Children upset us. Many times. Every day.
Sometimes it’s something they do, sometimes it’s something they don’t.
There are situations they don’t want to listen to us. Or sometimes even worse – they do things on purpose. They constantly check our limits.
And sometimes it’s not even about limits. Sometimes these are things they just don’t control. For example – we want them to eat – but they don’t feel hungry. Or we want them to go to sleep, but they just don’t feel sleepy. We are in the middle of something important – and they come and bug us with some silly questions. We just dressed them in this new adorable outfit, and they make it dirty within seconds. It’s not even their fault. But we get upset.
We get upset because their behavior doesn’t fit our expectations.
Now, I don’t know if you have noticed, but by my previous posts, you can see that I am really against yelling and shouting and punishing.
I can not always control my emotions. And sometimes I have these really hard days when every little thing annoys me and makes me angry. But what I can control is my behavior. I can control my reactions. And by my reactions, I can turn the situation into something bearable and manageable, and sometimes even to something that in the end makes me smile.
If I give in to anger – it means I’m not in control. The Anger is the one that controls me. And when we lose control – we can solve nothing.
Reacting while angry will always bring poor results:
- The situation will not be solved in an efficient way.
- It will give a bad example to our children.
- We will (most probably) regret later for our impulsive reaction.
So what do I do when my children upset me? how do I succeed to control my emotions?
I breathe and count till ten.
I stop and breathe, letting some oxigen get into my brain. I do not respond immediately even if my child tries to demand a response.
I remind myself that they are just children
Which means that:
- They do not understand many things that I do understand already as an adult.
- They have their own world, which is different from mine. What is important to me is not important to them and vice versa.
- They have no patience. Because they are children their perception of time is completely different from ours.
- They check my limits not because they are bad, but because this is the way they learn what they can or cannot do. And this is just fine. I’m here to teach them.
- They have the right to behave like children.
I remind myself that I was the one who decided to have kids.
They didn’t choose to come to this world. So basically my kids owe me nothing. I am obligated to take a good care of these new human beings that I’ve decided to create. I don’t make them a favor. So I have no right to get angry at them because they bug me. This is their function as my kids.
I ask myself why this specific situation upsets me and is it really so important?
Is it worthy to be upset about?
Ok, so at the family meal, my daughter spilled all the sauce on her new amazing beautiful very expensive dress. SO FRICKIN’ WHAT. Is it a matter of life and death? Is it going to affect her health? Does it put someone in danger? Is it harmful or offensive to someone? No? So it’s NOT important! This is just material stuff. Furthermore, it can be probably fixed with the help of a washing machine…
I hug and kiss them.
Yes. In this very moment that I’m all boiling inside – I just press them to my chest and kiss them. And this action only has a major effect in calming me down.
This loving touch. This feeling of how soft and fragile they are. This action reminds me that they are my little cubs. It reminds me of this very first time they came out of my womb and were put on my chest. And then, I am just not able to be angry at them anymore.
Yes, our kids make us angry. And yes, it is so much easier to give in to anger and respond immediately. Follow our impulse. Controlling ourselves is an effort. And sometimes we don’t want to do any more efforts. Because we are tired. As parents, we are constantly tired. Phisically and emotionally. But I can assure you that this little effort doesn’t cost much, and it is so worth it! Totally worth it!! Because if you do it, you end up so much happier! You’ll get a calm home with calm kids and calm self. This little effort will make your job as a parent so much easier.
Try it, and let me know about your results.