Boiling over along with your child — we have all been there.
The child gets tears in her eyes and her face turns red. She wraps her fists up in a ball and her feet start the angry stomping rhythm. Then we find ourselves doing the same thing. We go back and forth with our words and our defensive body language until the first one gives in or gives up.
Can you picture yourself in this scenario?
It’s hard to manage our emotions without letting our kids affect us. They often set the tone and mood for the entire family. If my children wake up on the right side of the bed, it’s going to be a good day! If they are grouchy, I’m already looking forward to bedtime.
So what have I learned to keep my attitude in check and not boil over along with my children?
1. Don’t give your kids that kind of power.
I remember standing in my laundry room one day, heated over something my son did/said and then coming to the realization that I was allowing a two-year-old to dictate how I felt in that moment. Now, if he was sick, hurting, or there was genuinely something wrong, then, of course, I would feel upset. But here’s the thing…I was simply aggravated with his behavior! He was being moody and easily frustrated, yet I was giving him the same attitude in return. I decided in that moment that it was ME who had the power over how I felt in those moments, and now I try to choose better for myself.
This may sound simple, but I truly forget to breathe in those instances. I think that’s why I’m so worn out after a “battle” with one of my children. If I take a few seconds to breathe while my child is carrying on, I end up giving myself time to evaluate my behavior and come up with a solution that serves both me and my child rather than simply reacting.
3. Be the positive inner voice your children need.
We wrote an article in the past about helping your children develop a positive inner voice. When you look at yourself as the example rather than the enemy, you will see yourself naturally keep your composure even when every button is pressed.
4. Set clear expectations.
It’s common for my kids to lose it when they don’t know what’s going on or what to expect. If I sit my children down and clearly state expectations, they are less likely to be pushed over the edge.
5. Separate yourself and pause before disciplining.
This is a big one. I remember growing up and going at it with my mom in the heat of the moment. Because of this, it’s easy for me to fall into those same old habits. But I have found myself having to say “I’m sorry” a lot less when I pause and separate myself from the negative situation and come back to discipline with a clear head.
I have not totally figured out how to keep myself from boiling over 100% of the time, but I work at it each day!
Tell us in the comments how YOU keep yourself from boiling over along with your children?