And before you knew it, you were standing in the middle of complete chaos. Kids fighting, kids trying to grab your attention, too much noise, feeling like you are in the eye of the storm. Therefore, this technique is going to help you gain more control over situations that blow up sporadically, or if you have young children, as you well know, every 20 minutes. It’s easy to react and become emotionally involved. The real discipline is learning how to respond and this is where S. O. S. will help you.

Sound familiar? No doubt. Most parents are used to refereeing their young, but, if healthy rules and boundaries are not put into place and if you are not teaching your young to be considerate and respectful to one another, if you have kids that sometimes clash because their temperaments are so different, it is inevitable that you are going to be dealing with the bickering of siblings. The good thing is, when siblings squabble they are learning themselves about their relationship with one another and ultimately those healthy arguments lead to closer relationships between brother and sister. As parents, you want to make sure you are doing a good job instilling good values raising your children but, at the same time it is unhealthy to be hovering, jumping into every argument kids have as they need to learn how to resolve themselves as part of their own development. 9 out of 10, when these situations occur we as parents are tired, lacking patience, and stressed ourselves needing the noise to go away. All too easily, get hooked into the drama of situations only to then find ourselves in the middle of it all. So take a minute to think about first responders, fireman, paramedics; with their experience they come onto a scene and very calmly need to evaluate so many things in a blink of an eye and then make decisive decisions and follow through with actions that ultimately lead to saving lives. That’s a skill! While you might not be saving lives you are certainly saving everybody’s sanity by evaluating the situation, listening to both sides of the story and making decisions with how everybody moves forward. Please read below the method that will help you to do so, and improve your impulsivity where necessary.

Practice S.O.S.

  • STEP BACK Take a beat and take a breath and do not react (stepping back out of a situation refrains you from being reactionary) it is the physical stance that needs to be taken in order to do the next step. So, I ask you to physically do it wherever you are. Once you get really good at it you will actually be able to do it in your head. Which is what you see me do all the time with families.
  • OBSERVE and do exactly just that. Use your eyes to see what is happening, take note, use your ears to hear what is being said, take note, look around you and see if what you are hearing and seeing weighs up. Again, for this split several seconds it can to be easy to open your mouth and start talking and this is where it is going to take mental discipline recognizing that your mental observation will be needed in the next course of action. Think.
  • STEP-IN you will now deliver on everything that you processed in Observation. This is the step necessary that leads to resolution and decisive action that for example leads to one child immediately pacified, 2 children being brought together to listen to what you have to say, 3 children being brought together so that you can hear each one of them and decide the course of action moving forward. Whatever the circumstance, this is the step where you are proactive.

Repeating the above steps will help you to practice what is necessary for every parent raising children. It allows us to stay composed, it allows us to respond, it allows us to resolve. The art of being able to emotionally detach from the situation allows us to be the spectator watching the play from the stage above without hindering our natural knee-jerk reaction in hazardous situations. If applied correctly this technique will most definitely improve the whole family’s well-being.

Copywritten by Jo Frost

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The Thought Box Technique

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