Clear and concise communication is an essential component of any relationship. In parenting, it is especially important because there are often two different pathways of communication: one with your child and one with the child’s other parent. When differences of opinion arise staying clear and concise can become even more difficult.

Alexandra started middle school this year. The youngest of our three children, we’ve done this middle school thing a time or two before. But this time has been different. Alexandra has never had challenges with school even though skipped kindergarten and is a year younger than most of her classmates. But this year, the level of responsibility, the complexity of the workload, and her lack of organization skills collided. In a major way.

These 3 small words can help you keep your cool in stressful situations. #emotionalintelligence Click To Tweet

For the first time ever she’s being challenged ways she can’t handle. At first, I didn’t understand what the problem was. I put it off on her being lazy and careless, wanting to rush through her work. So when she couldn’t answer simple questions about assignments she’d missed I lost it. I mean complete and total nuclear mom meltdown. It was awful.

After I calmed down I committed to never have an episode like that again (it was THAT bad y’all). I pulled out all my life coaching skills and used the moderation techniques I teach my clients on myself.  These three small words will help you keep your cool when dealing with tough situations.

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Words To Keep Your Cool: HALT

Yes, halt as in stop. Basically, you want to stop your self from making any decisions or saying any words that can never be taken back in the heat of the moment. When you are emotionally triggered your brain is functioning in survival mode. You are literally operating on instinct and adrenaline.

To keep your cool, stop and don’t make any decisions when you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Take a moment and a few deep breaths to decide if you’re in the proper frame of mind to continue the communication.

Words To Keep Your Cool: THINK

Emotionally intelligent communication considers how your message will impact the person receiving it. Despite how the saying goes, broken bones heal, but harsh words can wound very deeply.

So now that you’ve halted, you must think. Are the actions I am preparing to take or the word I want to say True, Helpful, Informative, Necessary or Kind? If the answer to more than one of these is no, don’t say it. Words can never be unspoken and their impact can never be unfelt.

Words To Keep Your Cool: BLISS

Here is where I made my biggest mistake. I was not considering Alexandra’s feelings. My sole focus was on her intellectual and not her emotions. I neglected to consider how the emotional impact of these challenges was impeding Alexandra’s ability to perform. And when I lost my cool she didn’t feel safe sharing her struggles.

Strive to create an environment where your loved ones can experience BLISS™- Being Loved In a Safe Space.  When everyone feels safe, happy, and healthy it’s easier to discuss problems and challenges.

How do you keep your cool in stressful situations? Drop a comment below and share your tips.