Where do we even begin? If you are a parent who is constantly struggling with losing your cool, yelling and feeling frustrated with your kids, then listen up! First and foremost you are not alone. No one is perfect no matter how much they try to tell you they are or pretend to be. It’s just not humanly possible for anyone to accomplish perfection. We ALL MAKE MISTAKES and that’s ok!
There are times along our journey of parenting where we are travelling up hill and everything is running more or less smoothly. Then there are those moments of valleys where we are going farther and farther downhill. Where we end up finding ourselves sucken in a deep hole. We feel trapped, stuck and rushes of emotions filled with failure surround us. If you can relate and you find yourself doing things you regret and later wished you hadn’t done or said, then I want you to hear what I have to say.
This can be fixed. When these emotions and actions occur YOU can make them stop. It’s not going to be a quick fix. It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be a seamless transition. BUT…It is going to be worth it. It is going to get better. It is going to get easier. Let’s take a look at a couple of scenarios to help me explain this further.
Your toddler is screaming and throwing themselves on the floor at the grocery store. Have you been there? Can you remember how you felt in that moment? At this exact moment in time you have the choice to take 1 of 2 pathways. You can take path 1 and build your anxiety volcano up with hot lava until it full on erupts. You find yourself, embarrassed, angry, frustrated and can’t help but drag your kids out of the store kicking and screaming. You are so upset you begin to point your finger and yell at them. OR you can take pathway 2 and choose to CALM YOURSELF DOWN. You can take the initiative to calm yourself. You cannot control your toddler’s behaviour at this moment, but you can CONTROL YOURS. You can choose to NOT REACT. You can choose to breathe deep, finish what you need to do at the store and ignore the behaviour as much as you can. By taking pathway 2 you are helping to stop this behaviour from re-occuring in the future. You are telling your kids, by your actions, that what they do will not affect your behaviour. Your behaviour will be calm and collected. It will be constant and predictable. By doing this you will build your child’s trust in you. By being consistent and choosing calm your kids will begin to do the same.
Being consistent will help calm you and your child, which will keep you from losing your cool. The more you practice consistency, the more your child learns to trust and respect you. Consequences and follow through are the best and most effective way that you can teach your kids to trust you. In our family, we always keep our promises, no matter what. We must keep our promises to our kids to help teach them trust, loyalty, and reliability. By keeping promises they learn that we mean what we say and say what we do. This decreases their anxiety and their negative behaviours will begin to diminish. Consequences are a form of promise. If you say you will take away their toys for 2 days if they are not tidied up, then you MUST KEEP YOUR PROMISE. If you continually give them reminder after reminder and choose to not follow through, then you have taught them that you don’t mean what you say and you don’t say what you do. You have directly affected their level of trust in you and broken a promise.
When kids lose trust in their parents, they begin to act out in search of finding that missing trust. They begin looking in every nook and cranny for concrete boundaries and security. This causes their behaviour to decline and your parent-child bond loses its strength. It’s not easy to follow through and see our kids upset, but if you ask me, it’s much better to see them upset, learning a true life lesson and still left having faith and trust in me. Rather then getting those toys back, only to stop the tears in the meantime, but later causing my child more sadness and pain overall.
Next time your kids are frustrating you and you are about to blow your lid, STOP, BREATHE, WALK AWAY and CHOOSE CALM. You will be amazed at what a difference it makes. Afterall, we don’t want our kids screaming and yelling, so why would we model the exact behaviour we are trying to get them to stop??
Now there’s a little food for thought!!
Share your experiences on the comment page and/or email me if you have questions! I am here to help you along your way to calm!