Love is the most positive force in the world. We should use it even when we have strong negative feelings. Times are tough right now in 2020. The world as we know it has shut down and we must learn to be with one another in different circumstances. We thought it would be over in a couple of months, but now it is looking like it will be a year or more before things could change. Even then things will probably never go back to completely the same. There are positive things that have come out of 2020 and the biggest one is holding onto and leaning into loved ones. We are slowing down and having to revisit how our space together in our homes look and how to incorporate those we love who cannot be near us in it. Through these changes of time together, anger can be a feeling we are visiting more often. It is frustrating when we do not have control of our world, so it becomes easy to lash out. There are times like these that we need to revisit strategies on what to do when things are tough. Well if we turn to the lessons of love, we will find the answers.
1. Love is patient, gentle & kind.
Sometimes we must remind ourselves that yelling is not okay or an act of love. Something must be going on if you are shouting. It is time to reflect the stressors in your life and find ways to make things better. Many times, it is because we are tired, or a big problem has occurred in our lives that we may or may not be able to change anytime soon. Take time to take care of ourselves first, so taking care of others is a joy. We want to be generous loving parents. We can only get it right if we take care of our well-being.
2. Love hopes for all.
Say it out loud to others around you about not shouting at one another. Be the emotional and physical safety that your family needs. Calm feels safe for everyone and a child will learn strategies by watching and listening to you. It is good to talk about strong emotions out loud. Children need to see you have them too and how you are coping with them correctly. Be ready to help the child where needed as well. Listen first and help where needed. As children get older, listening is more important and telling is less. They will figure things out on their own as they know the values of the family and talking out loud helps the thinking happen. There is hope when there is a safety of being there for one another even when things are tough.
3. Love will bear hardships.
Have an exit strategy. Talk about this out loud to your children. When you get upset, they need to know you have coping skills on what to do next. No one should be communicating when feelings are on high. It is better to stop, take a breather, and calm down. This could take an hour or more and that is okay. If it becomes a regular thing to find yourself in these big emotions, you may need outside help to work through your thoughts and feelings. Also, know that adults and children need time outs. You need to know when you need a break from you daily life. You may just need a drive to a favorite local spot, or a walk outside. Take breaks regularly from those you love, especially if you are together all the time. Seek help if unable to control anger. Choosing love will get you through these difficult times in a healthy way.
4. Love is generous and celebrates others.
Apologize for angry behavior. This shows respect to others around you. You have taken the time to put their feelings above yours and make it right. When you love someone, their feelings should matter. We also need to remember we are human and there are times we get it wrong. Life gets stressful and sometimes we can reflect and change how the stress is affecting us. Other times we must learn to cope the best we can while things are tough. So, take time to think of others and put them first when you can.
5. Love will comfort.
Write down your thoughts. This is good for the adult and the child. Reflecting how you feel and how things went are a great everyday strategy. You do not have to do this on paper, but it is helpful on those days when there are big emotions. It gives you a chance to look at what went well, what did not, and what you should do next. You can share these ideas or choose not to. Children should be allowed this same option of this sharing privacy. Leave learning lessons for when things are calm, during the reflecting stage. Comfort from one another will bring peace, warmth, and love to a family.
6. Love believes in the best for all.
Avoid yelling as a communication strategy. Kids will be kids and push buttons. They are not always in control of their feelings at any stage, and need help redirecting. Remember they are immature as kids and they are trying to figure out how the world works. They want to have things go their way and they need the right strategies to get it done. Give empathy and respect to help navigate their emotions but know you will always get childish behavior along the way. Stay the adult and self-regulate your feelings while navigating how they will regulate their feelings. If you can manage your emotions, you can manage your behavior. Role modeling is huge. When they see what you do, they will too try the same methods. We will not get it right every time, but we can reflect and talk with our families about what went wrong and right and then make it right. Families are a team and should work together as one.
7. Love should protect one another.
We need to set limits calmly and clearly. Let us do this by overseeing our emotions so we can set the tone right away. We must remember we need to think about what is best for everyone. Take an outside approach and ask yourself what a parenting coach would say. Things to remind ourselves are love shows we do not always have to be right. Love shows a behavior might be a sign of “I need help”. Love reminds us to be helpful verses react to the emotion. Love reminds us children still need guiding parents at all ages.
The lessons of life are to lean on love as it endures through all. Yelling is hurtful and scary. Even if it seems the child does not respond. Your child may turn a deaf ear to listening and will less likely behave at any given time because negativity feeds negativity. Love is a positive way of living. Chose creating a family atmosphere of comfort, encouragement, and helping ways. Life does not always go the way we’d like, so work together through love to get it right.