I want to head into the new year feeling less, well… MAD all of the time. I find myself frustrated and angry, and I do not want to parent this way.
I get this. The new year always brings about self-reflection. This is a great question and many will probably want to follow in your footsteps. Here are three ways to ax the angry:
Keep your requests age-appropriate.
Are you asking something of your child that she just can’t do? Sit quietly in the car for an hour? Put her shoes on fast? Eat neatly? If you are asking your child to do things that are not in her realm of ability, she is bound to fail and fail often. You will become frustrated. VERY frustrated.
There are LOTS of things that kids can do, but they often need time and space to do these things. Children also need to be able to do things like kids, not like practiced grown-ups. Think folding clothes or putting toys away. They can do it, but it won’t look as neat as if you did it, but at least it is done. Once we let go a bit, we find that we are much more patient.
Ask yourself: Why am I mad? Is it about pride? Anger? Control?
Sometimes we get mad at kids because they do kid things and we are grown-ups, and we should be mad. It’s in the handbook, right? We should get mad when kids make a mess or put cheese in their water, or get paint on the doorknob or insist on wearing a shirt inside-out. When you get mad, ask yourself why.
Do you really care about what your child is doing? Maybe you do. Perhaps it is not safe or will be excessively messy. Are you mad because you think what he is doing is an affront to your parental authority? And, even if it is, so what? That is what kids do. They push. Let go of the need to micromanage and you will find that you feel loads better.
End the confrontation.
Though it seems as if we have to fight and fight with our kids, the secret is that we don’t. The more a grown-up argues, debates, and belabors a point, the more a child will, too. We get so mad that our children are debating and not listening that we explode, but all that we have to do is end the conversation. “I hear what you are saying, but I was clear and I will not discuss this further.” They may keep going, but you do not have to. Your child will only go on so long with no one to fuel her fire and passion on the subject.
Stay calm, put things in perspective, and when all else fails, walk away for a moment to breathe. Let go a bit and find the funny in your kids’ actions and you will feel LOADS better.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, MOMMYBITES FAMILY!
Brandi Davis, ACC, is a professional Parenting Coach, Parent Educator, and Author of O.K. I’m A Parent Now What? She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and be sure to catch her parenting podcasts on iTunes. The goal of Brandi’s practice is to bring respect, calm communication, teamwork, and FUN into the home or classroom. To discover all that Child and Family Coaching can bring to your family stop by www.childandfamilycoaching.com.