When you are SOOOO mad
Updated: Oct 25, 2019
If you've read my recent posts, I have hopefully convinced you that:
1) Natural consequences work better than harsh OR permissive parenting.
2) It's possible to design really effective natural consequences.
3) Yelling is completely useless and counterproductive.
Natural Consequence + Compassionate Delivery = Behavior Change
Now, if you're like every parent I know (including me) you're struggling with the belief that sometimes parenting is so crazy-meaning that it's impossible to avoid losing it on our kids, no matter how much we know that calm natural consequences are the key to everything.
What should we do when we are SOOOO mad, we just can't mom 'right?'
Here are some tips for handling mom-rage (even when we're raging on the reg).
1. Don't Mom Mad. If you can't respond well; don't respond at all.
Remember that anger totally negates whatever awesome consequence you've come up with. Your delivery matters even more than what you're delivering! It's ok to say, "I'm really upset right now and I don't make good choices when I'm upset so we'll talk about this later."
2. Kids aren't dogs; they don't need their consequence the moment they mess up.
Here's a test to see if your child can remember something longer than 5 minutes: Mention the possibility of ice cream sometime in their future...and time how long until they stop nagging you about it. Your kid (even most toddlers!) can remember making a mistake when a consequence comes down the line to remind them of it, even a day later.
One caveat: For kids under 3, immediate consequences tend to be best. This is why i like to help my clients have a catch-all consequence ready to go in their back pocket without thinking about it, so even when smoke it about to come out of their ears, they can still go on autopilot and give their default consequence calmly.
3. Buy yourself time.
Not sure what consequence to give? It's totally OK! The great thing about not responding when you're not ready, is that you can brainstorm consequences that will be effective and not a huge inconvenience to you. And, because you're going to deliver them when you're calm, they will be even more powerful.
The bottom line is that the second we lose our temper with our kids, we've totally forfeit any chance we had of teaching them or improving their behavior.
These tips are only one aspect of the work I do with my clients to help them stay calm with their kids; so much more goes into it. But, if you can walk away when you're riled up, you're already light years ahead of the game.
You know that no matter how many blog posts and free guides you read, it's not the same as explaining your unique challenges to someone who understands and knows what to do about it. If you're ready to get some personalized support, I am 100% confident that a Raising Great Kids Strategy Session with me will be a game-changer for you. Book it for free here, and I can't wait to meet you.