As winter begins, those of us here at the Science of Parenting are snuggled deep in our blankets and sweaters. Realizing that most of you probably are too, we decided that it might be a good time to revisit the idea of Stop. Breathe. Talk. With winter break upon us, a multitude of people inhabiting enclosed spaces and perhaps even getting on each other’s nerves.
Full disclosure my children are all at home and currently not speaking to each other for this very reason. I decided that not only could I implement Stop. Breathe. Talk. myself (model it for my children), but I could also actually TEACH them the technique. I realize that yes, my children are teens and are better able to understand and logically (sort of) think through the process, but honestly even when they were younger I utilized the technique as well. It just didn’t have the NAME then. It is always OK to help a child at any age learn to stop and take a deep breathe to help calm them down.
Stop. Actively recognizing that the situation or current moment has to change. This is a conscious decision to change the direction of thoughts, emotions and behaviors. We just plain recognize that something right this second has to change. And it starts with us.
Breathe. Literally showing them the biggest deepest breathe you can (because they need to SEE you do it) can slow their heart rate (and yours) in a way that can begin to cool down the intense moments.
Talk. Finding and using the calm, cool, collected voice also helps to reduce the tension in the shoulders and jaw allowing the opportunity for our face to show a sense of peace.
Guidance and discipline, when intentionally planned in thought and action, can be effective for your family. Remember to look through our guidance resources on the science of website parenting to see how you can be purposeful with your child. Also check out our resources for parenting teens. In the meantime, Stay warm, and happy holidays!
This blog was originally posted on 1/30/19: Help! We Are All Inside- Together.