One of the most common complaints I hear from women in a post-divorce or single parent household is about the chaos.
The screaming, the yelling, the crying, the fighting. The general unruliness of the pitchfork and torch wielding angry mob of children. (ok so you only have one child, it can seem like a lot more sometimes)
I’ve seen it in person. I’ve seen it on shows like “Super Nanny”. I’ve seen it on Dr. Phil. I’ve read about it in my textbooks. I learned it from my therapist. One simple answer…
Calm the f*ck down.
Sorry to be so brash but it had to be said. A person can set the tone of how they want a conversation to go or how they want to be treated. Especially with children. They’re like emotional chameleons. You know how it is when a toddler falls down and goes boom and immediately looks at you? We all know that if you get a look of fear and start screaming “Oh my God Skippy, are you ok?”, that child is going to start wailing like their right arm was just cut off. BUT, if you put a quick smile on your face and say, “Oh whoopsie! It’s ok! You’re all ok!”, that child will get the stunned look off their face in a second or two, get back up and go back to taking a dump in their diaper or whatever it was.
It’s the same with chaos. If you’re kids have done something they’re not supposed to or just getting a bit wild… don’t start screaming and yelling. That just escalates things. Calmly take charge, separate them, do whatever you do, but do it calmly and with authority.
Same goes for adults. If something has been bothering you and you need to discuss it with your ex, approach it calmly and non-accusatory. If you come at someone with guns drawn, they’re going to come back at you with guns drawn. Maybe even bigger guns than yours. Use that old crap that therapists always say, start out explaining your issue with “I feel” instead of “you do this and it sucks.” You’d be surprised what explaining things does to a situation.
If you are calm, people around you will be calm. It’s really as simple as that. I know it can be really hard sometimes to not keep from screaming, stuff builds up. But don’t do it to the kids. Go out and sit in the car and scream for a minute. Go to the gym and work it out. Go in your bedroom, scream into a pillow or punch the bed… better yet record the audio of that and play it for your friends, they’ll be jealous because they think you’re having wild unbridled sex. Double win! Just remember like the title says, “Don’t start none, won’t be none.”