Before all else, breathe! – Positive Parenting an Emotional Child

Strategies for Remaining Calm - An Everyday Story

Positive Parenting Strategies for Remaining Calm - An Everyday StoryOne of my good friends reminded me of something I had written on the whiteboard inside my pantry. BREATHE!

Jack is an emotional boy. He feels others’ pain so deeply. Sometimes his emotions are so intense and raw that I feel at a complete loss. I feel like I am somehow failing; that I should be able to do something, but I just don’t know what.

After one particularly challenging morning I wrote the following on the whiteboard inside my pantry. I wrote it there to remind myself.


Calm down

Acknowledge his feelings

Set the limits

Give him choices within those limits


and repeat…

This became my mantra until I knew it off by heart. Before all else, BREATHE!

~ Janet Lansbury and the work of Magda Gerber have been profoundly influential in our parenting journey. I am thankful for their guidance on a daily basis. 

5 Replies to “Before all else, breathe! – Positive Parenting an Emotional Child”

  1. I “Breathe” a lot too! I must write this on my chalkboard!

  2. A good reminder! Just slowing our own response can make a world of difference huh 🙂 A friend says ‘Before you get angry, get curious’ – i find this helps too!

  3. I love this Kate. Thanks for sharing! Do you go into the pantry for a little ‘time out’??
    I used to go into my store room ‘to get something’ when I was teaching and have a silent scream or just 30 seconds to myself!! Compose myself and come back at ’em stronger and better than ever 🙂
    Thanks for sharing x Jack is such a wonderful little boy 🙂

  4. Janet M Matthews says:

    I like to remember “person first” philosophy. Such as a child who is emotional. Person first helps one to breathe.
    I also like the comment above, “Before you get angry, get curious.”

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