• People Before Problems
  • Relationships Before Rules
  • Values Before Valuables
  • Making Memories Before Messes
  • Babies Before Business
  • Humor Before Hassle

Paul: It's not the first time we've taken this one on, Vicki. How often does this come up for us?

Vicki: All the time, I think.

Paul: We get requests. We get comments. We get people asking all the time “How do I control my temper?”

Vicki: Yes. Because parenting is such an emotionally charged and important thing we do and so when we lose our temper, well, nobody really wants to do that. They don't want to be the parent with a bad temper. So, let's give parents some steps.

Paul: People before problems. One of my colleagues told me recently, “Paul, every problem that we face is a problem with thinking,”

Vicki: Okay.

Paul: Now, he's a psychologist so of course he's going to go that direction. But you know what? As I've thought about it, I think he's probably right. Every problem we face is a problem with thinking. If I lose my temper with my child, what is it that I'm thinking about?

Vicki: There is usually a thought that brought about that emotion.

Paul: Yes. And I'm probably focused more on a problem than I am on this little person. Babies grow up to be actual people. They actually are already people. Put the people before the problems. Now, we still have to deal with the problem but the people are more important. People before problems. Do you like that?

Vicki: That's a good one.

Paul: Give us another strategy.

Vicki: Another one is relationships before rules.

Paul: The same kind of an idea.

Vicki: You know, we have rules. I mean everything we do runs by rules at some point or another. Relationships with people are more important. If you remember that, you are going to show up in your reactions and your behaviors and the way you show up in your interactions with them differently.

Paul: At the risk of giving you permission to rescue your children from natural and logical consequences, there will be times when the relationship with your child is going to trump whatever rule you have in place. And I'm thinking of a father I was working with. They had a rule that you had to be home by 10 o'clock or whatever it is. His daughter came in at like 10:30. She had some story. You know, if you to break a rule, there's always a story about it. So, she shared the story and it was probably even a pretty good story. Now, this dad was in a position, “Do I enforce the rule? Do I come down with the consequence?” Well, he made the judgment call in that moment to honor the relationship with his daughter before the rule. And I can't remember all the details about that. But the point is you've got to make that judgment call.

Vicki: I think even remembering the relationship before rules, you still might side on the rule side. But you've taken the time to think it through and how the relationship is affecting you or how it might affect the relationship. So, just keep the relationship before the rule.

Paul: Honor that first. While we're on this theme, how about values before valuables?

Vicki: Okay. You know what I like about this these 6 strategies for controlling your temper with your children are really great strategies to enjoy life.

Paul: Good point.

Vicki: So, values before valuables, talk to me a little bit about that.

Paul: We got stuff, right? And sometimes, we get really uptight about our stuff. I'm thinking about a friend of ours whose child went around the baseboards of a public building with a marker. –

Vicki: Oh, just recently. Yes.

Paul: Now, you could really come unglued about that because the valuables –the property has been damaged, right? Or the child breaks something. Well, kids are going to break things from time to time. Just plan for that, put the values before the valuables. The values of family and relationships and what this child's experience is going to be. And it's not that the valuables aren't important.

Vicki: No. But think of the value instead of just getting upset and that is all the kid remembers. What if they remembered the family got together and they cleaned the boards. They were together, they showed that you work, you fix your mistakes. You move on.

Paul: It became a learning opportunity for this child and for the whole family to come together. Yeah. You know what I'm remembering a song by Michael McLean. He's one of my favorite songwriters and he just captures some of the human element. And in this particular song, it's about turn him around. The most ordinary moments in life, you can turn him around and create an extraordinary experience in the example that came from the song was a mom who had dropped a pie in the driveway coming home from the grocery store just honk. And the kids are all watching mom like, “Oh, no. Here it comes.” Right? And mom just silently went into the house and they're wondering, “What's going on?” Well, she comes back out with forks. They sit down on the driveway and eat pie. This is what we're talking about values before the valuables.

Vicki: And that one leads really well into our next tip as well. Making Memories before messes. You know…

Paul: You know, that was a good example right there.

Vicki: Right. You are making a memory. There are all kinds of messes and sometimes when you lose your temper it just makes the mess worse. So, let's make some memories from the messes instead.

Paul: Stay tuned in also to your power to create a mess.

Vicki: Yeah. You know it's amazing how we can make things so much worse by our attitude towards our kids. They might not even see how it's affecting or that it could be bad until you come unglued and then it just becomes horrible.

Paul: Reminds me of a quote from Jeffrey R Holland. He said… I believe the quote was something like this, “There is no situation so bad that complaining about it won't make it a little worse.” How about this one? Babies before business.

Vicki: I like that.

Paul: Hey, babies don't keep.

Vicki: They really don't.

Paul: And by business, we can expand that, okay? You know all that stuff you got to get done and you can't get it done because of the babies? Babies before business. It's almost like a business owner who complains that he can't get anything done because of all these customers. Babies before business. Focus on those little ones because they don't keep. And this is their childhood. Connect with that. This is their childhood.

Vicki: I think about that a lot. They are only going to have one year of being 7, let them be 7. Let them be 7 and enjoy it. And do as much as you can to make memories before messes and put the babies before the business. You know, there was actually a time when I literally probably dusted the whole house twice a week. I'm not going to say how often I do it now.

Paul: Not that often.

Vicki: It goes into the month part instead of week part. And you know, sometimes at some point, I just realized I was driving myself crazy trying to keep up on all this. When the kids were doing other things. It was… And I honestly, I asked one of our kids, “Did your mom have much dust in the house?” They absolutely didn't know.

Paul: They don't care.

Vicki: They don't care so much. I mean obviously we want to have a healthy environment. But babies before business. The final tip at this time is humor before hassle.

Paul: Wait, we have a choice?

Vicki: Yeah. You know, it actually reminds me of one little situation I remember one time. You know, I have 3 boys and a little girl and piles of laundry in the hall. And I was just like, “Holy… Mmm-hmm.” I remember I said to you is like, “Job security.” At least I'll always be needed.

Paul: That's a great example of humor before hassle. Most of the things that irritate and annoy us are the very same things that people are clicking on YouTube and Instagram because it's funny. When you're not in the middle of it. Again, this gets back to what I said right out of the chute, Vicki, that every problem that we have is a problem with thinking, and if you ask yourself, “Where is the humor in all this?” I guarantee you are going to be able to find something about it that's humorous, that's funny. And the more we can laugh at ourselves in our life, the less hassle we're going to feel. Humor before hassle.

We hope that you're finding these videos helpful. There's so much more that's available to you as a positive conscious parent. If you haven't yet checked out the Parenting Power-Up, we've got 18 mini lessons in that Parenting Power-Up. We also have a program where you can talk with a member of our team about how we can help to assist you with the most important job of the world. Go to www.drpauljenkins.com/breakthroughcall.