“Reset” should have happened sooner.
Yep. Reset your kids. It’s something you can do. But first, the back story.
I’d struggled with my phone for days on end. Initially, the problem was wide-spread across several counties. For the most part, things got resolved but trouble kept happening with my phone. Sometimes it worked well, and other times it sputtered and resisted anything I wanted to do electronically. It seemed the wires were crossed and didn’t know what they were to do. Other times it seemed my phone knew what it could do, but didn’t want to cooperate, so it didn’t.
Finally in disgust, frustration, and desperation, I turned it off. I left it off for several minutes. Then I flipped the phone back on.
That bitten-into apple appeared on the screen as the circle went around and around. When it was completely on and booted, my phone cooperated. All the places I’d tried to log onto and couldn’t were now open to my navigation. Text messages that had been hanging out in frozen mode spun into cyberspace. I heard the swoosh of a message sent over and over as twenty-some messages left the screen and landed where they were supposed to go days before.
Wow, I thought, this phone just needed to be shut off so it could reset.
That was the problem. I’d threatened and cajoled, begged and wheedled, trying to get my phone to do what it was programmed to do. Sometimes it cooperated grudgingly, and other times it planted its feet firmly and refused to budge.
Maybe it was information overload, sensory overload, or just plain stubbornness. I realize my phone is not human, but what happened in my struggle was somewhat like dealing with people – especially children.
When you need to reset your kids
Honestly, it reminds me of raising kids – and family struggles. How many times we’ve begged and pleaded, tried one method or another, and continued to find a child (or several of them) uncooperative and determined to win the draw. Some of us tiptoe around our kids, doing whatever we can not to “set them off” so they won’t be upset with us. Sometimes we ignore a pending storm, hoping if we ignore it, it will simply go away. Sometimes we try to confront the problem, but find the way we handled it only made things worse.
There’s a way to handle kids in that pouting or belligerent mode, and that’s to “reset” them. I used to do this with our kids, and I’ve done it with foster kids. Most times, it works like a charm. There’s a way to reset your kids.
Sometimes we as adults could stand some “resetting” ourselves. Even our marriages can benefit from this! To reset is to simply shut things down and wait until all the wires and sparks are completely cooled off. When there are no sparks, there won’t be heat. If there’s no heat, there won’t be a fire. When the fire is out, it’s safe to resume.
How to reset your kids, a relationship, or a family.
Shut ‘er down. Stop prodding and pleading. End arguments by shutting your mouth. Don’t try to have the last word. Having the last word does not make a person the winner – it shows their stupidity. Just close the blinds, turn off the lights, shut the door, and walk away.
- Separate the supply. This means separate fuel from the heat and oxygen. Refuse to keep fanning the argument or the disagreement. Stop talking. You don’t have to have the last word. With kids, you put them in different rooms. Don’t allow them to talk to anyone (which is their method of drumming up support) until they are calmed down. By separating, you’re separating the antagonist from the protagonist. They can’t fight if they’re separated. It doesn’t mean they can’t learn to get along. It simply means that, for now, they’ve got to be shut down so they can cool down.
- Insist on rest. When the brain has time to rest, tempers will dissuade. Sensory overload is a killer for emotions. This can include electronics, physical fighting, emotional conflicts, or verbal sparring. When a child is separated in another room, he will have time for his mind to rest. When a mind is at rest, it’s harder to stay mad and frazzled. The red hot of overheated wires will cool completely when rest is enforced. Sometimes our bodies need rest. When we’re tired, our emotions more easily become frazzled. When we’re frazzled, we’re vulnerable. Physical rest allows the tension and stress to be dissolved.
- Test the coils for corrosion. When there’s corrosion, there will be a short. When a relationship experiences a short, sparks and tempers fly. Figure out where the corrosion is – and then take steps to clean the corrosion. Once you know where the problem is, you’ll know how to clean it.
“Reset” rewires and renews
I’ve been amazed at how resetting reduces fervor, tempers, angst, and tears. It brings calmness and healing to one’s soul. There were days I’d put a kid in each corner of a room with a book and instructions to be quiet for one solid hour. They weren’t allowed to talk to or look at each other. When the hour was up, absent tempers, relaxed facial expressions, and light in the eyes told me all I needed to know: it was a success.
Next time you’re frazzled, have a time for “reset”. Stick with it and don’t allow your kids to badger you out of it. You’ll be glad you stuck with it – and so will your kids.