Telling myself to slow down, take a breath, and pay attention to how I’m responding is every bit as important as my daughter’s actions, I’ve found. Usually, when I slow down or step back, I can speak from a place of calm assertiveness, rather than anger, the results are much better.
Richards agrees that for her, taking short breaks, and removing herself from the situation has been crucial. Things like running an errand or going on a drive has often helped her to regain her own sense of calm, especially when her son was younger. “By the end of the day, my nerves were frayed and I was often in tears due to his ADHD," she said.
Instead of getting upset and losing it, Richards would go into her room and occupy herself by painting her nails or watching TV once her husband was home. The break helped her refocus.
Her son is now 16, but having time to herself is still important, and it’s equally important to her son, who often calms himself by listening to music and swinging in the backyard.