How many of you have experienced that moment where your child is simply trying to get attention from you or exercise their assertiveness but through a combination of unfortunate events you are at the end of your rope and you “snap” or “blow a fuse”? That wave of guilt washes over you after it has happened and you wish you could take back the last six minutes where your “MOMSTER” came out. How do you keep this from happening? You can’t. It is that simple. Just accept that it is going to happen because the stress of trying to keep it from NEVER happening will most likely lead to it happening again and possibly sooner than if you grant yourself the permission that mom can only take so much.
Children That Act “Childish”
Children provide constant challenges, which are not limited to tantrums, running away, nagging, refusing to help, yelling, screaming and not following directions. Did I miss any? And when they are our children, it’s downright impressive the buttons they know to push and exactly how to push them. Even as a mental health professional, I am not immune to parenting challenges. One recent challenge I experienced involved bedtime rituals. It was late and the MOMSTER was on the verge of appearing but instead, I tried a different approach to tame the MOMSTER. My child clearly needed my attention and I was willing to meet her attention-seeking disruptive behavior with the last remaining ounce of grace I could muster. I said, “ “I love you and I know you need my attention right now but I am really struggling and if you could help mommy by brushing your teeth, I will be happy to come read you a story.” I was modeling healthy emotional control for my child. Modeling emotional regulation to some of our children’s most challenging behaviors will actually lead to a decrease in their tantrums and increase their ability to appropriately control and display their emotions on a regular basis.
Maybe they do not understand all of the verbiage but they clearly see your frustrations and body language. Own these negative emotions. Show your children what “feeling negative moods” is like. This will go a long way to helping our children understand how to label and identify emotions.
Support is Closer Than You Think
I rely heavily on my support system at home- sometimes it takes a village to raise our children! I will text my husband when I am having a bad day before I get home and state, “Mom is having a bad day, and fuse is short”. He then has a heads up that when I walk in the door; it is not the best time to load me with questions, tasks, needs, and even conversation. Often it means I will be met in the driveway with offers for assistance in carrying my bags in, a hug, and a smile. That immediately can make my fuse a little longer and settle my nerves.
Children’s behavior can often lead to frustration that can and will cause you to explode on occasion. But having positive clear communication with children and supportive individuals in our houses like spouses, parents, siblings, and even co-workers can lead to better outcomes, longer fuses, and better days for everyone.
If you need additional support on how not to “blow your fuse,” please contact us and sign up for our upcoming parenting and anger classes!