The Work-Life Equation Podcast Episode 17: Peaceful Parenting on Busy Workdays

A family before the working day begins

On this episode of the Work-Life Equation: Peaceful Parenting 101. We’ve all been there…the get-out-the-door chaos, the after-work frenzy, those toddler-parent moments when things just seem to go, “kaboom.” Is there a better way? Parenting expert and psychologist Jennifer Gillette says unequivocally…yes. She’s got the tips, tricks, and strategies to tame the tantrums and put what she calls Peaceful Parenting back into your day.

Show Notes for Peaceful Parenting on Busy Workdays

0:42 Meet Jennifer Gillette, founder of the The Loved Child / TLC Family Center, located in Belmont, Massachusetts, and learn about the mission and philosophy behind TLC.

1:57 Learn about three components of the Peaceful Parenting approach: 

  • Self-Regulating
  • Anger Management
  • Listening Skills

2:21 Read about Dr. Laura Markham and her book, “Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids.”

3:24 Try jumping jacks or another quick physical activity as an “anger management” tool.

3:42 Commit to special time every with your child to help prevent temper tantrums.

4:34 Use humor to get your child get through a tantrum or other challenging moment.

4:58 Offer your child choices, when appropriate, to avoid power struggles.

5:18 Get you and your child out the door in the morning with these tips from Jennifer on making the best of your time and untangling any knotty situations with your child:

  • Practice self-care and make sure your “cup is full.”
  • Get enough sleep the night before so you can feel rested.
  • Build in extra time for yourself in the morning.
  • Wake up 30 minutes before your child wakes up.
  • Prepare school bags and lunches the night before
  • Spend a little special time with your child before racing out the door.
  • Set up your house to help your be independent in the morning routine.

9:08 Build in extra time in the morning for mishaps, tantrums, and other issues.

9:50 Discover practical strategies for managing the inevitable morning mishap or a charged moment, and also learn about dealing with tantrums once you’ve left the house.

15:32 Conquer the evening routine (dinner and bedtime) by focusing on the positive moments and interaction you have with your children during that time.

16:02 “Feed the meter!” Before making dinner, spend a little quality time with your child.

16:50 Involving your children with the dinner process? Have something for them to do: a task, a chore, or even a sensory table for “pretend play” dinner making.

17:30 Keep weeknight dinner simple with prepared foods.

18:00 Set small goals for sitting down for family dinners. For example, start with Sunday breakfast and, over time, build up to a few nights a week, if that works for your family.

19:35 De-stress the bedtime routine

  • After dinner, build in quiet time to connect before going to sleep.
  • Prepare your child for the transition from dinner and quiet time to bedtime.
  • Be clever or fun to get your child to go the bedroom or bathroom, i.e., “Do you want to pretend to be a helicopter and fly upstairs to your bedroom?”
  • Acknowledge your child’s frustration that bedtime is, to them, another moment of separation from their parent(s).
  • Practice the bedtime routine during other times of the day, like a Saturday morning, using puppets, stuffed animals, or books to help illustrate.
  • Get buy-in from your child about what a successful bedtime routine looks like.
  • Build in time for common scenarios like “one more book” or “a sip of water.”

Resources related to Peaceful Parenting on Busy Workdays

  • Read more about how simplifying parenting can help reduce the stress at home on a workday.

  • Contact The Loved Child for more on parent-child classes, parenting workshops, and coaching.

  • Here’s a quick guide on how to incorporate positive guidance into your parenting style.

  • Our 2017 research on the Modern Family Index shows how mental load can make parental happiness difficult to achieve.

Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
A family before the working day begins