The other night my husband and I were at a loss on how to help one of our children. After days of disobedience and disrespect, our patience was wearing thin and our words were getting louder.
We discussed—at length—our frustrations and moments of impatience we each had with our child. The conversation didn't seem to be posing any real answers and listening to each other's stories only seemed to be making the emotions grow.
We came to the conclusion that we were going to let him know the punishments he deserved. Before we left our room, we decided to kneel by the side of the bed and say a prayer.
After the prayer was over, hand-in-hand we walked upstairs. Each step we took our anger seemed to fade away. By the time we reached the room, our energy had calmed and neither one of us said any of the things we had planned.
We shared some of our concerns, mapped out our expectations, and then spent the rest of our conversation building up our child.
A conversation that could have been filled with blame and anger, turned into a discussion about how to help unify our family and empower our little one to want to obey.
That night we talked over what we had done differently after our prayer, than we had previously mapped out to do before. We decided that we were blessed to remember the three C's.
So what are the three C's?
The first is _consistency_.
Human beings love to know what to expect. We all do better with a line that tells us where we belong, an expectation set in advance, and boundaries for behavior.
Children are no exception to this. In fact, children without consistency have a much higher rate of disrespect and disobedience. Kids who have consistency usually fair better in emotional stability and obedience.
We could see the many areas where our lack of recent consistency had contributed to our child's current state of instability in behavior. We decided that to help change our children's struggles, we were going to have to first analyze our own.
For us, staying calm isn't always easy. Unsolicited opinions, back talk, and disrespect trigger in us—as parents— a feeling completely opposite of being calm. Something I sure didn't think about when my children were small was the fact that they would someday have their own opinions.
Staying calm in our communication is the best way to get others to be able to hear what we are saying—without any negative emotion attached to our words.
A calm energy invites others to want to be close to us, and work with us in our desires. Staying calm is not always easy, but defiantly a more productive energy to have when sharing expectations for consistency and behavior.
The third C is _caring_.
When others know we care, they feel important. Fears of inadequacies are calmed, beliefs of self-weakness are made small, and self-confidence is strengthened when we feel that we have someone who believes in us.
A lot of times the fear that is triggered—when someone is coming down on us—is the fear of our mistakes being the reason we will not be loved. Our defensive reactions are a mask of a fear of our beliefs. Anger, as an emotion, is usually triggered by fear. It is magnified when that fear feels under attack.
So why do we need to use the three C's? Can we really make a difference for other behaviors by the way we interact, appreciate, and communicate with them?
With consistency, calm, and caring we will better be able to communicate. When we communicate properly our relationships are more meaningful. When our relationships are strong, we are better citizens in our communities, better employees or employers at work, and better leaders in our own life.
So, communicating with the three C's isn't just about showing our children a good example full of love, it is putting our foot forward in a world that has been content with being stagnant. We can make a difference by being the difference.
Ashlee Birk is the author of The Moments We Stand, the blog and book series of her healing journey after the secret infidelity and murder of her husband in 2011. Graduate of Utah State. Mom of six. Contact themomentswestand.com www.themomentswestand