I knew my son Noah had a Type-A personality just days after his birth. I was on the phone with my husband when I heard our 3-day-old infant cooing in his bassinet. As I walked toward the bedroom, his coos were replaced with grunts. I gathered him into my arms where he proceeded to angrily grunt at me, I assume because I took too long to pick him up. I thought babies cried, but no tears here. In baby talk, he was undoubtedly cursing me out. I knew then he’d be a challenging child.
And he is. His fuse is short, his tempers are loud and he is very, very active. Add to this a child who has always been in the 90th percentile for height and weight, who is accident prone (hello emergency room!), and competitive with a capital C.
You get the picture. I have my hands full. Remaining calm is a constant challenge for me.
One of the best tools I’ve learned is to identify a number between one and 10 on the “gonna snap” scale with 10 being the snappiest. If I’m at a “six” I know that I can bring it down by taking deep breaths or leaving the room.
Here’s another great tip from another mom looking to calm the storm in her home.
Parenting to Calm a Type-A Child
First I stopped yelling and remained calm. I established a new rule: no more yelling. Second, I took advantage of the eye of the storm and used descriptive praise with my daughter the minute she paused in screaming. “You’ve stopped yelling. Now we can talk,” I said. It took a few times for my daughter to believe that I wasn’t going to yell back at her, but perseverance paid off. Yelling is a rarity in our home now. Once I had a successful experience, it was easier to remain calm and generate many more positive outcomes.
When I tried this with Noah during one of his screaming fits, it caught him off-guard. He quieted down, and calmly explained his problem to me so we could work it out together. Score for effectively parenting the Type-A child.