Have you ever noticed that kids seem to be equal parts adorable and asshats? One minute you are doting on them with all the love your heart can muster, and the next they are driving you up the wall with their shenanigans. And sometimes they push you just a little too far and you might lose your cool.
When I get angry and yell at my children it never ends well. They get upset, I get upset, no one benefits from it. So I’ve been actively searching for strategies to keep in my back pocket for those times that I can feel my emotions getting the best of me.
Check out these 5 strategies to not lose your temper the next time your child is pushing your buttons.
- Battle cry
The parenting war is long, the battles are short and frequent. So choose your battles appropriately. If you don’t, you run the risk of an EXHAUSTING day of saying ‘NO!’ every two minutes. It’s hard to stay positive when every word out of your mouth is negative.If you sense yourself heading to the dark side, ask yourself how many shits you REALLY give about the situation at hand. Stand your ground if you must, but if it’s something that in the grand scheme of things isn’t going to shape your child in to the stand-up citizen you want them to be, then just leave it for another day. Your mental health thanks you.
- Baby steps, literally
When I notice myself creeping towards the edge of losing my shit with my toddlers I usually find that I’m parenting at a distance. I might be giving them directions to do something while I’m in the kitchen. Or I’m trying to get ready in the bathroom while also attempting to settle a dispute that is happening in the living room. The tactic isn’t working and everyone is getting pissy.
Once I realize my distance is doing nothing but cause more frustration, I’ll just take the physical steps to place myself into the situation that needs to be addressed, and kneel down at their level, and suddenly the child’s attention becomes very directed. We can talk about what is happening and ways to resolve the issue.
If mama bear is out of sight, their behavior is sometimes out of mind. Recognize what situations seem to get you the most frustrated and determine if your physial distance may have something to do it with it.
- ‘Tis the season
If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a parent it’s that nothing stays the same. This goes for the good and the bad. If you feel yourself in a rut with your toddler, just know that it won’t last. It’s hard to remember that when you are on day five of an asshole kid. But it will pass.
One day, all too soon, you’ll look back and think of these early days fondly. And the bad times just seem to fade away as your memory gives preference to the good days. Except that time your toddler had a meltdown in Target. That’s one you’ll remember long enough to tell your grandkids about.
- Push the reset button
If you feel like your temper is getting the best of you more often than usual, it may be time for a reset in terms of behavior expectations with your kids. Poor listening is usually the number one issue in my house and the problem seems to come in waves.
When I take a moment to sit my child down and share with him that I’ve noticed he’s had a hard time listening lately he seems to digest that a little bit better than me going with my old stand by of reminding him every two seconds or repeating myself to death.
Just like anyone would, a toddler who hears the same charge from you over and over again will eventually tune it out. Which can be a vicious cycle of getting frustrated when behaviors don’t change. Try explaining to them what your expecations are moving forward, and stick to them.
- Treat yo self
This one might be my all-time fave way to keep your sanity with your children. It’s so important to recharge your own battery when you are at your limit. Taking a step away, even if it means spending 30 minutes alone in the bathroom, can be a game changer.
For me, even a Target run (by myself!) is enough to fuel me for days. You’ll actually miss your kids again! And when you return, all of their shenanigans suddenly seem cute again.
- BONUS TIP! Check out my genius hack I stumbled upon that I use often when I’m trying to cut the tension with my little ones. (HINT: the tickle monster makes an appearance)
Give some of these tips a try the next time you find yourself losing your cool with your kids. Let me know which ones worked, which ones didn’t, and any new ones you come up with!
And remember that you are doing AMAZING mama! The fact that you are even reading this means you care so much about your little ones. YOU GOT THIS!
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