Why your parenting classes aren’t working

Child covering her ears with parent in background

Once upon a time my stepkids accidentally spilled my morning coffee. 


I felt a little annoyed, but just calmly asked them to clean it up….I knew they obviously didn’t do it on purpose


{that’s what the parenting manual said after all: be polite, and respectful!. Ask for help, calmly). 


But then they proceeded to completely deny any wrongdoing. 


And so naturally, being the perfect, never-lose-my-temper stepmom that I am…I forgot about my parenting classes.


I lost it and started raising my voice at them. And demanded they clean it up. 


Naturally, my stepkids just kept denying it and started yelling back. 


Finally, I got so mad…I couldn’t even speak to them anymore, and just sent them to their rooms 


{which in hindsight was probably for the best for all parties involved 😂 }


That morning, I fumed on the inside as I drove them to school. 


But in all my outrage… I realized I was forgetting something – and it wasn’t in the parenting manual. 


I was simply forgetting that parenting isn’t so much about WHAT to do…but more so HOW we do it. 


Lots of different parenting approaches work, but none of them work 100% of the time, and sometimes kids just won’t listen. 


And when that does happen, HOW I handle my OWN anger at that moment is the most important thing. 


Regulating my own anger is what makes it possible and easy for me to keep trying different parenting approaches…

AND…when I’m calmer, my stepkids are WAY more likely to lower their own defenses and listen. 


It’s simply how we are wired as humans. 


So I came up with a game plan for myself – 


Whenever I would feel that anger rising in my chest, I decided it was no longer an invitation to freak out. 


Instead, I made it my cue to pause, take a deep breath, and remind me: 


Freaking out doesn’t solve this. Being calm is the only way to encourage more cooperation. 


And so I started putting this into practice daily – simply noticing my anger, and reminding myself that being and REMAINING calm is the only way to get any resolution. 


Over time, I noticed that when my stepson would take 30 minutes to get out of bed on a school morning, or when my stepdaughter refused to fold her clothes…


I’d just take a deep, remind myself not to yell, and figure out the next best step. 


And it started to feel easy to have a calm conversation with them about what was really going on…most of the time. 


And eventually, they’d do what I’d asked them to do…most of the time. 


And when they didn’t, it felt so easy to just calmly state the consequence, and move on with my day.


I simply needed to practice the simple, doable steps to managing my own emotions, which is always the most important part.  

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.

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