Who can argue that calm isn’t ideal in a family? We all get heated, adults and kids, and this heat rarely leads to good things. I’ve published some of Kirk Martin’s tips from Celebrate Calm before, and thrilled to see he’s publishing a book that dives deeper into some of his concepts for diffusing situations at home. Change Your Child Overnight By Changing Yourself First applies the tried and true principles Martin and his team have taught parents for years. Change the approach, and the reception changes, too. I asked Martin to share some best practices here at the Lounge, and he shared “10 Secret Phrases to Calm Any Situation.”
Martin believes in the power of words and our ability to choose the words we use. He explains, “Your words can inflame a situation like a match in a dry haystack. The flip side is that your words can calm almost any situation immediately.” He advises practicing these not guaranteed but potentially calming phrases to stop power struggles:
- I’m curious.
- I get that you’re frustrated. I’d feel frustrated too. (Practice acknowledgement).
- That doesn’t sound like you.
- I know that you know what’s wrong. And my assumption is that you don’t want to lose all your stuff. (Assume the best).
- You know what? I think you’re right about that.
- You’re not being defiant or bossy right now. You’re just overwhelmed. (Give your kids wisdom and insight).
- Thank you for sharing that idea. I have to go cook dinner, but if you want to catch me later, I’d be happy to share my thoughts with you. (Give kids space and ownership).
- I can imagine that it doesn’t feel good to talk like that.
- I am feeling frustrated right now, so what I really need is some space to work on my own frustration.
- I apologize. I was wrong. I think I misunderstood your intentions.
So, this is the short version for sure. Martin has some great explanations and strategies for families that are very much in sync with his Celebrate Calm approach. More on his new book, Change Your Child Overnight By Changing Yourself First, here.