Honestly sometimes I have to repeat in my mind, "I am the grown up, I need to act like an adult!" Because heaven knows sometimes the eye rolls and back talk make me want to lose my mind. But that never works well, it doesn't build a relationship or teach them anything. The only thing I have control over is my response to then...period
A response to me is quite opposite of a reaction. Reaction is immediate, those impulsive knee jerk thoughts in my head. Those thoughts aren't wrong, but we must realize we have control of them and what we do with them. A response is a choice to take those thoughts and practice the pause. We can choose to act calmly, LIKE AN ADULT. We are the ones with the big juicy, fully developed brain. Our kids don't have that brain. We can model for them what it looks like to have self control and what to do in the heat of the moment. What to do with frustration and anger and impatience. Modeling how we respond to negative situations is one of the best life lessons we can teach...all without lecturing them.
Is this easy? NO! Is it possible? YES! It takes work on yourself, it takes self control. An example of this is when your teen (or younger kid) talks back and you want to snark right back at them with sarcasm, practice the pause and try this phrase (calmly and without snark), "Why don't you try saying that again? Let's have a do over." We allow lots of mistakes at our house and have lots of do overs...honestly I need them as much as my kids most days! Show grace, work on staying calm and be the grown up!