Parents, we all have our limits

“Misty, please tell me I am not a bad parent! I feel crazy! Like am I the only one who gets mad at her kids?” A friend had called to vent about her day. She’s had much going on with the children, the house, end of school, and trying to keep it all in balance. She was ready to snap at the children. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stress of the day and yell at the children the minute they do one more thing that irritates you. My friend’s husband stopped her. “I know you’re upset and can see you’re mad. I want you to enjoy the night not yell at the kids and be miserable?” Reality check! He intervened, gave mom a 5-minute break to calm down, and told the kids they need to find something to do quietly or they lose their iPads for 3 days. Teamwork! Hubby helped and stepped in to relieve his partner. We’ve all been there! You’ve had enough with the kids, and feel as if you’re going to lose it. Stop! There is a window of time you can consciously choose to calm down and respond or yell and react. Think about it…Which has a better impact on your child’s life? Which has the power to teach your child the right way to control emotion? What’s healthier for you? I’m not saying to let your kids get away with disrespect or acting out of control. I am saying you are the example. You take control. You have the choice to respond in a way that displays control, firmness, yet teach the children discipline in a calm way. You don’t have to yell or explode. It’s not who you truly are; it’s not who you want to be. You do not want to create a toxic, environment where your children resent doing anything with you in fear you are going to explode at anything. Give yourself a break, a time-out. Below I’ve listed a few options to calm yourself, handle things with control and re-connect with the kids in a healthy way to communicate what’s needed and expected.  
  1.  When feel yourself getting upset/mad, step back. Take a 5- 10-minute time-out for yourself and the kids.
  2.  Manage your emotions, re-gain control. (i.e. count to 15, drink some water, deep breaths, or pray)
  3.  Ask yourself why you are mad and what the result needs to be.
  4.  Apologize for your actions. Parents aren’t perfect but you do need to realize your child’s hurt from any yelling that took place.
  5.  Commit that you will use a respectful voice.
  6.  Take responsibility for your mood, tone, and shift yourself to a happier place/mindset.
To reconnect with your children:
  1.  Get on their eye level. Don’t be the parent that yells from the other room the expect results. As my parents told me when our girls were born, “be an active parent, not a lazy one.”
  2.  Describe the situation, simply. Avoid lectures.
  3.  Set limits, review family rule and what the consequences are to their actions.
  4.  Allow your kids to respond, and re-connect with them with something fun, relaxing.
Truth is, yelling scares kids. It teaches them not to listen to us unless we yell and that its ok to yell in return. Working on changing your reaction and learning to respond isn’t easy. It’s tough, takes time and consistency on your part. However, it will get easier the more you stop before opening your mouth to move in a healthy, more mindful direction. And, the best part…your family will change for the positive. They will respond to you in return the way you model it to them. Misty Seybert, MA, LPC, LMHC  
share...Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponPrint this page