Calm Parenting: Mantras

frustrated african american businesswoman with baby in office

Mantras are often cited as a good way to calm down in general. When I am stressed about anything, I repeatedly remind myself to, “just breathe, breathe, breathe.”

Targeted mantras can help in parenting. A mom, who had been working on potty training for weeks with her three-year-old son, reminded herself often, “no one goes to college not potty trained.” This helped her put the momentary frustrations in check.

Another mom reported she had a mantra only when her mother-in-law was in town. This mom said she would print out and tape on her refrigerator, “gnaw off their own arm.” I had to ask. She explained that no matter what her mother in law was doing that added frustration, her mantra would bring calm. It reminded her that, aside from her and her husband, grandparents are the only people in the world that would consider gnawing off their own arm to save her child’s life. She said this put the extra cookies and missed naps into perspective.

Your mantra might be general like, “I can do this,” or more specific, “tantrums will end.”

Author: Dr. Rene Hackney

With a MA in school psychology and a PhD in developmental psychology, I founded and work as a parent educator at Parenting Playgroups. Somewhere in there I trained in the Developmental Clinic at Children's NMC and in the public schools. I have two beautiful, funny children who make me practice what I preach most everyday.

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