Arguing back and forth with my kids makes me crazy and simultaneously breaks my heart. It really and truly does.
- PANIC that I am somehow losing my role as parent
- DISAPPOINTMENT in sinking to a (fight-flight-freeze) level that I didn't want to drop into
- DREAD that the fallout from the argument will take hours of my time to deal with (that I usually don't have)
- FEAR that I have damaged my relationship with them.
What we really want as parents is to just get back to inner tubing together on the river, baking the best homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe with them in the kitchen, or singing a duet while traveling in the car.
These are the cherish-able moments I signed up for and dreamed about when deciding to become a parent. This arguing business with my child? No thank you.
Regardless of our skill level surrounding conflicts/arguing, we can all learn to parent with a plan, instead of parenting from our current mood or energy level.
Having a go-to list of "One-Liners" to say at opportune parenting moments is a tool that helps to meet that goal and save your strength.
Currently in my home I am parenting kids with diagnoses ranging from ADD, dyslexia, Crohn's disease, PTSD, early trauma, and plain ol' everyday adolescence! I truly need all the parenting tools I can get!
As a Parent and Family Coach, I have helped other parents learn about and use One-Liners effectively as well. This series is a compilation of 15 of my favorite One-Liners.
Before you use One-Liners as a parent, caregiver, or teacher, it is important to emphasize that these are NEVER said in sarcastic or angry tones.
They are ONLY to be said after taking a deep breath and looking into your children's eyes with kindness, despite their current behavior choice.
"That's One Way to Look at It" is a One-Liner for you as parents to say when your child is:
- expressing views/strong opinions that differ greatly with yours
- saying things that are "triggering" to you personally (because of a negative past experience)
- assigning motives to you that aren't true (ie "you're just doing this because you love him more than you love me")
- using "fighting words" and you aren't interested in arguing with them (ie "you ALWAYS/NEVER ____").
When you say "That's One Way to Look at It" in a calm and respectful voice (absolutely no room for sarcasm), you give the opportunity for your child to learn that:
- it's true strength to AGREE TO DISAGREE
- it's possible to remain RESPECTFUL when you have a difference of opinion with someone
- it's important to THINK about what the "other" way to look at the issue may be
- the FOCUS can be on something other than who is the "winner" and a "loser" in this conversation.
A related or follow up One-Liner that may also apply to the above mentioned scenario: "I Love You too Much to Argue with You."
If you have any questions about how to use One-Liners in parenting or to begin a Coaching Group Class or One-on-One Coaching Program (online or in person), please click the blue bar at the top of this page (Schedule a Free 30 Minute Discovery Session with Hannah).
Up next in the One-Liners for parents series: "That's an After Question"
Catch up on previous posts in the series here (and scroll down).