Taking time to think through our choices, not doing the first thing that pops into our head is a lot easier for us to say than for us or our children to do. When I ask our students if they have ever said something or done something that after it was done or said – they wish they could get it back, because they knew it was not a good choice, virtually all of them said it had happened to them before.
Our behavior and words are ours and only us as individuals can control our behavior. Unfortunately when our emotions are high either in anger, frustration or excitement we do or say something that doesn’t work out well and we suffer the consequences.
For adults and our older students we are suggesting the STEP method of training ourselves. (1) STOP. take a break, step away, take some calming breaths. (2) THINK. what are some solutions I might take. (3) EVALUATE. for each solution we come up with ask, is it safe, is it fair, will it work? (4) PROCEED make a choice of a solution that meets the requirements and take action. Ask yourself, Is there any better solutions?
For our young students we talked to them about our brain being like a stop light. If we just GO without stopping first things might happen that would not be safe or fair. So when we are angry, sad, excited or impatient we want to Red Light – STOP and think Yellow Light – Slow down and think what are my solutions? Green Light – choose one that you are willing to accept any consequences and GO!
Using this with our children is an example of emotional coaching, guiding our children to discover answers within themselves versus us telling them “Stop behaving like that.”
How can we help you? Our classes, coaching or advocacy work will give you that extra voice in helping your children learn these important skills.