5 Things to Tell Yourself when Angry with the Kids

What is it you tell yourself that makes it OK to get angry and shout at your kids?
Maybe you tell yourself that it's ok because that's how you were treated. Maybe the kids are behaving in a way that your mother would disapprove of and you feel the need to punish them (oh yes, that 'inner mother'!). Maybe they've just pushed one of your buttons one time too many and you just want them to stop at any price...
We're always talking to ourselves, excusing things, beating ourselves up about something, criticising others... We can use the same self-talk to build ourselves up, see things in a positive light, shed a new perspective on a situation and to affirm a new mode of behaviour in ourselves.
The way to use these ideas is to pick one that speaks to your heart and repeat it to yourself regularly or write it down and place it somewhere you will see it often. Or keep a copy of all 5 at hand for when your blood begins to boil.
Here are the five things that you can tell yourself just at that moment when you let your kids knock you emotionally off balance, when your sense of humour flies out the window.
1/ This too shall pass.
Yes, it will. Simple as it seems, reminding yourself that it is the nature of things to change will snap you back into a more relaxed frame of mind. Ride out the storm. It will soon pass, and then you can be proud of yourself for having kept it all together and acted as a grown up.
2/ I won't let ...get between me and my love for my kids.
This could be a certain situation that you know to be a constant source of tension in your relationship, or another person that is getting between you and your child and is a point of friction, or even simply your own short temper and anger.

3/ This is my baby

This one should snap you back quickly into your nurturing motherly role. Get a picture in your mind of your child as a baby or a toddler. Get back in touch with that softer part of you. Remembering something endearing about your child will always positively affect your response.
4/ One day I'll miss all of this.
Oh yes. The day will soon come when the house will be quiet, you'll having nothing in particular to do, no one to share your day with,.....and you'll miss the noise, the action, the interest...
5/ I'm loving what is, whatever is going on.
This is the secret of a happy, joyful life. Whenever you have a stressful thought about your child you can ask yourself 'What do I love about this moment, right here, right now, exactly as it is?' This let's all anger evaporate. See the good in the situation. Maybe your child is challenging you - what a blessing. Another opportunity for growth. Maybe listen more carefully to what your child is trying to tell you with his/her behaviour. Maybe your child is displaying great characteristics of leadership, survival, negotiation, persistence. Commend him/her for it.
This reminds me of one time I was with my kids at the playground with some of my family. I can't even remember what my daughter was upset about, but I said something that made her angry and she started shouting at me. I was in the right frame of mind to catch myself (it probably helped having family around as audience!) and I thanked her for letting me know so clearly exactly what she thought about whatever it was. Then I told her what a blessing it was that she could express her feelings so clearly! That put a stop straight away to any conflict that could have ensued. She knew that her shouting was not ok, but at that moment she was angry. I modelled to her a peaceful way to react to someone shouting at her. It was also quite funny!
Your newfound calm, patience and maturity using these simple ideas will be a source of pride to you as you look back on how you handled a situation with calm and control.
"Children need models more than they need critics." - Joseph Joubert
Let's be the role model for peace in the home and begin creating world peace one child at a time...

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  1. That's a great idea. Taking a few seconds to think about what is important and not just flying off the handle can make all the difference. It isn't always easy, but it works.

  2. Isn't it amazing the way parenting teaches us patience? One thing that never ceases to amaze me is that the time outs aren't just for my son. They are for me too and when this happens, I ask myself the age old questions; "What can I do to make this a teachable moment for him?" I have learned some great lessons and sometimes even amazed myself. Peace and blessings.