Inside this post: Parenting without yelling is tough, it’s hard to stay calm when kids push your buttons. Here’s one proven tip that will help you parent without yelling.
Please go put on your shoes.
I said, go put on your shoes.
Just put on your shoes!
I don’t know where your shoes are either. Go find them.
WHY AREN’T YOUR SHOES ON?
I am leaving. SHOES!!!
WHY DON’T YOU EVER LISTEN????
When I’m in the heat of the moment with my kids it’s hard to rationalize and understand what got me so angry, so quickly over bare feet.
I don’t know why or how I got so angry so fast, but here I am, seething at my 8 year old for still not having on his shoes.
What triggered my anger? What triggered me?
How was I calm five minutes ago and then totally lost it? And if I’m totally being honest, it’s kind of embarrassing how fast my anger can escalate.
Do I even know why I got so infuriated over a lack of shoes on my son’s feet?
So many questions and very, very few answers.
When I’m angry to the point of losing control, it’s too late to wonder why I’m mad or how I got this way.
Because just like you can’t reason with a toddler in the middle of a temper tantrum, I can’t reason with myself in the middle of an irrationally angry mom moment.
It’s just not going to work out well for anyone.
There has to be a better way to discover why I get so angry.
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Figuring out what makes you angry before you get angry is key.
Most of us have several triggers. And in the moment when we’re yelling at our kids about shoes, it’s borderline impossible to stop ourselves and think, “Why am I really so mad right now?”
And I need to think about my anger now, when I’m calm…and my son already has his shoes on.
So if we take this moment right now to really dive in and think about what makes us the angriest the quickest, it will help us the next time we feel the anger start to rise up.
My list includes (but is definitely not limited to) 1) refolding laundry that’s been knocked over and 2) having to repeat myself to my children.
I realized I wasn’t really mad about shoes.
I was mad because my kid wasn’t listening to me the first time I asked him to do something. I had to waste my time repeating myself. And that was time I could have spent refolding the knocked over laundry.
Do you know your triggers?
Do you know what makes you mind-numbing mad? Stop and think back to the last few times you were so angry with your kids you were seeing red.
Was it really that they weren’t eating their dinner that made you yell?
Or was it the waste of food that annoys you? Or the fact that they don’t appreciate the time and energy and money it took for you to prepare the meal. Maybe it’s because you’re worried they’re not eating enough healthy foods, or because you know they’ll be hungry asking for a snack five minutes after the plates are cleared.
Are you really mad the bagel got dumped upside down on your clean floor?
Or are you mad because you now have to redo a chore that you hate? Is it because you had just asked your kid to sit still while they were eating and they didn’t listen?
Are you mad because your daughter snuck candy in her room?
Or are you really mad because you’re worried about what else she’s sneaking. Or maybe you just paid and outrageous dentist bill that has you super wound up.
Focus on ways to avoid or minimize your anger triggers
If the first step is to know what made us so very mad in the first place, the second step has to be brainstorming ways to avoid our anger triggers.
And once we know what triggers us as moms, we can figure out ways to minimize those triggers.
If getting their shoes on so you’re not late is your breaking point, lay out their shoes with their clothes and have them put on their shoes as they dress in the morning. Or have them put their shoes on in the car.
If getting your kid to sit through a meal without complaining is your trigger, have them help meal plan and cook the dinner. Or institute a “take it or leave it” policy. Or invite them to make themselves a sandwich after four bites of your meal.
Do whatever works best for you so you avoid, or at least lessen, your anger trigger.
Since repeating myself over and over again is my trigger, I reward first time listening.
If my kids listen the very first time I ask them to do anything, I make a huge deal out of it. I praise it from the rooftops. When they listen the first time they earn a one on one date with me or my husband, which they all love.
They listen, I don’t yell, and we get more quality family time. It’s a triple win.
Stop now and really think about your triggers yet and how you can minimize them
Acknowledge them. Call it out—at least to yourself. It’s okay to admit what really pisses you off.
And then strategize ways to minimize those moments.
Because it’s okay to get angry. We all get angry.
But as moms, we know we have to control our anger. We can’t explode every time we get triggered by dropped bagels or uneaten meals or knocked over piles of laundry.
We will be happier, calmer moms living in a happier, calmer home.
Your kids and their lost shoes will be grateful for it.