1. Adopt a calm demeanour (will elaborate on this below). It doesn’t have to be who you are or what you’re feeling. It’s just a demeanour. If you’re stressed, yelling, losing it, the kids are going to focus on that, not rules or anything else.
2. Pick just 1 rule and 1 consequence for every member of the family (refer to my “3 Step Parenting Plan” (below) for this.
3. Follow through with the rule and consequence 100%. If you mess up, start again and pick another rule and consequence.
The point of this is to win one battle, just one. Once you master that, the next ones get easier.
What are the best battles to start with? The ones that are measurable and daily. They could be bedtime, mealtime, etc.
Let’s eIaborate on your calm demeanour. It’s along the lines of “fake it till you make it”. Once you start to see results with this new you, or this pretend new you, it will start to become genuine.
When I first started working with troubled teens I’d make the inside of my cheeks bleed chewing on them trying to stay calm. I knew those kids were testing me but I’m still human. I knew that the quickest path to getting positive results was always to stay calm under any circumstances.
I really lost it once with a troubled teen. He was into cutting and had suicidal tendencies. He said I may not see him the following week as he wasn’t sure he wanted to be around anymore. I grabbed him and growled, “If you kill yourself I’ll kill you!” He thought that was pretty funny and our sessions continued the following week.
I hope this helps,