10 Tips for Keeping Your Cool as a Parent

As dads, we tend to put so much focus (and much anxiety) over the big-picture obstacles and goals in parenting. But sometimes it seems like we handle everything like a big-picture issue.

We often forget how to handle the smaller, more immediate issues at hand. Or we blow them way out of proportion by handling them like the aforementioned larger issues. This can lead to unnecessary escalation, frustration, and anguish between us and our children, with very little productivity taking place.

We need to keep our cool in these moments. The issue may be a tough one, but the way we handle it as a parents can convert the outcome from chaos to crystal clear (or vice versa). Our dads have shared their experience through years of parenting, and here is what they had to say:

Take a Deep Breath
When you feel your frustration mounting, take a moment to pause and breathe deeply. This simple act can help calm your nerves and give you a moment to collect your thoughts before reacting.

Practice Empathy
Try to see the situation from your child’s perspective. Empathizing with their feelings can help you respond with compassion and understanding, rather than frustration or even anger.

Set Realistic Expectations
Recognize that parenting is full of ups and downs, and it’s okay to not have all the answers. Set realistic expectations for yourself and your child, and understand that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process for both of you.

Communicate Openly
Keep the lines of communication open with your child, especially during challenging moments. Encourage them to express their feelings and concerns, and listen to what they have to say without judgment.

Practice Self-Care
Taking care of yourself is essential for being the best parent you can be. Make time for activities that help you relax and recharge, whether it’s reading a book, going for a walk, or spending time with friends.

Seek Support
Don’t be afraid to reach out for support when you need it. Whether it’s talking to a friend, joining a parenting group, or seeking professional help, having a support network can make all the difference during tough times.

Focus on Positive Reinforcement
Instead of dwelling on negative behavior, focus on praising and reinforcing positive behavior. This can help build your child’s confidence and strengthen your bond with them.

Set Boundaries
Establish clear boundaries and consequences for behavior, and stick to them consistently. This can help provide structure and stability for your child, even during challenging moments.

Take a Time-Out
If you find yourself becoming too overwhelmed or frustrated, it’s okay to take a time-out. Step away from the situation for a few minutes to gather your thoughts and regain your composure before addressing the issue.

Forgive Yourself
Finally, remember that parenting is a journey, and no one is perfect. If you make a mistake or lose your cool, forgive yourself and use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

We all want to get it right the first time, but the truth is as our kids grow we’re also growing as parents. In moments of anxiety, frustration, and pure exhaustion we still need to remember the message we’re sending them by how we respond.

Keep calm and parent on!