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Don’t Get on That Train!


By with 65 comments

Upset mother keeping calm and standing at platform waiting for the train

Keeping calm can be one of the most challenging responsibilities of a parent. Children can often become distraught over seemingly minor incidents.

Yet while the incidents may seem minor, the emotions evoked often are anything but minor.

By remaining calm in these situations you can react better, think more clearly and be a source of strength for your children.

Often when children are upset they want you to share in their emotions to validate their own. They may be angry, sad, frustrated or impatient.

If their parent’s reaction mimics their own, that shows children that their emotions are an appropriate reaction to an event.

Keeping Calm Works

When your children are getting upset, it’s difficult to be the lone voice of calm. Children can try to bait you into reacting as intensely as they are feeling.

Children can be especially effective at knowing what buttons to push to get you upset. They probably know your Achilles Heel and want to aim right for it.

Don’t let them upset you.

You need to stay calm.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

~ excerpt from “If” by Rudyard Kipling

A dear friend of mine when I lived in England gave me the best advice I’ve ever received in parenting my girls. She had raised a daughter to adulthood and was raising two young sons adopted from Cambodia.

We had lunch one day after I had an argument with my oldest daughter who was then 12, about what I don’t remember, but I was upset. My friend Wendy told me,

“Don’t get on that train!”

She explained that children often ride on an emotional train.

“That train is a run-away train and they’re scared where it’s going to take them. They want nothing better than for you to hop on that train and start to guide it.”

How to Keep Calm

She advised me strongly to resist that urge to jump on that train. “Let the train pass by the station. Wave as it goes by, but stay on the platform. What ever you do, don’t get on that train!”

She continued her analogy by pointing out that the train was, after all, a runaway train, which is a very difficult machine to control.

If we stand on firm ground we are better prepared to deal with whatever the issue might be than if we are on a runaway train.

Keeping calm helps you stay on the ground.

It Works for Everybody

My friend gave me that advice when she knew I was headed into rough territory, having three teenage girls who were soon destined to become full-fledged teenagers.

But her wisdom applies just as well to interactions with co-workers, friends and customers. If you can keep your head while others are losing theirs, you will be better off.

Keeping calm gives you the advantage of having control over any situation.

Wendy moved back to America soon after she gave me that advice, well before my girls all reached their teenage years.

But, as a mom to three teenage girls, sometimes I wonder what I would have done without Wendy’s sage advice.

I probably would be on that train.

Over to you –

Would you also be on that train? Did your parents get upset with you when you were kids? What do you do when your children get upset? What do you do to keep calm? Share your experiences of keeping calm with children.

 

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos


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Avatar of Carolyn Nicander Mohr

About Carolyn Nicander Mohr

Carolyn Nicander Mohr is a mom to three teenage girls, including a set of twins. She shares her passion for personal technology with others through her website The Wonder of Tech, and The Philadelphia Inquirer website.

65 Comments

  1. Avatar of Harleena Singh

    Harleena Singh

    September 18, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Wonderful post Carolyn, and I welcome you as the first guest blogger for my blog too!

    I need to first thank you from the bottom of my heart to have reached out and made a special effort to offer to help me in my time of need – something that I can never forget. :)

    I know this isn’t much of your niche, but you’ve done full justice to the post. I’m glad you came forward and shared a part of your rich experience of raising three wonderful teenage daughters with all of us. They must be so proud of their tech Mom!

    And not to mention that you were one of the reason too behind starting guest posts on this blog, which I had in mind since a long time but was looking for the right time and the right reason to get started with. I’m glad that things finally took shape.

    Ah, now about the post, keeping calm is a “must” virtue of good parenting, and I’m sure everyone would agree with this.

    Thanks once again and I appreciate you a great deal. :)

    • Carolyn

      September 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Hi Harleena,

      Thank you so much for providing me with the opportunity to write for your readers. As you know, I am a big fan of you and your wonderful blog so I am very honored to be able to write for you here at Aha Now!

      I have thought of Wendy’s advice so often through the years, mostly with my daughters, but in other situations as well. I know writing about parenting is outside of my niche of personal technology, but with three teenage daughters I feel somewhat qualified to share advice on the subject.

      Staying calm while others are upset is truly difficult but very empowering. When you imagine that train passing you by, you may just be able to stay calm long enough to resolve the situation. I certainly hope that this helps your readers as I know Wendy’s advice has helped me.

      • Avatar of Harleena Singh

        Harleena Singh

        September 18, 2012 at 9:57 pm

        The honor is all mine Carolyn to have you over and share your expertise with my blog readers!

        Wendy’s advice is something that any of us can use in our daily lives, and with your teenage daughters, it must have been so handy. Staying calm is never easy and most of us tend to lose our cool so often, and overcoming that habit makes such a difference in relationships. And I loved the train analogy Wendy shared with you too.

        Thanks once again for being here, it is indeed a pleasure. :)

        • Carolyn

          September 19, 2012 at 12:50 am

          You’re very welcome, Harleena! I enjoyed writing on a topic different from tech for once.

  2. Mayura

    September 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Hi Carolyn,

    Patience… That’s a golden word for me. My father is quite hot tempered and sometimes scolds without a reason. As a reaction I learnt to keep calm and quiet to let it go away soon. But my brothers are different from me. They don’t wait for it and talk back again that he’s wrong. Then it spread like a fire on woods.

    On the other hand I think it’s something good that I can be calm and patient even as things get harder. I never talked about it and behaved as nothing happened. I had to :) I get angry deep inside myself but it goes away eventually. But I respect elders so I prefer not to be hard on ‘em unless it’s really killing me. Fortunately, I could bare all of ‘em. But now he’s not like that. Getting better with age I suppose.

    Some of my incidents in my life made me who I am :) In a good way. That’s why I always wanna be a good parent in future and a good son too. The advice is really great ~ “Don’t get on that train”. I’ve done that, but as a child. In my case I had to do that to control situation. But believe me, it’s kinda hard as a child. I think that’s a better option in most of situations and when it comes to parenting.

    Thanks for wonderful post for parents and for children too :)

    Have a nice week, Carolyn and Harleena :)

    Cheers…

    • Carolyn

      September 18, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      Hi Mayura, Wow, that is very impressive that you figured out how to “stay off the train” all by yourself as a child. I’m sorry you had to endure that anger as a child, but perhaps it better prepared you for life as an adult. The ability to stay calm in such difficult circumstances is a skill you will be in need of often as an adult.

      You will be a fantastic parent in the future, Mayura as you already have wisdom beyond your years. Many blessings to you and your family.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 18, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      You did learn quote a lot at that young an age Mayura, but that’s what made you who and what you are today. :)

      And yes, our parents do change with time. I have seen my Dad also mellow down a great deal after my mother passed away a few years back, and now he knows he has to take her place as well as be a father in our lives.

      Just as Carolyn mentioned, you are going to make a wonderful parent whenever you become one.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  3. Ruth Zive

    September 18, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    How lovely to see Carolyn writing about something different (than technology).

    I completely agree – and it is so, so, so difficult to remain calm under all circumstances. It’s definitely something with which I struggle. The runaway train analogy is interesting – but I have one concern. If your child is on the runaway train, and you hold back and wait on the platform, you’re still essentially standing by as they head toward a potentially fatal crash. Very tricky, the analogy notwithstanding. I think that resolve is critical and it has to be demonstrated within the context of measured calm.

    I have four teenage girls Carolyn…and one son coming up the ranks. I think I trump you :-) – though I still haven’t figured out the formula for success. It’s different with each kid!

    • Carolyn

      September 18, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      Hi Ruth, Yes, you have more experience than either Wendy or I do, but I think you will find that waiting as the station is preferable to getting on that train. If your child sees that standing on the platform is preferable to being on the train, she may get off at the next stop.

      Okay, apart from the analogy, staying calm allows you to think rationally and not get caught up in the emotion of the situation. You are setting an example for your child of how to deal with a situation using intelligence instead of out-of-control emotions.

      You’re right, it’s different for each kid, and I don’t presume to know the best answer for every child. But I know that staying calm when my kids are upset has prevented many a battle from escalating in our house.

      Best wishes for much peace in your house, Ruth. :-)

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 18, 2012 at 10:19 pm

      Absolutely Ruth, and it’s nice to see you as well!

      I always marvel at the way you manage your kids when I have a problem sometimes with two of mine. Keeping calm is something you must have learnt very early, though it is easier said than done.

      But just as Carolyn mentioned, it IS the only way that stops further arguments and problems within the house. I guess just like it’s said when there is trouble or problem, it always helps if either of the sides keeps calm. Let the storm pass and then discuss and resolve the issues. This is something I do when there’s problem with my teens too. Most importantly, children learn by seeing their parents. And this is exactly what they will do with their kids when they grow up.

      Yes, each child is different and so are the parents who have their own ways of dealing and handling their kids. You certainly take the cake here among all of us where the number of kids are concerned. :)

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  4. Punam

    September 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Well said!!

    It’s very important and as difficult to keep calm during such situations because the monkeyish mind always runs away and leaps onto that train, thinking of the worst possible situations and working every one up in the process..
    Ahh if only it was that easy!!

    • Carolyn

      September 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      Hi Punam, You’re very right, it is quite a challenge to stay calm when others around you are upset. That is why I think Wendy’s visualization technique works so well. Sometimes it helps to escape mentally and picture yourself elsewhere when life’s pressures are getting to you. Instead of picturing yourself in a relaxing place, picture yourself on that platform and hopefully you will be able to maintain your composure even when others aren’t.

      Good luck to you, Punam!

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 18, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      It sure isn’t easy to stay calm in such situations Punam, but this is the only way too. Our mind tells us to do things that we might know aren’t right, yet we do them. I guess Wendy’s analogy is a great help in such cases.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  5. Corinne Rodrigues

    September 18, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    This is wonderful advice, Carolyn and not just for parents. There are often people who will want us to ride that emotional train with them. We have to learn to say ‘no’ for our own sanity. I’m going to remember this phrase for a long time to come.

    Harleena, thanks for having Carolyn over on Aha-Now.

    • Carolyn

      September 19, 2012 at 12:52 am

      Hi Corinne, You’re absolutely correct. This advice works well any time you’re in a situation when others are losing their cool. For example, if a situation gets heated at work and you remain calm, you will win the respect of others over those whose emotions are out of control.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Corinne!

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 19, 2012 at 9:18 am

      It was my absolute pleasure to have Carolyn over at the blog Corinne!

      I knew she is a great Mom, beside being a wonderful person, and am glad she was the first one to guest author this post today. I also loved the train analogy and something that’s surely going to go down memory lane for years to come. :)

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  6. Mike Maynard

    September 18, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Hi Carolyn,

    Good advice. I had three phone calls from the Chinese students who were visiting me on Sunday. They were lost in the city. They are smart and so they found their way eventually. I later bought them mugs with the British slogan, “Keep Calm and Carry On” printed on them. :) One is still having problems cooking her own food, but managed a meal on the second attempt today!

    • Carolyn

      September 19, 2012 at 12:55 am

      Hi Mike, Lol, you’re right, Keep Calm and Carry On is a great way of putting it. How appropriate that I received the advice when I lived in England.

      I’m glad your Chinese students are managing so well. I’m sure they’re grateful to you for your help in getting them settled!

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 19, 2012 at 10:17 am

      Welcome to the blog Mike! It sure is wonderful to have you over. :)

      That sure was very thoughtful of you and am sure it must have given the students the message of keeping calm. I guess it does take time settling down, but eventually works well for those who are trying to get their way around.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  7. Praveen Rajarao

    September 19, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Carolyn – So nice to read an altogether different topic from your usual tech-stuff. You should start another blog soon for such wonderful topics.

    Yes, staying calm and being patient has helped me achieve peace in my daily life. I am also teaching the same to my daughter who sometimes doesnt understand the value of time and is always in a hurry. It pays well to be patient is what i say.

    Nice stuff Carolyn and congrats Harleena on opening up your blog for such awesome writers. Hope you have many more.

    • Avatar of Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      September 19, 2012 at 5:57 am

      Hi Praveen, I am glad you are able to find peace in your daily life through maintaining your calm. You’re right, it’s so very important and I’m glad you’re teaching your daughter that as well. Yes, it’s difficult when children are younger, but you are leading by example, Praveen!

      It would be fun to start another blog on a different topic, but I am afraid that would take away from my tech blog which keeps me quite busy. I am honored, though, to be a guest author at wonderful blogs such as Harleena’s and yours, Praveen. :-)

      • Praveen Rajarao

        October 3, 2012 at 11:25 pm

        I am just hoping that I can set the right example and my daughter can adopt 10% of what I am trying to teach her. That will be so much fulfilling for me. Thanks for your kind words too Carolyn.

        I just hope you keep writing such wonderful articles and keep readers like me engaged in thoughts.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 19, 2012 at 10:34 am

      I agree with you there Praveen! Isn’t she wonderful too where parenting is concerned?

      But just as Carolyn mentioned it would take her away from her tech blog, which is her baby. However, she is always welcome here to share her experiences and knowledge with everyone. It’s always a pleasure to have her over. :)

      Kids nowadays are always in a hurry and that’s where parents need to step in, just as you mentioned, to teach them to remain calm and be patient. I’m sure you must be doing a wonderful job of raising her with such lessons.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

      • Praveen Rajarao

        October 3, 2012 at 11:34 pm

        Ya right Harleena, let us hope she actually DOESNT open up another non-tech blog, so that we can have all her wonderful articles on our sites :-)

        Thanks for your words, let us see how much my daughter actually learns and remembers from what we teach!!!

        • Avatar of Harleena Singh

          Harleena Singh

          October 3, 2012 at 11:50 pm

          :)) That would be wonderful though – isn’t it? We would have more of her wisdom on our blogs too. :)

          I’m sure you must be a wonderful teacher cum parent to your daughter. :)

          Thanks once again. :)

          • Carolyn

            October 4, 2012 at 12:04 am

            Thank you, Praveen and Harleena! I will keep plugging away at my tech blog. <3

  8. Adrienne

    September 19, 2012 at 3:30 am

    Hi Carolyn,

    What a wonderful surprise to see you here at Harleena’s blog.

    Since I’m an adult and I don’t have children of my own, I can only think back about my own childhood. You know reading this post and thinking about the times with my own Mom, she was always calm. It didn’t matter how loud my sister got and trust me, she was the terror of the family, Mom always remained calm. She never yelled at her or raised her voice. Now my Dad was a whole other topic but my sister was a hand full.

    Knowing how the kids are today because I’ve witnessed plenty of instances, I don’t know if I’d be able to take your friends advice or not. Probably if I were a parent instead of a bystander I think I would handle things differently. Or at least I sure hope I would. Being the voice of reason you know.

    I know you’re a good Mom. Heck, you’re a great person so that goes over to your family life as well. I can see you as the voice of reason and always remaining calm.

    Wonderful post and great advice Carolyn.

    ~Adrienne

    • Avatar of Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      September 19, 2012 at 6:03 am

      Hi Adrienne, Yes, I was very honored to be Harleena’s first guest author here at Aha-Now. I think you have been an inspiration to her with your wonderful series of guest authors.

      I’m sure you live a very peaceful life , Adrienne, so aren’t around people who lose their cool. But you don’t have to be a parent to be faced with others whose emotions are out of control. I hope you never have to encounter such a person, Adrienne. If you ever do, I’m sure your mother was such a good example for you that you will handle the situation with grace and calm.

      Thanks so much for visiting us here and for your kind words, Adrienne!

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 19, 2012 at 11:07 am

      Glad you liked the surprise Adrienne, and yes, it’s an honor to have Carolyn over as the first guest author of the blog too!

      I think most Moms are calm and gentle and that’s what make them the most wonderful souls. My Mom was another one like that, though my Dad was like most men – a blend of calm and not so calm, but that’s changed quite a bit after she left us.

      I guess there is nothing better than keeping calm when everyone around you is upset, though it’s easier said than done. You do need a lot of patience and self-control, especially where kids are concerned. But that is what really does work. It did work for us as I saw my Mom and follow the same with my kids now.

      Thanks for stopping by, and just like Carolyn, you DO always inspire me in more ways than one. :)

  9. Michelle

    September 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    What a great analogy and wise advice.

    It’s easy to want to try to control the emotions but the best thing we can do is just stay calm and model for our children how to be in control and stop the crazy train.

    • Avatar of Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      September 20, 2012 at 1:12 am

      Hi Michelle, Yes, I thought so too when my friend Wendy told me about it. Visualizing that train platform makes it easier to keep calm when your kids are upset. By keeping your calm you set a great example for your kids and are able to react rationally to situations!

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      Nice to see you here once again Michelle! And yes, I think all of us really did like the analogy and advice shared by Wendy and Carolyn.

      Staying calm is the key under all circumstances, whether we have kids or not because that is what really is going to help maintain relationships as well.

      Thanks for stopping by. Always nice to have you over. :)

  10. Jodi Heal Now and Forever

    September 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Great advice!

    Don’t get on that train! It is a metaphor that is easy to remember and in remembering it, it makes the situation silly, less serious. “Waving goodbye”.. is fun. It helps a person step back and see the situation form a big picture view allowing them to act in the way that is helpful for all!

    Great post!

    • Avatar of Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      September 20, 2012 at 1:13 am

      Hi Jodi, Thank you ver much for your kind words. I am so glad you liked this post. Harleena was very kind to allow me to publish my article here.

      I like your idea that it’s silly. You can even tell your kids that you will be staying at the station so they can visualize the silliness too!

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      Absolutely Jodi!

      I think most of us could relate to the lovely title Carolyn has given this post – it kind of a phrase that hard to forget once you know about it. And yes, kids can well relate to it too once you explain it to them in this way.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  11. Debbie

    September 19, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Hi Carolyn and Harleena,

    Very good, calm is the way to be. When i was raising my 3 girls (who were 2 years apart 13-15-17) it was very important to stay calm. One thing that I always did was learned to say, “I’ll be right back.” I would walk away and think about the situation and then return and ask them to sit down and talk about it.

    Now as a grandmother I find it is easier dealing with kids, because we have had some practice and learned the patiences along the way. We also have learned what is important and what is not going to make a difference the next day.

    I know what battles to pick and what battles you don’t want or need to pick.

    Thanks again and love the run away train example.
    debbie

    • Avatar of Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      September 20, 2012 at 7:59 am

      Hi Debbie, That’s such a great idea. Leaving the scene of the emotional turmoil can be a very effective way of calming yourself and your kids down. You’re right, picking your battles is so very important. Some issues don’t matter so much so if you can give in on those you will be better off when it really does matter.

      I don’t have grandchildren yet, but I look forward to having that perspective, with Harleena’s guidance, of course! :-)

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 20, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      That’s another great way Debbie!

      To walk away when things turn sour, or doing something totally different to divert your mind from losing your cool and keeping calm works wonders. Yes, at times I just head over to my laptop and start working or writing something to divert my attention and remain calm, though just as you mentioned, we must come back and resolve issues once things are calm.

      Just like Carolyn, you too had three teenage daughters to handle, which surely isn’t easy. I can well relate to that having just two of them! After being such a wonderful mother I’m sure being a grandmother that your kids and grandkids must be looking up to.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your wisdom with all of us. :)

  12. Amandah

    September 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Wow! This is synchronicity at work.

    I’ve been feeling HIGH anxiety for the past few months. My life has been turned upside down since 2010. But I now realize I need to get off of the train and allow my sister and everyone else figure it out. It’s time for me to let the train pass me by. It’s not my job to ‘fix’ everyone or the world for that matter. I need to start living!

    P.S.

    I don’t have kids of my own, but I have a niece and nephew living with me. To stay calm around them, I’ve been meditating, walking, and saying prayers. I also got a massage and bought an aromatherapy mist. I’m willing to try anything.

    • Avatar of Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      September 20, 2012 at 8:03 am

      Hi Amandah, Wow, yes, I know what it’s like to live in turmoil, when you feel as if you’re stuck on that train with no stops on the horizon. But yes, if you can get off that train and take a deep breath, that may help you more than you think.

      I love how you’re taking care of yourself with meditation, prayers, aromatherapy and other methods for relaxing. You are important and those acts of self-nurturing will definitely help you cope. You will be a good example for your niece and nephew as you show them that you matter.

      Please continue to take good care of yourself, Amandah!

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      I can well imagine all that you are undergoing Amandah as you mentioned in an earlier comment.

      It surely isn’t easy to keep calm when kids around you can drive you nuts! But I’m glad you are managing so well, and yes, meditation, walking, even yoga are known to help to calm the nerves.

      I guess what works best is not to really take things to heart or take them too seriously, which being a kind of parent you might be feeling is your responsibility. Just breather free as they say. :)

  13. Lisa

    September 20, 2012 at 2:15 am

    Great advice for many of life’s situations and not just for children. When one stays calm it can calm others around them and make a situation not seem so frightening. It can sometimes even change the outcome.

    Love the way people can vision not getting on the train to stay calm too.

    Very well written Carolyn!

    • Avatar of Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      September 20, 2012 at 8:06 am

      Thank you very much for your kind words, Lisa. You’re right, this tip is very effective for all situations where people around you are getting emotional. You’re right, by staying calm you may be able to affect the outcome of a situation by staying calm. You may also earn the respect of others by maintaining your composure.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      Carolyn surely did share some wonderful advice with all of us Lisa.

      And yes, it’s just not for those who have kids, but for all of us who need to remain calm in many cases where otherwise we might lose our cool.
      You are absolutely right that when we keep calm and composed, it positively affects all those around us. Great point!

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  14. ntathu allen

    September 20, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Keep calm and carry on…often a challenge yet when i am calm it makes such a differences and takes heat out of any situation. In fact when I am stressed my girls are quick to point out when I am ratty and snappy to say to me Breathe, calm down….makes me smile to see them say that. Great post. Thanks

    • Avatar of Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      September 20, 2012 at 8:07 am

      Hi ntathu, Wow, your girls sound very wise to be able to help you cope with stress. That’s great that they sense when you’re stressed and offer advice on calming down. Breathing is a skill that too often is overlooked. Well done to your girls!

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 20, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      I know it’s easier said than done Ntathu – but it does work wonders too – isn’t it?

      I guess your girls surely know how to relax and calm you down – commendable indeed because most kids really know how to upset you – not calm you down! And the meditation and yoga that you are so good at must be making a world of difference too.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  15. Amandah

    September 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Thanks Carolyn!

    I’m learning a lot, especially from my nephew. He doesn’t let anything or anyone bother him. I think he’s made out of steal or something. Yesterday, he gave me his point-of-view on guilt, and I couldn’t believe the words coming out of his mouth. He’s only 16-years-old, but he’s wise beyond his years.

    • Avatar of Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      September 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      Hi Amandah, Excellent point. We can learn so much from children, it’s great that you give him the respect to value his opinion. Just be mindful that kids who seem to have a steel exterior might be upset on the inside and not be showing it.

      Many blessings to you and your family, Amandah!

  16. Amandah

    September 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Thanks Harleena!

    These past two years have been a roller coaster of a ride. I’ve been listening to Pastor Joel Osteen’s podcasts, and he says the same thing as my mom, “Let it go. Stop dwelling on the past and quit asking why.” This is easier said than done for me because I tend to gravitate more toward my left brain for problem solving instead of my right brain. I’m doing my best to just breathe and to take a more creative approach to life’s challenges and obstacles. I’ll write about it, someday. :)

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 20, 2012 at 7:48 pm

      You’ve surely undergone a lot Amandah, and am sure it’s made you more wiser and stronger too.

      I agree, it is easier said than done and no one would know what you are undergoing better than yourself. But then this seems to be the only way to keep calm and cool too. You are doing a commendable job in raising your sister’s kids and am sure they would always be grateful to you for doing that once they grow up.

      Would love to read about it someday too. Thanks for stopping by. :)

  17. June

    September 21, 2012 at 4:58 am

    I wish I had read this post yesterday, it would have stopped me getting on that train. I’ve got an 18 year old daughter and we don’t always see eye-to-eye. We had a disagreement last night and we ended up getting angry with each other. I should know better, especially after the article I wrote on my blog about teenage daughters and mothers. But I was tired, she was tired and we were both frustrated about other things. We allowed a mole hill to turn into a mountain.

    But like you said, you can’t control a runaway train. Once that anger starts to run away, it’s extremely hard to control it. So it’s best not to get on the train in the first place. That is excellent advice and I will make sure to remember it next time I feel myself losing my temper.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Avatar of Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      September 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      Hi June, I completely understand. It’s very difficult to maintain your composure when others are losing their temper, especially your children! I hope this article helps you in the future to keep calm.

      Many blessings to you and your daughter, June!

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      I too wish the post would have come at the time you needed it most June. However, I’m glad that you found something of value from it, which would help you later I’m sure.

      It does happen sometimes when we have so much on our mind and then to deal with our kids, especially teenagers – it is never really easy, more so when an issue is raised for nothing! I guess as parents we need to understand that they too need their slot of time and understanding, but it’s not always possible too.

      Oh yes – Carolyn’s advice is something that all of us need to follow and nip the anger in the bud, which would help the situation from aggravating.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  18. Louise Page

    September 21, 2012 at 5:31 am

    Hello all :)

    Just a quick note to say this is an important message (the post being commented on) to help parents manage potentially difficult situations.
    One important ‘thing’ which our teens/children can learn from our calm and controlled reactions to some challening scenarios is building their own self management (feelings, behaviour etc.) and control of reactions/responses to situations which may distress them.

    I have assisted my teens (and others) to gradually (as they grow), as best they can, to assess the perceived emotional impact (and importance to them) of a possibly upsetting ‘event’ and aim to respond in a way that is commensurate with such perceived ‘threat’ to their feelings.

    Sometimes there will obviously be some ‘instant’ ‘situations’ where such a thought process is not the first response and the ‘express’ train is rattling down the track.

    So basically, my message here is that how we respond (our behaviors, emotional display etc.) is what/how we teach our children to potentially respond react to ‘situations.

    Though, some teens who are seemingly displaying calm control (maybe to help others around them not worry for them) may be experiencing a war of emotions within. Truly understanding your teens body language, emotions, perceptions etc., is an important key to helping them really manage emotional responses to ‘things’.

    Best wishes to all, Louise ;)

    • Avatar of Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      September 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Louise, Excellent point! By keeping calm we not only diffuse situations but are modeling behavior for our children as well. They can learn to stay off the train if we show them how it’s done. Being a teenager isn’t easy so the better we equip them to deal with their emotions, the better prepared they will be for the real world.

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment, Louise!

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Welcome to the blog, and glad you liked the post Louise!

      You are absolutely right about our own kids and teens learning from our behavior, which would help them in theirs once they grow up. I guess they learn best by example and if we as parents can become their role models, especially where dealing with anger management is concerned – nothing could be better.

      You’re already doing a wonderful job to manage your teen and others deal with their own emotions, which is a vital aspect for all parents. Yes, sometimes it’s not always possible, but if we make the efforts we do get someplace.

      You raised a very important point about some teens who might display a calm composure, though might be experiencing a turmoil within. I guess they do this to keep others around them at peace and show that they are calm and alright, which might not be the case. Such kids, on the long run, do more harm to themselves internally as they aren’t really able emote their feelings.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

      • Louise Page

        September 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm

        Thank you for the welcome and kind words ;)

        Sometimes that appearence of calm composure is also possibly one not wanting to expose their actual inner fears, turmoil etc.. They may feel that if they expose such feelings, they may get embarrassed or may think they will be ridiculed for showing actual fear, nerves etc.

        Cheers and best wishes all ;)

        • Avatar of Harleena Singh

          Harleena Singh

          September 24, 2012 at 8:31 pm

          Absolutely Louise!

          Kids, especially teens, do need to be handled with care.

          Thanks :)

  19. Sylviane Nuccio

    September 22, 2012 at 2:17 am

    Hi Carolyn,

    Sorry for being a bit on a late train here. I know about Harleena’s two posts a week now, but I simply missed it somehow. But as they say, better late than never :)

    Children tend to pick on their parents emotions quite a bit, and I don’t have to have children to know that, I remember ME well enough and how I would take after my mother’s emotions.

    As adults it’s our job to be as calm as we can and kind of low key any type of situations as much as possible, so the only option the child will have is to calm down and cool off.

    Happy first guest post, at Harleena’s :)

    • Avatar of Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      Carolyn Nicander Mohr

      September 22, 2012 at 6:34 am

      Hi Sylviane, You’re not late at all, you’re always welcome to join in the conversation here at Harleena’s place, right, Harleena?

      You are so right! Kids certainly know how to get under their parents’ skin. They know just the buttons to push to get their parents angry. If you don’t get angry, then you take your kids’ power away, which will be very effective in getting them to comply with you.

      You may not have kids, Sylviane, but you sure know how they think!

      Thanks so much for coming by to share your thoughts with us, Sylviane!

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      September 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      You’re never late Sylviane, and just as Carolyn mentioned, you are always welcome to join in anytime! This train is going to always wait for you. :)

      Not a problem about missing the posts – this time they were twice a week. I was actually debating about whether I should write a post about the recent changes about two posts a week or not, so that people would know about it. But I guess they would have known with Carolyn’s wonderful post here.

      Yes, kids are always ready to pick on their parents emotions, though as parents we need to keep calm, which again is easier said than done. There is no other way that really works. It’s best to openly explain or start a conversation with your kinds, when your kids have calmed off because that’s the time they are more receptive to what you have to say.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  20. Dee Ann Rice

    October 15, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Carolyn,

    What a great analogy.

    I never thought of parenting in terms of getting on the same train your children are on or not but, it really makes sense.

    I would have to agree intellectually with you that getting on the train full of emotion and upset people is not the best thing to do.

    I think I am pretty good about that when it comes to dealings with other people.

    When it is my children though I am not so good. I tend to get emotional and I know that is not the right thing to do.

    I have 5 children and 2 teenagers left at home. It does not seem to get any easier after having been through the teenage years 3 times.

    I will have to think about this post the next time my son gets upset and I am tempted to get on that train with him.

    Thank you for the insight.

    Dee Ann Rice

    • Carolyn

      October 16, 2012 at 1:32 am

      Hi Dee Ann,

      Don’t be too hard on yourself. I think kids tug at our emotions more than anyone else, including our spouses and parents. That’s why I thought Wendy’s advice was so very relevant to parenting. The advice applies to other situations as well, but when you’re a parent, well I think that’s when you need it the most.

      I hope you do keep this in mind the next time one of your kids gets upset and that this advice helps you achieve a calmer home. Once your kids realize that you won’t get on that train, maybe they will stay off it too!

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Absolutely Dee Ann!

      Carolyn has really given us so much to think in her wonderful post – isn’t it?

      We tend to get on the train and don’t really realize where we are headed. Yes – with other people we tend to play our cards well, but with our own kids things turn different. I guess that’s because we want to discipline and parent them in such a way that they turn out to be good adults, which is not the case with other people.

      Parenting is no easy task, and I often marvel at the way you manage your job and raise your kids too, which is commendable indeed.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I’m glad you could find value in the post. :)

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