Keep Calm and…

I have found the secret to dealing with the emotional intensities of my children, while attempting to deal with my own emotional intensities. Remain calm. There it is, folks! Problem solved. You are welcome! Stop laughing. Stop throwing things too!  Okay, I admit, this was probably not a big secret to you. I also admit, that it is way, way, way, way, way the heck easier said than done.

I continue to struggle with this, but I have noticed that dealings with my daughter and my son continue to improve the more I practice. By “practice” I actually mean “rehearse.” My husband and I will actually have rehearsals Much like King Fergus and Queen Elinor do in Pixar’s “Brave.”


Odds  tend to be more in favor of our kids overreacting to being told to get their chores done, or even being asked if their chores or homework has been done, or having the answer “no” to a request, so we prepare ourselves. My husband is better at this than I am. I have a tendency to physically feel the negative energy created by their responses and my body translates that as pain. It can get to the point where I just want to curl up and take a nap instead of dealing with things. Sometimes I take that nap. Sometimes I forget my resolve and let myself get drawn in to my own emotional overreaction. But lately, I’ve been taking the advice from the old British WWII poster that has become a popular meme in the last couple of years:

I acknowledge that when one is on their Very Last Nerve, this advice can feel trite, perhaps even to the point of feeling the need to slap the advice giver. No? Okay, it’s just me, then. There is no such thing as a cure-all that completely eradicates overly intense outbursts. What I have noticed is that sometimes when I have managed to remain calm during someone else’s outburst, sometimes they manage to calm down on their own a little quicker. Even if they don’t, at least we don’t have two people allowing the negative effects of their emotional intensities to get the best of them.

Keep Calm and Practice On!


Author: Donna Leonard

I like to write, read, knit, crochet, watch movies, watch way too much television, listen to music and play Drawsomething 2 somewhat obsessively, not necessarily in that order. You can find my irregular blog at: 3 kids: Twenty-three-year-old boy/girl twins, and a thirteen-year-old girl. 3 cats: fourteen-year-old female, three-year-old female, and a two-year-old male

3 thoughts on “Keep Calm and…”

  1. Well said! We have the same experience in our home. Do you ever see yourself going down that emotional reaction road from a distance like watching a car accident happen!? Noooooooooooo…..! I try to think of myself up in the clouds looking at the drama below instead of being involved in it.

  2. “Odds tend to be more in favor of our kids overreacting to being told to get their chores done, or even being asked if their chores or homework has been done, or having the answer “no” to a request…” <—-This is my life. Sigh. I also remember being THE EXACT SAME WAY as a child; and yet, watching my child reacting in the same manner just pushes me over the edge. I don't know what would have helped me deal with the frustration as a child myself, and I certainly do not know how to help my own child deal with it now. Keeping calm is the only tactic that protects both parties!

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