Parents: Stop, Breathe, Talk to Children

March 1, 2018, 10:46 am | Lori Korthals, Laura Sternweis

AMES, Iowa -- Stop, breathe and talk are three simple words that together can have a big impact in everyday parenting, says Lori Hayungs, a human sciences specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

"Whether your kids are infants, toddlers, Stop Breathe Talkteens or even adults, parenting has challenging moments," said Hayungs, who specializes in family life issues. "Remaining calm, cool and collected in these moments is difficult, but doable, with a little help."

Help is available from the Science of Parenting. In this blog from ISU Extension and Outreach, human sciences specialists in family life share and discuss research-based information and resources to help parents raise their children.

"No matter what a child is yelling, screaming or doing, a parent always has the option to stop, breathe and talk. As parents, we are the role models and the foundation for our family," Hayungs said.

The human sciences approach to parenting in challenging moments has three steps:

  • Stop. Take a moment to think about how you really want to respond to your child.
  • Breathe. Consider what is happening with your emotions. Take a deep breath or two to calm down.
  • Talk. Once you have gathered your thoughts, be intentional with your words to help guide your child toward the outcome you really want.

"Information is power, and we invite you to visit our ever evolving Science of Parenting site at You can learn about how children grow and develop. You'll find information about discipline techniques that teach children inner self control. Perhaps most important, you'll learn you aren't alone in wanting to raise healthy, happy children," Hayungs said.

"Parenting is hard. We at Science of Parenting want you to know we understand and do not judge. We are here to help," Hayungs said.

About the Authors: