By the end of the week, who else struggles to keep it together as a parent? I know that I struggle, especially since my world has shifted to being at home with the children all the time, work or not.
Today has been a particular challenge for me as our daughter is communicating only through whining and fits, and our oldest is choosing to shout at others and throw tantrums when needing to consider others. Even our youngest has chosen to squeal at his siblings every time they take a toy from him. I have been channeling my inner calm, but it feels as though it is ready to fail.
So at what point do we have to make a choice? Lose our minds, or continue on the path to betterment? Sometimes the choice doesn’t even seem to be our own, as our emotions take the wheel and steer us in whatever direction they feel is appropriate. Here is what I would like you to try today…
Every time you feel the anger or frustration boiling up, getting ready to take you over: Stop. Just stop whatever you are doing, and whatever action you think you need to take. This, of course, is superseded by the necessity of keeping your child safe, so if they are in danger, continue on. If all is safe: Stop.
Now, take a deep breath, and now a few more. While you are doing this think of the best way to approach the situation. Why is your child frustrating you? What could be driving their own emotions? Could your emotions even be feeding theirs? Now, address these things in your mind before addressing them out loud.
Sometimes we are reactive when we shouldn’t be. Perhaps our children are just being children. Maybe they are taking extra long to clean up their messes because children learn through play, and they are playing as they clean. Or maybe they are trying to learn how to work things out among themselves, even if that means crying and getting frustrated with one another. There are a million other maybes, those possible situations, so stop and think about yours.
Now, if the actions warrant your response, you can respond. But, now that you have stopped and taken some nice calming breaths, your response should be calm, without raising your voice, or getting overly frustrated. You should be able to deliver your message clearly and fairly.
I encourage you, on this Family Friday, to implement these steps. In the end, everyone benefits short and long term. You have got this!