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Level Up Your Parent Communication Skills #1: Slowing Down When Things Heat Up

You know when you sense an argument is about to spark off between you or your partner, things speed up, and the next thing you know you're trading barbs, quips, and comebacks?

In Level Up Your Parent Communication Skills #1 we (Alicia Wuth, PsyD, and Justin Wilford, PhD) are going to present the transformational communication skill of s-l-o-w-i-n-g d-o-w-n.

That's right, you don't need special training or credentials to completely change the dynamic of a triggered family interaction. You just need to know three simple letters B-A-M. Let's get into it 👉🏽

What does it mean to slow down?

It means that:

  • in the heat of an argument or meltdown, you don’t have to be armed with an immediate response;
  • a deep breath is almost always the right choice;
  • a moment of silence, while still remaining in connection, is soothing.

It doesn’t mean that just because you took a moment to be quiet, you’ll lose authority or control (with your child) or respect (with your partner). It actually means the opposite. It means that you’re ready to really connect with your child or partner no matter what’s happening.

Why is slowing down so powerful?

It might seem too simple to do anything. But it's a game-changer for three reasons.

  1. It gives you a chance to catch your breath and become aware of what’s happening.
  2. As you catch your breath and become aware, your nervous system calms down and this reduces stress hormones.
  3. In this more relaxed state you can start getting curious about why you’re triggered and why your child or partner is triggered. This curiosity changes your entire interaction with your child, and it will lead to greater understanding and deeper connection.  

So, how do you slow down in the heat of the moment?

Just remember to B-A-M: Breathe, Ask, Make room

B - Breath. When you notice you’re speeding up and getting triggered, take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth.

A - Ask. Ask your child or partner if it's ok to take a pause and slow down. You can say something like, “Can we slow down here? I feel like things are moving fast.”

M - Make room. When we slow down we make room for new options for moving forward. Slowing down isn't a pause so you can think of a really good comeback and way to win the argument. It's a way to totally change the dynamic of an argument by making room for new perspectives, new thoughts, and new feelings. You can begin by saying something like, “I’d like to slow down so I can think this through and connect with you about what's going on.”

From there you can start fresh or even take a longer break if you or your child or partner need more time.

Level Up Your Parent Communication Skills #1: Slowing Down When Things Heat Up

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Level Up Your Parent Communication Skills #1: Slowing Down When Things Heat Up

Slowing down our communications opens up space for us to listen to what our kids and partner are really saying. And it allows us to speak more honestly and clearly.

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You know when you sense an argument is about to spark off between you or your partner, things speed up, and the next thing you know you're trading barbs, quips, and comebacks?

In Level Up Your Parent Communication Skills #1 we (Alicia Wuth, PsyD, and Justin Wilford, PhD) are going to present the transformational communication skill of s-l-o-w-i-n-g d-o-w-n.

That's right, you don't need special training or credentials to completely change the dynamic of a triggered family interaction. You just need to know three simple letters B-A-M. Let's get into it 👉🏽

What does it mean to slow down?

It means that:

  • in the heat of an argument or meltdown, you don’t have to be armed with an immediate response;
  • a deep breath is almost always the right choice;
  • a moment of silence, while still remaining in connection, is soothing.

It doesn’t mean that just because you took a moment to be quiet, you’ll lose authority or control (with your child) or respect (with your partner). It actually means the opposite. It means that you’re ready to really connect with your child or partner no matter what’s happening.

Why is slowing down so powerful?

It might seem too simple to do anything. But it's a game-changer for three reasons.

  1. It gives you a chance to catch your breath and become aware of what’s happening.
  2. As you catch your breath and become aware, your nervous system calms down and this reduces stress hormones.
  3. In this more relaxed state you can start getting curious about why you’re triggered and why your child or partner is triggered. This curiosity changes your entire interaction with your child, and it will lead to greater understanding and deeper connection.  

So, how do you slow down in the heat of the moment?

Just remember to B-A-M: Breathe, Ask, Make room

B - Breath. When you notice you’re speeding up and getting triggered, take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth.

A - Ask. Ask your child or partner if it's ok to take a pause and slow down. You can say something like, “Can we slow down here? I feel like things are moving fast.”

M - Make room. When we slow down we make room for new options for moving forward. Slowing down isn't a pause so you can think of a really good comeback and way to win the argument. It's a way to totally change the dynamic of an argument by making room for new perspectives, new thoughts, and new feelings. You can begin by saying something like, “I’d like to slow down so I can think this through and connect with you about what's going on.”

From there you can start fresh or even take a longer break if you or your child or partner need more time.

You know when you sense an argument is about to spark off between you or your partner, things speed up, and the next thing you know you're trading barbs, quips, and comebacks?

In Level Up Your Parent Communication Skills #1 we (Alicia Wuth, PsyD, and Justin Wilford, PhD) are going to present the transformational communication skill of s-l-o-w-i-n-g d-o-w-n.

That's right, you don't need special training or credentials to completely change the dynamic of a triggered family interaction. You just need to know three simple letters B-A-M. Let's get into it 👉🏽

What does it mean to slow down?

It means that:

  • in the heat of an argument or meltdown, you don’t have to be armed with an immediate response;
  • a deep breath is almost always the right choice;
  • a moment of silence, while still remaining in connection, is soothing.

It doesn’t mean that just because you took a moment to be quiet, you’ll lose authority or control (with your child) or respect (with your partner). It actually means the opposite. It means that you’re ready to really connect with your child or partner no matter what’s happening.

Why is slowing down so powerful?

It might seem too simple to do anything. But it's a game-changer for three reasons.

  1. It gives you a chance to catch your breath and become aware of what’s happening.
  2. As you catch your breath and become aware, your nervous system calms down and this reduces stress hormones.
  3. In this more relaxed state you can start getting curious about why you’re triggered and why your child or partner is triggered. This curiosity changes your entire interaction with your child, and it will lead to greater understanding and deeper connection.  

So, how do you slow down in the heat of the moment?

Just remember to B-A-M: Breathe, Ask, Make room

B - Breath. When you notice you’re speeding up and getting triggered, take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth.

A - Ask. Ask your child or partner if it's ok to take a pause and slow down. You can say something like, “Can we slow down here? I feel like things are moving fast.”

M - Make room. When we slow down we make room for new options for moving forward. Slowing down isn't a pause so you can think of a really good comeback and way to win the argument. It's a way to totally change the dynamic of an argument by making room for new perspectives, new thoughts, and new feelings. You can begin by saying something like, “I’d like to slow down so I can think this through and connect with you about what's going on.”

From there you can start fresh or even take a longer break if you or your child or partner need more time.

You know when you sense an argument is about to spark off between you or your partner, things speed up, and the next thing you know you're trading barbs, quips, and comebacks?

In Level Up Your Parent Communication Skills #1 we (Alicia Wuth, PsyD, and Justin Wilford, PhD) are going to present the transformational communication skill of s-l-o-w-i-n-g d-o-w-n.

That's right, you don't need special training or credentials to completely change the dynamic of a triggered family interaction. You just need to know three simple letters B-A-M. Let's get into it 👉🏽

What does it mean to slow down?

It means that:

  • in the heat of an argument or meltdown, you don’t have to be armed with an immediate response;
  • a deep breath is almost always the right choice;
  • a moment of silence, while still remaining in connection, is soothing.

It doesn’t mean that just because you took a moment to be quiet, you’ll lose authority or control (with your child) or respect (with your partner). It actually means the opposite. It means that you’re ready to really connect with your child or partner no matter what’s happening.

Why is slowing down so powerful?

It might seem too simple to do anything. But it's a game-changer for three reasons.

  1. It gives you a chance to catch your breath and become aware of what’s happening.
  2. As you catch your breath and become aware, your nervous system calms down and this reduces stress hormones.
  3. In this more relaxed state you can start getting curious about why you’re triggered and why your child or partner is triggered. This curiosity changes your entire interaction with your child, and it will lead to greater understanding and deeper connection.  

So, how do you slow down in the heat of the moment?

Just remember to B-A-M: Breathe, Ask, Make room

B - Breath. When you notice you’re speeding up and getting triggered, take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth.

A - Ask. Ask your child or partner if it's ok to take a pause and slow down. You can say something like, “Can we slow down here? I feel like things are moving fast.”

M - Make room. When we slow down we make room for new options for moving forward. Slowing down isn't a pause so you can think of a really good comeback and way to win the argument. It's a way to totally change the dynamic of an argument by making room for new perspectives, new thoughts, and new feelings. You can begin by saying something like, “I’d like to slow down so I can think this through and connect with you about what's going on.”

From there you can start fresh or even take a longer break if you or your child or partner need more time.

Enjoying this article? Subscribe to the Yes Collective for more expert emotional wellness just for parents.

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