It's easy to lose your temper when you're so sleep deprived you can barely stand it. When your third grader dumps a two-liter bottle of soda on the kitchen floor or when a sassy teenager gets lippy for the three thousandth time, it's quite easy to do. Sooner or later, you are going to lose your temper. If you are a parent, you're going to blow your cork, have a short fuse or erupt like Mt. Vesuvius. It's part of your child's job description to drive you completely crazy and push you to your breaking point. No one needs to call DSS just yet. Here are some things to do to prevent a temper tantrum, and what to do when it happens:
Take a Timeout
Let's face it, your kids know which buttons to push and precisely when, don't they? If you feel a blowup brewing (before delving out severe punishment, like a lifetime grounding you know you won't stick to) put everyone in timeout, including yourself, before you say a word. Take a bath, read a book, go for a walk or just sit alone for a few minutes and cool off.
If you lose it, admit it. If you've already had your temper tantrum with your kid(s), it's time for a sit down. After you're calm, apologize and empathize. Tell them why you got frustrated and that you could have handled it better. Once you know better, do better. Screaming at your kids is not cool and will only teach them to yell when they get frustrated--which you will regret.
Create a Plan
Before the diaper hits the fan (it's going to), talk about anger and frustration, what it is and how to deal with it. Write down ideas from your kids on what they think should happen when anger strikes. Should one lie down, take a bath, go for a walk or go to their special place in the house? After a cool down, how can someone express their anger in a constructive way? You may get some great ideas. Remember that kids aren't stupid and they'll probably come up with some really great ideas for everyone. Once you make a plan together, everyone will be more likely to use it too.
Know Your Trigger Points
What ticks you off more than anything? Is it back-talk, sibling arguing, laziness, bad grades, or disrespect? Find out what your trigger points are and if you don't know how to handle what irritates you, do some research. There are tons of experts with advice. Find one that you can relate to and check it out. Even if you have to invest some money, it's worth your sanity, isn't it?
Parenting is HARD work. You know that. Having a plan makes it a little less ferocious, so go make your plan now for the next time disaster strikes. And when it does, apologize and move on.
About the Author: Amy Stewart-Wright is an 80' music listening, WAH rockin', outdoor loving, Moxie Momma who lives in North Carolina with her husband and 4 kids. Her dream and passion is to inspire thousands of women to find their passions and live their happiest life.