It’s normal to lose our cool with our kids once in a while.
But what’s a little bit unsettling is if it happens quite often.
It can get upsetting to the point that your kid is starting to either get scared of you or is becoming numb to your verbal attacks. (Hopefully no physical ones).
So how do you stop yourself from yelling angrily at your children all the time?
How do you handle your kids when they’re being naughty or when they’re not listening and are even giving you an attitude?
What are the ways to become a more patient parent? Scroll down below to find out more.
10 Ways To Become a More Patient Parent
Know your triggers
We are usually impatient and quick to snap at our kids whenever we are hungry, tired, or frustrated about something totally irrelevant to the current issue.
So ask yourself first before you get into a heated encounter with your kid – when was the last time you’ve eaten? Did anything happen at work today?
Were you up the whole night, trying to make your baby sleep?
Did you just come home from work and you never had the chance to sit down and rest for a few minutes?
Have a plan when you’re triggered
If you don’t want things to escalate, then devise a plan to manage your triggers.
This can be telling your sassy preschooler that you need some alone time in the bedroom to clear your head.
Or if you know you’re going to be tired at the end of a very long work day and you’re going back home to relieve the babysitter or your spouse to take care of your clingy baby while trying to make dinner, and do chores, etc., then don’t go home immediately.
Just get yourself some coffee, have a little bit of me-time to decompress then head home.
This takes me to the next point.
Take a break
When we’re running low on physical, emotional, and mental fuel, we don’t have full control of our emotions.
We become impulsive, we do and say things we regret and everyone feels bad by the end of the day.
That’s why filling our cups is so important.
It gives us some perspective, rejuvenates us, and boosts us, to handle the regular stress of everyday life.
So always try to take and schedule a break.
It could be in the form of exercising for 30 minutes.
Or getting a new hobby. Or asking your spouse to look after the kids for a few hours.
Just give yourself some slack, take a break, and see the difference that’ll make to your mood.
Chant a silent mantra
If you feel your anger is bubbling to the surface and you know you’re a hairline away from lashing out, keep it down first.
Stay quiet. Take deep breaths.
Close your eyes and say a silent mantra in your head.
A silent mantra can be anything that will help you tune out that feeling of anger and will help you focus on being centered and staying calm.
Examples of silent positive mantras can simply be “Inhale, Exhale” “I am calm and connected” “This shall pass” or “I will stay calm and carry on.”
Just keep saying it over and over again, until you’ve internalized it and/or you’re calmer to deal with your children.
Don’t take it personally
Everything that your child does has nothing to do with you.
I mean, sure, they might need a hug or reassurance from you, but if they’re not listening or worse, shouting at you, it’s mostly because they’re struggling with their feelings.
So try to not take things personally.
They’re not acting out because they want to make you angry or are trying to disrespect you.
They’re having a tantrum because they’re having a hard time dealing with their emotions.
Look beyond your child’s behavior
Kids are usually acting up when they’re tired, hungry, or feeling disconnected.
So instead of immediately reacting to your child’s naughtiness and tantrums, try to think first of what happened before they started acting out.
When was the last time your kid had a snack or a proper meal? Or a nap?
Was she asking to play with you a while ago but you were so busy that you just ignored her?
Was she ignored by her friends in the playground?
Ask yourself these questions and more, then do something about it, before reacting negatively to your child’s behavior.
Narrate what you’re seeing
Instead of lashing at your child and telling them how they should be feeling and behaving, go into “sportscaster mode” and narrate what you see happening.
Just tell it as it is and don’t jump to conclusions or do judgments.
For e.g., if your child is crying, just say, “I can see that you’re upset. You seem so frustrated about something that it’s making you cry.”
Then guess what’s going on. “Are you upset because…?”
If your child is responsive, you’ll at least know the underlying cause of their behavior.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Getting angry all the time doesn’t help in teaching our kids about rules and boundaries.
For them, it doesn’t make any difference what they do, you’re bound to get angry anyway!
So don’t sweat the small stuff.
If they spilled their drink on the floor, just tell them calmly to clean it up.
If they drew on the wall, tell your toddler gently that we draw on paper or blackboards or whiteboards, not on walls, and that you have to take away their markers for now.
Don’t make a big deal of little things, things that won’t matter a year or two from now.
So when you do get upset, your child will know that what they did was a big deal, they would really learn their lesson and would take you more seriously.
Put yourself in your child’s shoes
When you were a kid yourself and you were feeling dysregulated, how would you have wanted your parents to react to you?
Didn’t you wish they responded more calmly and kindly to your behavior?
So put yourself in your kid’s situation. Try to see it from their eyes.
They’re small human beings that have a developing brain that needs a lot of guidance.
They don’t know how to focus for too long or to express what they really feel.
They don’t understand yet the gravity of their actions.
And when their strong, towering, and intimidating parents start shouting at them, they get scared.
They either go on a fight-or-flight mode.
So always try to see the situation from your kid’s POV and to try to walk in their shoes.
There’s nothing wrong nor demeaning when you say sorry to your child, for losing your temper.
Especially if you really lost it big time in the worse way possible.
Apologizing to them tells them that you’re only human, you make mistakes, you respect them and you want to become a better parent for them.
Just don’t go lashing out at them again, in a major way. Or else, your apologies will become meaningless.
FAQ on Being More Patient With Your Kids
- How do I stop being impatient with my child?
You can try to stop being impatient with your child by checking yourself first and seeing why you’re being triggered.
Take care of that trigger first then look past your child’s behavior and see their triggers as well.
Emphasize with them and remember, to always put yourself in your child’s shoes.
- How can I be a more relaxed parent?
You can be a more relaxed parent by not sweating the small stuff.
Try not to make a mountain out of a molehill.
You don’t need to get angry and scream all the time if your toddler dumps out all the legos on the floor or if your teen forgets to clean their room.
Those can be taken care of in other ways that don’t involve lashing out at your child.
The Bottom Line on Becoming a More Patient Parent
Becoming patient takes time, especially if you easily get triggered or if you have a deeper emotional and mental issue.
Remember, learning how to become a more patient parent is just like any other skill there is – you just need to keep practicing until you get it!
So always apply what you learn, walk in your child’s shoes and with time and love, you’ll finally become a more understanding, calmer, and patient parent.
Julie shares the dirt on motherhood and what she wished she knew back when she was a new mom, on her website Adaptable Mama. She also hopes her site would be able to help her daughter one day when she decides to become a mom.