It happens to the best of us. We’re handling life well until one of our kids just pushes us right over the edge. We’re no longer talking in our sugary sweet voice that seemed to be helping us keep our anger under control. Now we’re yelling and the Mommy Monster has shown up.
Every mom has those moments where we just lose it.
But what if we could do something to stop the Mommy Monster from showing up? What if we had a few steps we could take to maintain perspective and lead our kids well through those trying times?
I found the three P’s were as helpful as any strategy I used to keep the Mommy Monster away: Pause. Ponder. Proceed.
Let’s look at each:
The anger is growing and you feel the emotion rising up within you. Watch out…if you don’t do something…she’s gonna blow! This is the moment you need to pause and the best way I found to pause was to step outside the door (if we were at home!). I’d simply say, “Mommy needs a break” and I’d step outside the door. If it was a summer day I would instantly see the big blue sky and be reminded that what was happening inside was not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things. If it was a cold wintry day, I would instantly be hit with the chill in the air and it would help me to catch a deep breath and take a much needed–but quick–break from the emotion.
As I step outside the door, I ponder what happened. Are the kids tired? Hungry? Am I tired or hungry? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? I once heard Dr. Kevin Leman say, “If your kid spills milk, he doesn’t need a lecture; he needs a rag.” Just remembering that helps me to ponder if I’m making a bigger deal of something than it needs to be. Sometimes its also helpful to ask, “Will this matter in 10 years?”
Once I’ve stepped away from the emotion and pondered what is contributing to the mess, I can then proceed appropriately. If everyone needs a break from each other, I can lead that. If I need to feed the troops (or feed myself), I can do that. If I need to apologize for being irritable, I can do that. If it will matter in 10 years, I can lead well and if it won’t matter in 10 years I can let things go.
Yelling at our kids creates an unsafe environment for them. They most certainly need consequences sometimes for their behavior, but our anger should never be used as a consequence.
If the Mommy Monster tends to show up a lot at your house, you’re not alone. Some immediate first steps to take are to pause, ponder, and proceed. If you feel you need something else, though, you can find help from any of these four books:
No More Perfect Kids by Dr. Kathy Koch and Jill Savage
She’s Gonna Blow by Julie Barnhill
When You Feel Like Screaming: Practical Help For Frustrated Moms by Sue Heimer
Calming Angry Kids: Help and Hope for Parents in the Whirlwind by Tricia Goyer (releasing Oct 2018–can be pre-ordered now)
(These can all be found over in my Amazon Shop!)
What about you? What strategy have you found helps keep the Mommy Monster away?
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