Creative Child

Three Simple Steps to Effective Parenting

by Rebecca Eanes

Has parenting lost its joy? Does the end of the day find you overwhelmed, upset, or disappointed at the outcome yet again? I totally get it! I was there, too! Thankfully, I discovered three terrific secrets to effective parenting. It’s not easy, but it works. If you want to get back your joy and go to bed at night feeling good about your day, try these.

Step One: Be Calm

You’re thinking yeah, right! In this chaos?! Hear me out, though.

Your brain really loves repetitiveness. Every time you lose your cool, you’re strengthening a little pathway in your brain that makes you more likely to lose your cool again and again. Eventually, it doesn’t take much to set you off. When your fuse is only about 3 centimeters long, it’s pretty difficult to live in joy, for both you and your family!

If you’ve developed a yelling habit, it’s not too late to stop.


Disarm the triggers that light your fuse by keeping track of them for a few days to notice your patterns. Intentionally plan a response to each trigger so you don’t go to your default reaction. Then, the next time you feel the agitation rising, embrace that tiny space that occurs between the initial trigger and your reaction, expand that space with a few deep breaths and a helpful mantra, and then remember your planned response.

This isn’t easy, but each time you calm yourself down and respond with a rational mind, you’re strengthening a new pathway that will help you be a more effective parent. As a bonus, when you remain calm during emotional upset, you model an extremely valuable skill for your child. As a result of seeing you master it, they are more likely to be able to calm themselves as well. Plus, your kids aren’t listening when you’re freaking out on them. It triggers their lower brain, too. (That’s the part that makes us flip out.) Calm minds equal rational responses.

Related Article: Self-Renewal for Moms

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