You spend an hour wiping the kitchen clean and walk in five minutes later to find your child in the middle of the floor, completely covered in flour.
Or you’ve had the roughest day at work, and now your toddler refuses to sit in his car seat. He screams, shouts and throws his dinosaur in your face. Then he starts to hit you.
You were already on edge, so after the fifth warning, you do what every parent does:
You raise your voice, and you use a tone that finally ends the wailing.
They stop crying, and you drive home, furious with the situation and guilty for screaming at your precious baby.
Can it be avoided?
Is there a better way to parent?
It turns out there is!
As Cool As An Inuit Adult
Believe it or not, gentle parenting isn’t a new style.
Jean Briggs, a 34-year-old anthropologist, learned of a similar concept of keeping your cool and not getting angry at kids back in the 1960s.
It was when she embarked on a 17-month trip to the Arctic Circle to live with an Inuit family that she observed their style of parenting.
She was intrigued by the Inuit’s exceptional capacity to control their anger in even the most challenging situations and mentioned her observations about them in her book, “Never in Anger”.
Parenting Without Screaming, How?
It’s not easy to be a parent. After an exhaustive day, children can find a way to really pull on that last nerve.
But by implementing these 5 Inuit parenting techniques, you can parent without losing your cool and then avoid that wave of guilt that comes later.
1. Harnessing The Power Of Storytelling
Don’t want your child to splash in the toilet bowl or touch a hot buring stove; make up a story that helps them understand the danger.
As Jean learned, the Inuit folks relied on the use of storytelling and play to teach their children important life lessons in a non-threatening manner.
This moderate method didn’t just promote the early development of emotional regulation and self-control but also helped them avoid shouting.
It also helps develop their thought processes and enables them to encounter what they may not have seen in real life—like a lake master who will drag them to the bottom of the sea.
Their stories, which have been passed down from their ancestors, are intended to guide children’s behavior and teach them important life skills. This way, they can consider the consequences of their decisions without experiencing them in real life.
2. Use Roleplays To Teach Life Lessons
You’ve probably done this, too, if you brought out a potty training Elmo to teach your child how to do his business.
Inuit parents prefer dramatic reenactments to raise emotionally resilient individuals. This unique approach helps develop emotional intelligence, teaches survival assistance, and enables the kids to think critically by providing them with problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Teaching through imaginative play is a great way to skip the scolding and help your child understand why it’s okay not to hit or bite his sister.
3. Use Non-Punitive Teaching
Inuits emphasize resolving conflict and seeking problem-solving skills rather than being punitive. They have a unique approach to dealing with anger and misconduct.
To foster a sense of compassion and consideration, they use communication. So next time, let your child calm down. Then, communicate with them and talk to them about the situation.
4. Teach Self-Reliance
Teach children to be self-reliant.
The Inuits have aced this. Not only are they very responsive to the needs of their kids, but they also teach them important survival skills like building, fishing, and hunting, which are critical to surviving the harsh Arctic environment.
5. An Upset Child Is Not A Bad Child
When it comes to raising children, it appears that Inuit parenting has a different paradigm. They never think of their kids as aggressive, hyper, naughty, or even bad.
Rather, they accept full responsibility for the child’s development. They understand that it is the parent’s responsibility to teach their children self-awareness and self-control.
In fact, it is when an adult screams, shouts or gets angry that it is considered a failure. They think it’s embarrassing. Because what they see is an angry person who is an adult throwing a tantrum like a child.
So maybe keep that in mind next time you are unable to self-regulate.
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This article was produced by TPR Teaching.