#1 Don’t correct your kids.
They might be tearing the house apart, wrestling in the middle of the cereal aisle, or playing tag as you’re trying to get them out the door for school. They need to stop what they are doing, but you have no business correcting them if you are angry. Unless it is life threatening, LET IT GO. Would you want anyone to talk to you the way you talk to your kids when you’re frustrated, angry, or overwhelmed?
So don’t do it to them. Always speak to your children the way you want to be spoken to, and when you can’t say what needs to be said in a respectful tone, don’t say anything.
Believe me. It’s NOT worth damaging your relationship with the people you love most even if you want to strangle them in that moment. Because the truth is, they aren’t going to suddenly grow up and change when you yell at them. Yelling doesn’t cure them of anything.
So why do we do it? We do it because we are frustrated, tired, and overwhelmed. We aren’t thinking. We are reacting. Don’t start listing a million reasons why you are tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed. Don’t start beating yourself up for yelling. Just stop. STOP. Ok, now read the next step.
#2 Apply the 5 minute rule. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Take that time to breath and tell yourself how amazing you are and how much you love your kids. Breath in slowly. Hold it for a few seconds, and breath out completely. Do that at least 5 times, and your blood pressure will come back down. Oxygen will help you access the part of your brain that can actually think and not just react. After you have taken time to breath, look at a cute picture of them on your phone, play a happy, soothing song from your Don’t Let me Kill My Kids playlist, and say aloud things you are grateful for.
None of this means your kids are getting away with whatever they were doing. You need to fill your cup until you are ready to speak to them in a respectful tone (without gritting your teeth).
#3 You are YOUR responsibility. You need to take care of yourself so that you don’t become angry, tired, and overwhelmed. I know it is tiring to repeat yourself over and over again. If that’s what’s happening, get new strategies, a new mindset, and reach out for support. You have to take care of yourself if you want to start parenting rather than just reacting. It does not matter if you are working full-time, part-time, or at home with your kids 100% of the time. You will get tired. You need to take care of yourself. Stop making excuses or blaming your mamma.