Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs on the planet, isn’t it? As a mom of 8 I can certainly attest to the times that being a mom challenges me beyond what I think I can handle. And yes, there even times that I yell at my kids when I certainly shouldn’t have.
And then. I hate myself for it.
Can you relate? Has this happened to you?
Yet I know that I am also human, and this means that my own emotions also come into play. However, emotions aren’t always the most reliable when it comes to making a parenting decision.
For this reason, I’ve come up with some things to keep in mind before I yell at my kids. You can follow these tips too.
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Check your own physical needs
Ask yourself: am I lacking sleep, lacking in food, or lacking in the time I need to fill my own tank? If you answer yes to any of these, it’s probably best to assume that you are the bigger part of the problem.
Define who you are really angry at
Sometimes we can be angry at someone else or even at ourselves. Yet, the anger and frustration that we feel is being misdirected to our kids. Examine whether there are conflicts or even minor annoyances with someone else that are to blame for your perceived need to tell.
Clearly define the issue
There are times when we as moms can be angry about one thing. This is often a smaller thing. But, there is a larger underlying issue. Make sure that the issue you are reacting to is really the issue that needs to be addressed.
Decide if it’s worth it
I know I can so easily make a mountain out of a molehill. Since I homeschool I’ve got my kids around me all day. This means that there are plenty of opportunities to have conflicts or issues with my kids. I find it helpful to ask myself if the issue is one that really matters in the overall scheme of things. Oftentimes it is not.
Pause before you speak
Before you say anything, just take a moment to wait for that sense of urgency to pass. If you are like me, you will almost always say things differently after you pause for a few minutes.
When you do speak, whisper or speak very softly
It is very difficult to yell or get worked up when you are whispering. My kids always listen better when I whisper (it’s actually something I do a lot). But, it is more of a way for me to keep my own emotions in check in this case.
Be prepared to listen
Even if you don’t think you need to, be prepared to listen. Your kids need to feel heard, even if they need to be corrected.
Keep it short and sweet
If you have decided to move forward with some type of confrontation or correction, kids often don’t benefit from a lecture. In most cases, they’re probably not even listening to you much. I find it effective to have a longer and more in-depth conversation at a later time rather than in the heat of the moment.
Let it go
Move on. Whatever it is can be readdressed later. Once you’ve kept in short and sweet, just move on.
Forgive your kids for whatever emotion they set off in you. And then, forgive yourself, too. Resist the urge hang on to that anger toward your kids, and then don’t beat yourself up for feeling that anger.
Kids can really push our buttons, but we don’t have to let our emotions control our behavior as moms. Keeping these things in mind before you yell at your kids is a great way to get control over your emotions again.
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