAmaze Yourself & [...]

  44. Emilia says:

    Thank you for reminding me what kind of a parent I really want to be and how to achieve that. With two-year old twins and their big sister I find myself very often anything but calm – but there is really no excuse, it’s all about me and my behaviour.

  45. Karen says:

    Thank you for sharing this list. I am a pretty laid back person, but I have to admit that I have a hard time remaining calm sometimes when it comes to discipline and my two year old daughter. I have to stop myself and think about how lucky I am to have such a beautiful and spirited child.

  46. Yessica Cometto says:

    Interesabte

  47. [...] How to be a calm parent – Awesomely Awake – Great post by Shawn Ledington Fink. I think I need to hang it on my wall too. [...]

  48. Thank you. I have 6 month old twin girls and a 2 1/2 year old girl. Has been a very frustrating and stressful year and I desperately needed a reminder of how to stay calm! Thank you

  49. Jill Stewart says:

    What great ideas. What was better is to find I am doing some of those things. Thanks for the encouragement..

  50. CJ says:

    I too have (6mo) twins, and a 2yo. I’m glad I found you. Right now, I’m too tired to add much other than the “mantra” I use when I can’t just walk away (which is never!)…”I am here to PROTECT, I am their safe place”, and that’s where I direct my “power”.

    Thank you for this list! :)

    • Shawn says:

      The counselor at my girls’ school has two sets of twins. : ) I bet he knows tired. LOL Thanks for sharing your mantra. I love that. Simple and full of truth. If that’s all we have to do, it’s not too bad. Why do we make it so much harder? Or do we?

  51. Leila Adams Crosby says:

    Thank you for this! I really could have used this a few hours ago when my son decided it would be fun to draw all over my ipod with a pen… Lets just say I overreacted and didn't even breath while I was yelling at him… I was able to calmly talk to him after I had time to calm myself down and we "hugged it out" But I really hate it when I loose my temper like that.

    • Linda L Larsen says:

      But you know you did wrong and you hugged it out. The lesson is to walk away and chill out. You are a great mom!

  52. Megan Morgan says:

    I love these. I have a 4 1/2 year old daughter and twin boys who will be 4 in December. I need all the help I can get. I wish I found this earlier. Here's to a fresh start tomorrow.

  53. Kaytie Jaskowiak says:

    I do the same oh I know it's so rough to be a baby. with my oldest, I act silly, tell jokes, or to show him how upsetting it was that he was constantly interrupting conversations, we just let him start talking and then make some sort of funny animal noise when he was midsentence. he became frustrated after a few minutes nd now always waits his turn to speak if it's not an emergency

  54. Kim says:

    I feel like such a bad mommy lately. I feel like all I do is yell. I hope it’s not too late to start using some of these techniques on my 4 yer old.

  55. [...] There are certainly many other ways to stay calm, cool and collected as a parent and I expect anyone who reads this post to add their own positive  ideas that are meant to help inspire parents. These are ideas I wish I had on that second and third month home with twin infants, and again when those infants moved into their terrible twos. But, no matter where you are on your parenting journey, I suspect this list will at least be worth keeping, for one of those days. You can now download and print this list for yourself to keep close at hand. http://www.abundantmama.com/how-to-be-a-calm-parent/ [...]

  56. Pam Daniels- Barber says:

    good tips

  57. [...] that’s how so many of you have found us here. Through posts like How to be a Calm Parent and How to Raise Grateful [...]

  58. [...] being calm. See this list for more on [...]

  59. [...] Intentional, creative parenting doesn’t just happen. It takes work — much like being patient does. [...]

  60. [...] We just need to stay calm. [...]

  61. Susan Nelson Knox says:

    I am a school counselor and my "kids" are 25, 22, 20, 17, and 14. This is great advice for moms of ANY ages. Thank you!

    • Kathy Husing Towsley says:

      And grandmoms!!! Love it! Great info, as usual, Susan! (: (And actually, it applies to my 24, 28, and 34 year-olds too! LOL!)

  62. Katie Sutton says:

    I had quite a day with my twins at home and trying to work yesterday. Thank you for the reminder. I needed it.

  63. Brittany Barker says:

    I'm not certain if it is the raging hormones, but after reading some of the comments I am nearly in tears. I have 3 year old daughter and I have lost my patience with her more than I care to truly admit. Between her going to her father's, her granny's and my house, it has been a difficult task keeping rules straight. I will definitely be putting these tips to good use. All I want is to be a good mother to my little girl, my unborn child, and a good wife to my husband. I'm learning slowly that it's exhausting trying to be perfect all the time. Thank you for your post and I think we will be hugging things out more often.

  64. Michelle Glowacki Knoll says:

    There is a great book, Parenting with Love and Logic, that I recommend to parents (I'm a teacher) to help do this sort of parenting. There is a whole series, I really recommend it. Not a cure all, but it helps!

  65. When things are getting really chaotic our you feel the tension coming up, picture yourself on a beautiful tropical Beach.

  66. Tracey Gorla says:

    Thank you. I was intended to see this at this EXACT moment.

  67. [...] How to be a Calm Parent [...]

  68. Anna says:

    Great tips! awesome. I always always have a very hard time wif my 2 month old when she cries and refuses to sleep. I feel like I’m going crazy! And having in laws who just don’t understand that I need space makes crazier. I feel bad for being grumpy towards my baby most of the time. *sigh* Will try ur tips!

  69. [...] while enjoying one of my hobbies that begins with a P and ends in interest, I came across this page.  Sounds like a good approach to 2013.  And not just about my parenting, but about life in [...]

  70. Zoë Tenney says:

    This is awesome! I am also a mother of twins (16 months) and sometimes the reminder that there are more mothers, just like me, trying to keep their cool when it seems as though the house is on fire, is the biggest help there is. I've found that change in scenery is the reset button for my kids. The last thing I want to do is put on a bra to go outside but it completely flips the overall mood of the house. A great list of ideas, I will be refering to these often. Thank you!

  71. Mindy McGonigal says:

    I'm glad I found this on pinterest. I have a 2yo, and want to have another baby, but….those first few months with her were….hard. And now she's 2 and….well – today she got the pink nail polish and last week it was a carton of eggs…..I know this will pass and so I am trying to enjoy all the time that I have with her. I enjoyed this post and will keep looking at it. I really don't want to be the parent that's always yelling.

  72. Misty Headrick says:

    Thanks so much for this. I've modified some of these to fit our family's personality, and quirks and such, and am putting together a Mommy Rules poster to keep handy. I'm really trying to work on my patience, and temper when dealing with my oldest of three daughters, as we tend to push each other's buttons. Hopefully, my modeling better behavior will help her to improve hers.

  73. Indulge in a guilty pleasure while kids are napping….real housewives of….(anything). If it's been a rough day, instead of washing bottles and doing laundry during the kids nap, I curl up on the couch and watch mindless reality tv.

  74. Kelly says:

    I have two kids and its hard to have patience! I really going to try this! So many times I say no right away! I love this way of thinking! Thank you so much for the advice!

  75. Kelly says:

    I have two kids and its hard to have patience! I really going to try this! So many times I say no right away! I love this way of thinking! Thank you so much for the advice!

  76. ambyr says:

    I am so glad to have found this! It hits close to home because my husband and I recently decided to take a step back and re evaluate the tone of our voices when it comes to parenting our prescious one and only son. We realized during this moment that to our son the sound of our voice could make a good moment great or a not so good moment horrible! We have decided to never scream or raise our voices yet when disciplining have a firm yet peaceful tone and at eye level with Caden. If one of us is having trouble “keeping our cool” the other knows to step in and let that parent walk away. It has made a huge difference in our home and for all 3 of us. No more guilty momma or daddy and no more heart shattered kiddos!

  77. ambyr says:

    I am so glad to have found this! It hits close to home because my husband and I recently decided to take a step back and re evaluate the tone of our voices when it comes to parenting our prescious one and only son. We realized during this moment that to our son the sound of our voice could make a good moment great or a not so good moment horrible! We have decided to never scream or raise our voices yet when disciplining have a firm yet peaceful tone and at eye level with Caden. If one of us is having trouble “keeping our cool” the other knows to step in and let that parent walk away. It has made a huge difference in our home and for all 3 of us. No more guilty momma or daddy and no more heart shattered kiddos!

  78. Tara Dukaczewicz says:

    I sing Oklahoma as loud as I can. They laugh, I laugh and we're good. Trick is remembering to do this in the heat of the moment.

  79. [...] imagine my delight when I read item #12 in this list. How to be a calm parent? Clean. [...]

  80. So needed to read this today. . . . and every day! haha. What a wonderful list!

  81. [...] friend sent me this great article: How to be a calm parent. I love this long list of ways to keep yourself calm when your children are inspiring not-calm. [...]

  82. [...] Peace happens. By saying yes we’re also saying yes to being in  this moment. Saying yes can be a more peaceful way to live, creating a happier, healthier home in the long [...]

  83. Nicole says:

    Those are all great things to do to keep calm. I try to practice them daily. I just have one other thing to add to the list. I have a friend who would cry or get upset by judgmental moms at a certain place where she had spent good $$$ for her toddler to have fun. When a mother finds herself at a place like this, full of Judgy McJudgersons, LEAVE! Finish the course if they don’t offer a refund & never come back. Any mom who makes another mother of a small child feel horrible about their child or self is an evil, ignorant person. Mothers do not need that extra stress from people like that, so it’s best to remove yourself & your child/children from those places.

  84. Andie says:

    Yep. In my house there is now something called the squeezie hug. It is not for the casual or insincere. It is a real hold your breath kinda hug. Because cleaning does not relax me! :0)

  85. [...] is such a great post on ways to be a patient parent. My favorite tips are #3, 5, 6, 14, 21 and of course [...]

  86. R Edwards says:

    I have a 20 month old and twin 6 month old babies and sometimes it is EXTREMELY hard to keep calm and patient. A lot of these make sense, I started working out and eating healthy last month, picked up drawing again (something I haven’t done in years) and am finding it so much easier to deal with all the stress this way. Getting “silly” is one of the keys to lots of babies. Everyone asks me how I handle it all and I tell them I’ am just lucky to have wonderful babies, but the reason they are wonderful is because every time they start getting cranky or needy I crank so happy tunes and dance around the living room like and idiot for them. Not only does it pick my mood up but it cheers them up too and suddenly just because of one silly dance all is right in their worlds again!
    Thank you for this list, gives me some more ideas on how to manage it all :)

  87. Gerrie Buruma says:

    Thanks a lot. I’ve added your website to my favourites. This just helps. Thanks for the “soft words”, thanks for “when your frustrated the bejeezus out of you, clean” (that makes me smile very often!)
    Oh heavens yes.

    thank you, Greetings from Holland

    Gerrie

    • Shawn says:

      Great to meet you! I was just reading an article about how Holland parents differently than Americans … interesting that you are here today.

  88. [...] really liked this post about staying calm as a parent. The last couple of days, I feel like my son has been extra [...]

  89. Kim says:

    Having a day with an extra noisy boy and an extra PMSey mama. Thank you for the reminder to let it goooooooo… I shared the link on my new blog, I liked it so much!

  90. Stacey Tiger says:

    Thanks so much for the tips. I have a very strong willed 8 year-old. He sometimes makes me forget to be calm and just reading these tips reminds me what kind of mom I want to be. Also I think we are really hard on ourselves as moms. We need to remember that everyone makes mistakes or loses it from time to time, but it’s comforting knowing I’m not alone.

    • Shawn says:

      You are definitely not alone. Glad you found the list as a good reminder each day. I should re-read it myself actually.

  91. Catherine says:

    just found your page, its really honest and useful. my baby boy is turning one, when he was 2 weeks old he had seizures and meningitis, we were told he might have any number of physical or mental difficulties. So far he has proved everyone wrong, and even when he is doing something he knows is naughty, I can’t help but secretly smile to myself thinking ‘ I can’t believe he can do that’ I feel so proud. it keeps my feet on the ground, although i get over anxious a lot.

  92. Fiorella says:

    I have a 4 yrd old and when i see there is tension between my husband, our son and I and he deciides to scream bc he is mad, i do too and than daddy who can screak louder! I know is crazy but is our thing we know it helps calm everyone down and finally we come up with an I Love you or u r silly! Than we all go back to what we are doing with a good attitude!

  93. [...] post comes from Awesomely Awake - a great blog on inpsiring families to find their happy place – [...]

  94. [...] this wonderful list of tips for calm parenting [...]

  95. [...] How To Be a Calm Parent – article at Awesomely Awake [...]

  96. Tammy Bunt says:

    This was EXACTLY what i needed to read today! Thank you! I have shared it on my FB page (http://www.facebook.com/TheLilybugProject) I hope you don’t mind!

  97. Debbie Peterson says:

    Remind yourself that you were once a child, and remember all the things that you did, that maybe your own children are doing.Have patience and remember to let them be children , not mini adults.So many parents expect their children to be the perfect mini adults…don’t get dirty, don’t make a mess, don’t be silly….why can’t a child just be a child.They grow up too quickly as it is, why not let them enjoy being a child .Let them play, get dirty, talk jibberish, make a mess, everything can be cleaned up later. They are only children once, don’t take that away from them.

    • Alice Kingsleigh says:

      This is a great thought too. My mom reminds me all the time that I use to do the same things.

  98. […]  25 ways to stay calm as a par­ent on Awe­somely […]

  99. Alice Kingsleigh says:

    I love this list and will be using many of the suggestions! I found this post on Pinterest and featured it on my Friday’s Fave! http://www.adventureintodomesticland.com/2013/08/fridays-fave-28.html

  100. Stephanie Lewis says:

    I love the last one "Hug it Out". My family never hugged while I was growing up, nor do they hug now. It has made me an emotionally detached person, that does NOT hugs. But, I will say I love to hug my husband! his family is full of crazy huggers, so I am warming up to hugging. When we finally have kids I WILL make sure to hug and kiss and tell them I love them!

  101. Crystal Butler says:

    Speaking of mantras, I found this beautiful print/download of “best thoughts” some time ago: http://www.thetoymaker.com/Holidays/Gifts/BestThoughts.html

  102. […] They love you because you’re patient. […]

  103. PeacefulParent9999999999999 says:

    Thank you, beautiful post, have shared it on my way of the peaceful parent page (scheduled for sunday I think).

  104. Anna says:

    Thank you for this article. But point 5 is equivocal: so, you admit punishment?

    • Shawn Ledington Fink says:

      We absolutely have consequences at our house. Yes. The idea is not to make any rash decisions until everyone is calm … that’s my message. Every family is capable on deciding how and when they want to handle a problem … I never judge or tell a family what is best.

  105. […] Keep calm and parent on 25 actually helpful ways for parents to keep their cool. [Awesomely Awake] […]

  106. JDaniel4's Mom says:

    What wonderful tips! I am carrying away some new tools to use a parent after reading this post.

  107. Madhavi Polisetti says:

    Amlost sounds like the heart spoke from heart!. Awesome, thank you Shawn.

  108. […] came across this great post from Awesomely Awake on things you can do to encourage being a calm parent. There are some really good ideas to try in […]

  109. Nick Metcalf says:

    "Parenting……….It's like juggling flaming chainsaws, while walking a tightrope with no net".

    • Shawn says:

      Ha. Well … let’s hope we all take a chill pill and just love our kids through anything and we’ll all be OK.

  110. Diana says:

    Thank you! My beautiful twins deserve this. Even yelling once in a while makes them sad, and me sadder. I want them to only see love from their mama, not anger. Thank you :-)

  111. […] have shamelessley borrowed this from here (http://www.abundantmama.com/how-to-be-a-calm-parent/)  Thought it was great advice and wanted to share it with you.  I can really relate to it, […]

  112. […] How to be a calm Parent via Abundant Mama […]

  113. Laurel says:

    I appreciate this! Struggling and fighting so hard to learn to be a peaceful person so I can in turn peacefully parent my 3 year old twins and 1 year babe. I grew up in such a harsh and manipulative environment and it kills me when I see myself repeating those patterns.
    Every single day I work to find inner peace and security so that I can be a happy, confident, strong, loving, wise mum to my darling boys.
    Some things that help me are: set weekly days I go to Crossfit and lift wights and sweat out all my stress, go outside and listen to nature, turn on music and dance, go to therapy and hash it alllllll out, weekly date nights with my hubby, bulk cook (for some reason I’m way less stressed cooking for the week than cooking each night), taking a drive in the country so with a treat to eat so everyone is happy and entertained and enjoying all the fun sights, kissing my babies at least once a night after they’ve fallen asleep. I fall back in love with all 3 of them each time I do this.
    My middle twin started telling me I’m his favorite mommy he’s ever had, 2 days ago. It’s things like that that remind me I am doing a good job, and to keep striving to be better for my darlings.

    Thx for your blog and FB page. With all the negativity surrounding me, it’s so refreshingn to have such positivity.

  114. Juliette says:

    Thanks for all those precious tips! I find it currently very tough to keep calm with a very demanding 4 years old and 2 hourly feeding 3 months old. I shouted a lot today and thought that’s not good and leading towards a vicious circle. Will definitely use a lot of those advices!

  115. heather says:

    I have never posted anything on line but I really felt a need to post here. I think this is a great and helpful read. There are many I will be sharing this will and I feel like its a pay it forward kind of thing.

    I also wanted to share a couple thought of my owe. As a single mom I have found that giving my son choice has really helped. Not only do I feel in controlled but my son feels like he has power and learns consequences. On the weekends if he is fighting about going to bed I give him a choice you can stay up and lose your Legs(fav toy) for a whole week or you can go to your bed and lay quietly. The first time he chose to stay up, he chooses to be in bed now. Other choice can be you can chose to be your homework first or clean your room. Both things that need to be done but he like the power of picking the order.

    Another thing is to remember you’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to share your feelings with other. You need to let out your frustration to get it off your chest so that it doesn’t billed. Not liking your child at a moment is OK it doesn’t make you a bad mom because you still love them a great deal and you’re not the only one who experience this.

    Thank you!!!!!!

    • Shawn says:

      Heather — thank you for posting here today. I agree, you are right, that limited choices is a great idea. But, there are times when no choices can make life easier, too … especially when you have siblings who fight over things. :)

  116. EplusThree says:

    Found this post on Pinterest. As a SAHM of twin boys, I tend to find myself constantly outnumbered, trying hard to instill a calm environment, only to be undone when I “lose it” out of impatience. Thank you so much for this list, it’s wonderfully therapeutic just reading it!!

  117. Kelley Scott says:

    Thank you!! Even a Mimi needs to be calm! Thank you for your list!! :)

  118. Amy C says:

    Hi Shawn,
    I’m loving all the wisdom on your website. I just finished reading Momma Zen and it has changed my life. I was wondering what other books you keep on hand. I am a FTM and have really bad anxiety. I have found strength and comfort in reading, so I hope you can point me in the right direction. Thank you for what you do. It’s truly inspiring. :)

  119. […] How to be a calm parent– We all struggle with calm at times.  Here are some ways to keep your cool when parenting is challenging. […]

  120. webpage says:

    Hello there! Thiis is my first comment here so I just wanted tto give a quick shout out and say I reaoly enjoy reading
    your blog posts. Cann you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go ober the same subjects?

    Thank you so much!


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Shawn Fink - Abundant MamaFrom Our Founder

I created The Abundant Mama Project to inspire overwhelmed, busy mothers to slow down and let go of the worries and concerns that are holding them back from experiencing joyful motherhood. Read More »

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