After you've lost your temper
This post is what happens after. You've lost your temper and yelled, spanked, screamed, stormed out, blurted an extreme punishment, hauled your kid a little too roughly into their room, or said something you regret, and now it's too late to take any of it back.
It's the big 'what if' I get all the time from moms - what if I lose it? Have I done something awful that I can't fix now? How can I stop doing this?
You know you're not supposed to get mad. You know you're supposed to give consequences while staying calm. But, you do it anyway. Here's why that happens and what to do about it.
If you're like most moms I meet, you're extremely aware of your shortcomings as a mom (probably TOO aware!), especially the times you've lost your temper on your kids. You've probably been beating yourself up for those moments for a long time and you may have already tried a few things to make it better, beyond swearing to yourself you'll try harder not to do it next time.
Maybe you've read some parenting books. Maybe you've even taken a parenting class. If that's you, it's probably going to feel like a slap in the face when I say that these things aren't going to work.
The cycle of committing to being better, reaching your breaking point, yelling or spanking or punishing in extreme ways, feeling awful about it, and committing to being better again will continue.
Let's look closer...
Parenting experts agree that we all make mistakes, and that's ok. When we screw up, we need to apologize to our kids. It's actually healthy for that to be a part of their reality because we are modeling the type of person we want them to become: humble, empathetic and responsible. If we want them to learn to take ownership of their mistakes then they need to see those traits modeled around them. Being raised this way is actually more impactful than having a parent who does it 'right' all the time.
I agree with all of this advice...AND it's garbage...for 2 reasons:
First, it's putting a bandaid on a hemorrhaging wound. The reasons we freak out on our kids are almost never about the kid. Picture a mom walking around like a piece of glass covered in cracks and hairline fractures - barely holding herself together. Then her kid does something that is like the final little tap, tap, tap on the glass that makes the whole thing shatter.
It's totally true that we all make mistakes. It's totally true that it's normal and healthy for our kids to see us have a whole range of emotions. What's NOT healthy is for us to put our emotions on our kids.
Say you're sorry, absolutely! But if you're not addressing the cause of your cracks and fractures, you'll only shatter again and pretty soon your apologies are just empty words.
Second, it's putting the cart ahead of the horse. I'm going to level with you about my job. Moms come to me because they want their kids to be well-behaved, to listen when they talk, to stop power struggles and fighting. They want to feel like good moms. They want to do right by these amazing little creatures that have been entrusted to them by the universe. And I teach them how to do all of that and more...and it doesn't work. It doesn't work until they are ready to look at those cracks and fractures.
If you work with me, your kids will be well-behaved and you will learn how to respond to them in a way that gets them to cooperate. And you will feel proud and like a great mom every night when you go to bed. But, that all comes from deeper work that makes it possible.
If you find yourself at a loss for how to handle your kids without losing your patience despite your best efforts, it's not because you didn't learn some handy-dandy life hack yet; it's because you're caught up in mind drama that will lead you right back to this place again and again.
This is the REAL work I do with moms. The mom you want to be is right on the other side of that mind drama, waiting for you and she is READY for you to step into her.
And if you're ready for her, I'm ready for you! I'm talking to moms now who are ready to start with me in January. And talking about this today will allow you to start having these types of mental shifts immediately - before we even officially start!