When a child's behavior is driving you nuts, it's easy to lose your cool and lash out. But it's not productive. Mighty Mommy has 6 ways to put the calm back into your parenting style.
Tip #4: Step Away
When things with your child are falling apart and chaos is brewing at a fast pace, it can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to turn back the tide. Peace may not be an option due to external factors such as angry voices, dogs barking, TVs blasting in the background, and maybe even your spouse or other children chiming in their 2 cents to stoke the fire.
When your surrounding atmosphere is just as disruptive as your child's behavior, sometimes the best medicine is to simply walk away. My kids are used to me chanting one of my favorite responses when the going gets tough and that is “Step away and no one gets hurt.”
See also: 8 Ways to Lighten Your Parenting Load
I try to say this with a bit of sarcastic humor, but in our house it means that mom is going to take a quick breather and go someplace to be alone and quiet while I refocus and bring my anger into check. Silence is often just the thing we need to replenish and rejuvenate ourselves and yet it may be the hardest to make happen. But if you get into the habit of breaking away for a brief respite, you will be helping yourself and teaching your kids a lifelong coping skill as well.
Note: I always tell my kids “I’ll be back in 5 minutes” so the younger ones know what to expect. I don’t want them to think I’m running away, just taking a little break in the action.
Tip #5: Get a Hobby
Being a parent is truly more amazing and more difficult than I ever dreamed it would be. One gift I wish I would’ve given myself years ago when I was a new parent was to not abandon my own personal desires just to please others - and that includes hobbies.
Taking kick boxing classes was something I was passionate about before I became a mother, yet once I started having kids I completely abandoned it because I felt guilty about spending the money and time away from my family.
I took nearly 10 years off from this favorite activity and I regret it. I’m back at it now and hope to never give it up again unless it’s my choice. We all have that one thing that makes us feel alive and passionate, so devote yourself to whatever that thing is for you. Having that hobby as an outlet will allow you to be happier and keep a calm frame of mind on a regular basis.
Tip #6: If (When) You Do Lose Your Cool, Own It
If your anger has already boiled over and you’ve lost your cool, don't back away from it. Instead simply own up to what you've done wrong. Don't give in to the temptation to blame your child for triggering your outburst. Say, "I am very disappointed by your sneaky behavior, but I shouldn't have yelled at you, and I'm very sorry.” The act of apologizing alone can be calming and at the same time, you’re being a good role model for your child.
See also: Were You a Good Parent This Year?
How do you stay calm when faced with parenting pressure?
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