There is no rule book for parenting. Most of us find that we learn something new every day. Since there's no end date on the gig, it's a lifetime worth of new experiences. Raising children isn't always a picnic; even the most patient of moms might lose their temper when little Tommy decides to take a felt tip to the brand new sofa. With that being said, yelling can often leave us feeling guilty and even more stressed than we were before. We've got a few handy tips to help you keep your cool in tough situations.
Remove yourself from the situation temporarily
How many of us take the time to send the kids upstairs for a timeout, or make use of the naughty step? When the kids have done something that they shouldn't have, or if they're throwing a tantrum, the first step is usually to let them have some time to calm down. Next time you feel yourself blowing up, try to remove yourself from the conflict for a few minutes. Going into your bedroom and closing the door, or moving into the kitchen to make yourself a cup of tea can give you some time to decompress. Not only does it stop you from erupting, but it shows your children a better way of dealing with emotions when they get too much.
Sit your child down and tell them how they feel
Communication is the key to any relationship. If your little ones are sad or distressed, you may encourage them to talk about how they're feeling. We all know that letting it out can be an incredible relief. In conflict situations, sit down and tell them how you're feeling, and why you're feeling that way. By doing this, you're not only validating your own feelings but letting your children know that it's okay to feel these things sometimes.
Pull them up on their antics in a positive way
It's easy to throw around things like, "Stop doing that or you won't go to the park!" Threatening kids who aren't listening to requests is often the last resort for parents but it seldom does the trick. In the end, what you're left with is a child feeling even more miserable, and an empty threat hanging in the air. It's important to remember that all kids will try and push boundaries and misbehave, but that doesn't mean they don't need to be pulled up on bad behavior. Take a breath, get down to their level, and calmly explain to them that what they were doing isn't acceptable. Kids are far more likely to take what you're saying on board if you talk to them in this way, rather than yelling from across the room.
Forget the threats, try consequences
It might sound like two sides of the same coin, but there are is a big difference between a threat and a consequence. Punishments and threats can often escalate bad behavior or make temper tantrums worse. Instead, opting to go with a consequence can help negate the situation. Instead of using threats, a consequence usually comes with fair warning. For example, if your child is playing with a friend but refusing to share a specific toy, you may tell them several times that sharing is caring. If they still don't get it, taking the toy away would be a good consequence that could help them act in a kinder way in the future. It sounds simple, but it really works.
If you do yell, apologize. None of us are perfect
There will be times when our kid-o-meter goes off the scale, and we end up yelling. We're only human. Instead of beating yourself up about it, apologize to your child. It doesn't mean that you're validating their behavior or giving them a free pass. Instead, it teaches them that everyone makes mistakes, and we should all hold ourselves accountable. Taking a moment to say, "Mommy is sorry she yelled, let's talk about it" can make a huge difference. At the end of the day, we want our children to grow up communicating in an adult, calm, and reasonable manner. If that's how we talk to them, that's how they'll talk to us.