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My 3-year-old is eating peanut butter toast with banana for breakfast (his request), and we are officially running late for preschool. We need to get in the car soon if we want to miss the morning traffic, but he has decided that he no longer wants the food that he begged for two minutes earlier. What started off as a relatively calm breakfast has turned into a battle of wills.

"You're going to be hungry," I say, realizing immediately that he could care less. I can feel my frustration rising, and even though I'm trying to stay calm, I'm getting snappy and irritable. In hindsight, I can see so many opportunities that fell through the cracks to salvage this morning, but at the moment… there was nothing.

Nothing I could do to stay calm, nothing I could do to get this tiny human to eat his food. Tantrums all around.

And all I could think was here we are again. I had crossed the tiny invisible line between calm, positive parent into frustrated and angry mom-mode. I was triggered.

If I had taken just a minute to pause and calm myself down, we might have had a different outcome. If I could have just put my agenda aside for a second and validated the feeling that he was experiencing—to respond to his needs instead of reacting to his behavior—we might have made it to preschool on time.

Ask any mother what virtue she wishes she could multiply, and chances are she will say "patience." Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. The single most challenging thing about positive parenting is being able to keep our reactions under control despite being exhausted, annoyed and triggered.

But the reality is this: The same self-regulation that my 3-year-old needs to learn in order to stop himself from having a tantrum is the same self-regulation that I need to learn to avoid yelling at him.

So what is the secret to growing in patience and the ability to regulate yourself as an adult?

A whole lot of self-reflection.

Identify what kind of behaviors provoke the most anger from you, and think about why that might be. Then find whatever it is that helps you calm down in the midst of a heated moment. This will be different for everyone; it could be taking some deep breaths, stepping away from your child, or taking a break.

Another way to stay centered is to have some go-to parenting mantras to remind you of the big picture goals you have for your children.

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Here are 10 phrases to help you stay calm when you're on the verge, mama:

1. "Our relationship is my #1 priority."

It can be easy to be overwhelmed by the many day-to-day demands of motherhood and lose sight of our main goal: connecting with our children. Children who behave poorly are often children who are feeling disconnected from their parents. If we aim for understanding and focus on the relationship with our child, their behavior will follow suit.

2. "This is not an emergency."

Another phrase for "slow down, mama." Unless someone is in physical danger, it's genuinely not an emergency. We put so much pressure on ourselves to do it all. But at the end of the day, the way you interacted with your child is so much more important than whether or not you made it to preschool on time.

3. "I can't win her heart by force."

I can force my child to do a lot of things because I'm bigger and stronger, but I can't win her heart by force. I want my child to remember my gentleness. My child needs to know that I am on her side; that we make the team. And if my goal is to win my child's heart, I must make empathy and compassion my first priority.

4. "I'm bringing the calm here."

Self-regulation is still very new for your little one, so in the midst of their struggle, you are the only one able to bring peace to the storm. This is the most crucial reason why we need to be able to stay centered with our children because they can't do it without us.

5. "All feelings are okay."

You are open to all the feelings your child can feel. Learning how to self-regulate and become emotionally intelligent is a process that involves your child practicing different ways to cope when he is feeling overwhelmed. By staying calm, you can help your child channel those emotions into appropriate ways of acting.

6. "I can only control myself."

Your child is their person. They have their own fears, insecurities, doubts, and pain. Just because it seems like your child's tantrum is happening over something as seemingly simple as peanut butter toast, it is really about much bigger feelings that they can't articulate.

7. "He's just a child."

Children are loud, impulsive, and a little wild sometimes. If I had a nickel for every time that I was triggered by my child just being a child! I love this simple reminder that I can't expect my son to act like an adult.

8. "It's not supposed to be easy."

With social media continually depicting other people's "picture perfect" lives with their children, I'm here to reassure you that motherhood is not supposed to be easy. The early years of parenting are probably the hardest thing you'll ever do. Stay the course; it's okay that it's hard.

9. "We are moving on."

It's easy to harbor feelings of resentment and frustration over your child's behavior long after the tantrum is done. A really important part of restoring peace in your home after a meltdown is reminding yourself that the only way your child can behave better is if they feel better. Be able to forgive, move on, and start fresh.

10. "It won't always be this way."

When you are in a dark season, it can feel like the struggle will always be there. But if one thing is for sure it is this... the tantrum will end, the house won't always be this loud or this messy, and you will eventually sleep again.

How reassuring and heartbreaking it is to know… it won't always be this way.

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These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

It's 2020. The world is changing. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few months into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2020 (so far):

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