It’s easy to be a parent on the days when things are good. You know those days where the children listen and don’t argue with you. Chores get done, you aren’t running late. No-one is fighting, there is no whining. You get to have a shower by yourself and go to the bathroom uninterrupted and even sit down a little.
The type of mum you are on those days does matter… but it’s the days when everything goes pear shaped that really count.
The days when your child has a tantrum or hits their brother. The day when every meal is refused. The days when you’re tired, hungry and you just want to run away.
Those days matter…. It’s how you act on those days that matter. Those are the days when both you and your child are having a hard time.
When your child is having a hard time, you yelling or screaming at them, threatening to take away toys or privileges isn’t helpful. Forcing them to sit at the table and finish their dinner isn’t going to work. Putting them in their room and just shutting the door so that they “self-settle” won’t solve anything.
These are the days where you need to step up. I know it is hard. It is hard to be a mum when you’re tired and beyond exhausted. It’s hard when you have no sense of personal space because little ones’ are constantly crawling on top of you. It’s hard to be calm when you don’t get a break.
Our job as parents is to teach our children. Teach them how to handle their emotions. And for little children this is a big ask. If we want the number of ‘bad days’ to go down, then we need to model more positive parenting behaviour.
One of the things I see so much of is mums who yell at their children and then get frustrated that their children yell at others and back at them. Well it’s simply because that’s the behaviour that they have learned is appropriate. Children model their behaviour on the behaviour that is modelled to them. So if you want to change your child’s behaviour then you need to change yours first.
There are lots of things that you can do on those days to help you manage your emotional reaction when faced with these ‘bad days’:
- Take 10-15 minutes out just for yourself. I know it sounds impossible but it is crucial for you to be able to have enough reserves to manage your child’s emotions. It’s important to just make time. No excuses!
- Give yourself a break from your expectations. On day’s like this, the laundry can wait, the housework can wait. Perhaps it’s a night for take out or going out for dinner. Anything that you can do to help take some pressure off yourself will put you in a better frame of mind.
- Do some exercise. Exercise is just perfect on so many levels. Improves health – physical and mental, increases energy and improves the quality of sleep. It’s even better if you can go outside for a walk. Either by yourself or with the kids. Get some fresh air and some Vitamin D, it benefits the whole family.
- Eat well. When you’re having a ‘bad day’ eating healthy, nutritiously balanced meals is vital. High peaks and lows of blood sugar from sugary snacks or low-nutritious fast food will only contribute to you have a short temper with your child.
- Get out of the house. When you’re stuck inside 4 walls, the tantrums and cries just seem louder. Everything is weighing down on you more and you’re more aware of everything that you feel you should be doing. So go out, go to the park, play centre or to a friends house. Just make sure you have a change of scenery.
- Talk to someone. Here’s the important part, don’t just talk to someone who you are going to whinge to. It’s okay to have a little bit of a complain to get it off your chest, just make sure it’s someone who will also help lift you up and make you feel better and perhaps give you strategies to manage the day.
Yelling isn’t an acceptable parenting technique, whether it is a ‘good day’ or a ‘bad’ day. Being an aggressive parent when your child is having a hard time is just going to make things harder for everyone!
I’m not here to make you feel guilty, no-one can make you feel guilty. Guilt is simply an emotion that you feel when you compromise your own value or belief system. You wouldn’t feel guilty about something that you didn’t think or believe on some level was unacceptable.
I know that if you’ve read all the way to the bottom of this then you really want to be able to manage those ‘bad’ days. So I’d like to invite you to have a session with me where we can have a chat and create a plan so that you can be a mum who doesn’t have to yell at her children on those challenging days. Register your details into the box below and I’ll give you a call asap and we can set a time up.
You can be a calm mum, even when your child is loosing it because they don’t want to eat their dinner and you’ve had a busy day without a break. It is possible!
Let’s speak soon!