The next time you punish your child for something, one question to ask yourself, is "how do I feel?" Are you a parent who would like to know why you cannot seem to get your children to listen to you after they have made a mistake or have done something wrong by breaking the family rules? Do you try to fix every problem as soon as it happens, on the spot, while still steaming with anger inside?
To become the best possible parents that you can to your children when they break the rules or make mistakes, you must learn to control your own emotions in times of anger, and avoid punishing your kids when you are upset. Of course it is understandable to want to take corrective action immediately when your child's mishap is fresh.
Attempting to correct a bad situation on-the-spot is something most people do everyday without even thinking about it, and more times than not it usually turns out even worse. As soon as somebody or something upsets us, we tend to spark right off about the situation without taking time to let the anger settle. People cannot be both rational and angry at the same time. Because of this, you must give yourself a cooling off period before making the attempt to help your child correct his or her behavior.
For example, if you are going to have a talk with your child about what it is he just did by mistake that upset you, then wait until you are calm and without any present-moment anxiety. If your child grabbed a glass of grape drink and spilled it on the carpet, then that exact moment is not the right time to start lecturing him for being clumsy.
On that same note, if you have a teenager that has arrived late for his curfew then it would be ill advised to launch yourself right into a tantrum of yelling and punishment the instant he arrives in the door. It is far much better to simply record your feelings with a look, or to offer support for your child's current mistake, and then, at at time when there is no personal investment in having to defend oneself, to have a talk about whatever it is that your child did that needs attention to. Wait until bedtime or the next morning.
We all want to be the best parents and do the best we can at parenting our children. By timing the talks about your child's poor behavior or mistakes so that neither you or your child is put into a defensive posture, you can help everyone concerned as well as eliminate those same old fights that would normally occur.