Parenting is a rewarding experience. You get to teach and watch as your little one embraces the world and their independence. Observing your child becoming their own person is exciting, frightening, and frustrating.
As children begin to embrace their independence, they also push boundaries. While boundary-pushing is a normal part of adolescence, it can drive parents to a breaking point.
The last thing a parent wants is to "lose their cool" in front of their kids. Unfortunately, parents are not invulnerable to childhood antics, like sibling in-fighting or tantrums.
If you notice that you are losing your temper more or are on the verge of yelling, consider the causes. Sometimes, understanding your frustration can help you change and curb your behavior.
Reasons Parents Lose Their Temper
While children have a knack for pushing buttons, they are rarely the cause of reactive anger. Parents must contend with myriad problems and obligations. Many adults operate on a lack of sleep and work full-time. When everyday responsibilities of adulthood combine with parenting, the stress is often consuming. Between sleep, stress, and demand, parents operate at the edge of sanity every day.
A child playing too loud or bickering with siblings can overflow the patience cup. Parents who are already drained mentally often give in to reactive behavior and yell. The response is not intentional. Many parents often can't understand what came over them. They feel guilty, sometimes ashamed.
Impulsive behaviors mustn't be the norm. Parents, as primary educators, need to show control over emotions. They need to teach children appropriate outlets and channels for venting frustration. As with most things, emotional management is a learnable skill.
How To Catch Yourself Before "Losing Your Cool"
At the moment, yelling or "losing your cool" can seem unavoidable. With the proper techniques and a little patience, even on the verge of erupting, you can calm yourself.
Blowing your top is easy, but controlling your emotions is challenging. Anger and yelling are reactive responses to stress and frustration. It is also the complete abandonment of control.
Emotional management requires foresight, self-awareness, and technique. When you feel your body tensing or becoming anxious, breathe. Breathe in slow for a count of four Mississippi. Hold your breath for six Mississippi, and exhale for eight Mississippi. The process of exhaling longer than the inhale helps reassure and calm the body. Additionally, counting can distract you from the situation or activity that is bothering you.
As you calm yourself, debate what is bothering you. Are you actually upset with your children, or are you tired and need a break? More often than not, parents feel restless and exhausted. If you find that you need a break, talk to your spouse, family member, or friend. Support is essential to a balanced household.
The Power of Taking a Pause
Stepping away from a frustrating situation and taking a break is often beneficial. The pause allows you to calm your nerves and rationalize your feelings. The self-intervention can help de-escalate things and avoid an uncomfortable outburst altogether.
Additionally, taking a break allows you time to figure out a constructive way to talk with your kids. Discipline is not about yelling; it is about constructive correction. Permitting yourself to pause provides time to determine an appropriate response.
Tips & Mantras To Find Peace in the Chaos
Do not beat yourself up if you lose your patience. It happens. You are only human. Still, incorporating techniques such as the 4-6-8 breathing method can reduce outbursts. Also, get more sleep and learn to say "no." You need to say no to adults and children. It would be best if you focused on self-care. It will help you be a better parent and partner.