Psychological Services of Pendleton, LLC

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The information provided in this section is intended for clients as an adjunct to their treatment at Psychological Services of Pendleton, LLC. It may also provide useful information to the general public, but it should not be considered a substitute for psychotherapy with a psychologist or other qualified mental health professional.

Parenting Fear and Anger Handout

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The Importance of Staying Calm

  • Anxious/angry parents model anxiousness and inappropriate anger for the child
  • Anxious parents are less likely to follow through on consequences
  • Angry parent/child interactions reinforce acting out behavior by the child (The Coercive Parent/Child Cycle)
  • Angry/anxious parents are easily distracted when trying to discipline

How to Stay Calm During Discipline

  • Rehearse what you intend to say ahead of time.
  • Take a deep breath before your encounter.
  • Keep your voice low and measured when talking.
  • Take your time in responding to your child’s comments.
  • Stay focused on the behavior goal (e.g., Homework first, Xbox later).
  • Anticipate the child’s reaction to your behavior (e.g., He’s going to blow up when he can’t find his Xbox).
  • Talk yourself through it (“I can get through this. If I stay calm she’ll calm down.)
  • Call in another adult to help.
  • Have an Exit Strategy.

Tools that Decrease Fear

  • Understanding the role of uncertainty: Just because it might happen doesn’t mean it will happen.
  • Identifying your “What if” thoughts
  • Realistically appraising risk
  • Decatastrophizing