### Discovering the Latest Parenting Mantra and Its Impact on My Relationship with My Child

At times, I have faced challenges in embracing adulthood. I must admit that I have engaged in arguments with her more often than I’d like to admit, adopting a confrontational approach that I now regret. I have, in the past, insisted on imposing my rules with an “or else” attitude, only to realize that in the parent-child dynamic, the parent seldom emerges as the victor in such power struggles. Consequently, I have come to understand the futility of issuing ultimatums and have since refrained from doing so.

Other ineffective strategies in my parenting journey include delivering lectures during heated arguments, recollecting past promises made by her, or simply instructing her to relax.

In contemporary parenting discourse, a novel approach has garnered attention for aiding children in managing their emotions: co-regulation.

Described by The New Yorker as the caregiver’s ability to regulate their emotional responses when a child is distressed, thereby exemplifying the composed demeanor they wish the child to cultivate, co-regulation has become a focal point in modern parenting ideologies. Leading parenting experts emphasize the significance of maintaining a calm and composed demeanor as the cornerstone of effective parenting, suggesting that it may serve as the fundamental principle from which all other familial dynamics stem.

Upon reflecting on this concept, I recognized that I have been implementing a form of co-regulation in my parenting style for some time now, which I have coined as my “RMF” or Resting Mom Face—a constant display of a neutral to positive expression. Drawing inspiration from the popular notion of Resting Bitch Face, my RMF technique requires conscious effort akin to mental facial exercises. By maintaining a subtle smile, relaxing facial muscles, and practicing controlled breathing, one can exude a sense of calm and understanding even in the face of a confrontational situation with a child. This approach, I believe, is an indispensable tool for every parent.

The efficacy of the RMF extends beyond the toddler years into adolescence and adulthood. It signifies a non-judgmental stance that encourages open communication and sharing from children. By wearing the RMF, keeping verbal reactions in check, and maintaining a supportive demeanor, I have observed a positive impact on my child’s willingness to communicate openly—a strategy that proves effective not only with teenagers but with individuals of all ages.