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Practice Not Perfect • Science of Parenting • Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Practice Not Perfect • Science of Parenting • Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 

This week our podcast shares the reality that sometimes as
parents we lose our cool. We’ll share how to get back and reconnect with our
children after our emotions get the best of us.

A Zero to Three National Parent Survey revealed that 40% of
parents reported they wished they could do a better job of not yelling or
raising their voice so quickly with their children. Of parents who say they use harsh punishment frequently,
77% share that they don’t think it’s one of the most effective methods of

Zero to Three also reminds us that sometimes we have a disconnect in our expectations and the child’s abilities. This ‘expectation gap’ may lead to frustration on both the adult and child’s part. The reality here is that sometimes as parents, our emotions become hijacked and our logical thinking goes out the door. When we find ourselves ‘flipping our lid’ it is important that we have tools in our parenting toolbox to regain our self-control.

Two tools that are referenced in this week’s podcast
include: mindful parenting (noticing our own feelings, learning to
pause, and listening carefully to the child’s point of view) and the 4 A’s
of Communication Recovery
(accept, acknowledge, apologize, adjust).

Remember, parenting is about our overall relationship with our child- and we talk about practice, not perfection. We know there is no such thing as a perfect parent but we CAN make a plan for how we will reconnect when our emotions get the best of us.

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Mother of three. Lover of all things child development related. Fascinated by temperament and brain development. Professional background with families, child care providers, teachers and community service entities.

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