Posted tagged ‘relaxation strategy’

Sharks In The Pool

August 24, 2010

I just read an EXCELLENT article in Psychology Today.  Author Kevin Arnold (Director of the Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy of Greater Columbus and a Clinical Faculty member in the Dept. of Psychiatry at Ohio State University) relates a bullying incident his kids were involved in at the public pool.

Its the kind of story we can all relate to- someone holds someone else under water, name calling, shoving, angry parents, older siblings out for revenge.  What makes this particular story so engaging is how Kevin handled the situation, taking appropriate action while still considering everyone elses point of view, their dignity, and his own emotions.


Calm Your Physical Reaction: When someone threatens your child, you will have a physical reaction. Your heart will pound, your muscles will tense, and your “father bear” reaction kicks in. When you’re upset, it’s easy to forget the opportunity you have to teach your children the skills they need. A “protection” reaction is normal, but losing control is not OK. My reaction was automatic, so I created an automatic counter-reaction. I concentrated on breathing to calm my body down. I took five deep and slow breaths, focusing my thoughts and counting out each breath. When bullying happens, parenting demands we be calm before we react. Breathing focuses your mind and will help you to remain calm. You can teach yourself to calm down if you practice this relaxation strategy whenever you feel that your children are threatened: breathe, focus, and count.

I encourage you to read the entire article.