056: The Transformative Power of Calm in Your Parenting

Picture of hosted by Penny Williams

hosted by Penny Williams

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In this episode, I'm tackling a questions I get from parents all the time… how to stay calm when your child is having an outburst or a meltdown. There are a couple tricks that helped me gain control of how I stay calm and respond in these moments. I've shared both these fundamental pieces, as well the real transformational power remaining calm has for your child, for you, and for your entire family. 


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“Kids do well if they can.” — Ross Greene, Ph.D.

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If you enjoyed this episode, please share it. Have something to say, or a question to ask? Leave a comment below. I promise to answer every single one. **Also, please leave an honest review for the Beautifully Complex Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and appreciated! That's what helps me reach and help more families like yours.

I'm Penny Williams.

I help stuck and struggling parents (educators, too) make the pivots necessary to unlock success and joy for neurodivergent kids and teens, themselves, and their families. I'm honored to be part of your journey!

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About the show...

I'm your host, Penny.

Join me as I help parents, caregivers, and educators like you harness the realization that we are all beautifully complex and marvelously imperfect. Each week I deliver insights and actionable strategies on parenting neurodivergent kids — those with ADHD, autism, anxiety, learning disabilities…

My approach to decoding behavior while honoring neurodiversity and parenting the individual child you have will provide you with the tools to help you understand and transform behavior, reduce your own stress, increase parenting confidence, and create the joyful family life you crave. I am honored to have helped thousands of families worldwide to help their kids feel good so they can do good.

Listen on Apple Podcasts  |  Google Podcasts  |  Spotify  |  iHeart Radio

Share your thoughts.

  • My son is autistic and recently diagnosed with ADHD and prescribe medication he is 6 years old I am very scared to start the medication on his age ,I feel he is too young and doesn’t want him to give any chemical …but he really needs help do you have any idea?

    • The appropriate age to start ADHD medication depends on the level of struggle the child is enduring. My son started ADHD medication at age 6. He was really struggling at school and was side and defeated all the time. We had been trying to help him in other ways and it just wasn't enough at the time. Medication made a huge difference for him.

  • I understand about remaining calm and emotionally disengaging in the moment and have been practicing this for quite some time. My question is: After the crisis has passed, how should one emotionally re-engage? I find that difficult to do at times.

    • You may need a break from your child to get over it. It's really hard to not be emotional about it. And, when I advise to detach emotionally, I don't mean from caring that the situation happened and that your child struggled, but that you can't take their words and actions as a personal attack on you. So take a little break if you need to. Then, go to your child and try to do something together to reconnect in a positive way. It could be “hey, let's have a cup of hot cocoa together.” Doesn't have to be intense of elaborate. Just a few minutes of calm together.

  • I love your podcast and feel so grateful to have found it. I have five kids and my two oldest boys, ages 9 and 6, have ADHD. (As does my husband.) I have been listening to your podcast for the last month and applying the things I have learned is helping immensely. I am also a huge fan of Dr. Ross Greene and my husband and I went to see him present in person in Boston back in October. I love that you support his work as well. I especially love this episode because as I have been much more intentional about remaining calm when my kids are having a hard time, I have seen a big difference. And I love how the things you said in this episode are a great reminder to me about that. This stuff does not come naturally to me so I have to remind myself over and over again and keep practicing it. It also reminds me of Dr Tina Bryson's work in The Whole Brain Child where she talks about first connecting with your child and then redirecting after you are calm, instead of disciplining in the moment. Thank you for taking the time to share your wisdom and experiences with us. It is truly a blessing in my life.

    • Thanks for this kind note and taking the time to leave feedback! I'm so happy that's it's helping your family. (And I'm so jealous you've met Dr. Greene in person! I interviewed him for the Parenting ADHD Summit last year and am doing so again in a couple weeks for this year's summit, but I'd LOVE to attend one of his workshops). 😀

      You said that staying calm doesn't come naturally to you. It doesn't come naturally to anyone, so release that guilt. We are wired to respond in kind as a protective measure — that's the way our brains work. It's fight or flight.

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