As a parent, you know all about the edge. It’s different for all of us and different pains push us there, but we all cross it from time-to-time.
When one more piece of food hits the floor you just swept.
When you get hit in the face by a hair brush.
When the LEGO car you just built gets ripped apart.
I could go on. It makes you snap and that is okay. Parents are human, even if you were not 100% sure.
We have a five and a two-year old. That’s a lot of being pushed to the edge on daily basis (sometimes literally).
But the thing I need to keep reminding myself, is how to handle it when I get there. What is the best way to let things roll off your back and not ship the kids off to military school.
I slip and do what comes natural which is to yell and throw something. I feel better for two seconds and it does not solve much. I am pretty much doing what the kids did to get me to that point.
Once in a while I am able to keep my cool. I actually just let it go. Take a deep breath and keep the whole situation calm. I talk the boys off their crazy ledge and we transition to something else.
Or a sippie cup grenade hits the floor and I have apple juice splattered all over me. See above for the yelling and screaming.
Oh kids, they know the exact button to push and unlike world leaders in every action movie, they are not afraid to push hard.
I try my best to not lose it. Like I said, it really does nothing in the long-term. I don’t want the boys to be afraid of me. I want their respect and consideration. But they are too young to understand that.
As long as it becomes clear when I am not pleased with what they are doing, I think that is the best we can do.
When I have reached my breaking point, that is when my wife and I are pretty good and trading off. Even if it is for five minutes to get away from the situation.
Any project will help me. Cleaning up a room, blogging, cooking dinner or even hiding in the bathroom helps.
Of course before long, the boys will come and find you and want to get back in the good books. It’s really sweet.
Then we all move on and live happily until the next time.
Staying in control of your anger or rage is so important with kids. The fear factor is not what is used to be when I was growing up. Like I said, I want the boys to understand right and wrong. I want them to understand when we are not pleased. I want them to understand there are consequences.
What I don’t want is for them to be afraid of me or afraid to talk to me. I admit I can get scary. I am big guy and I can snap. But I am aware when I do it and I can have a smile back on the boys face pretty quick to defuse the tension. I don’t like how I act sometimes, but when you hit that edge, it is hard to think straight.
Raising kids while balancing so many other things is hard. It’s not the hardest thing on the planet by any means and this is what I signed up for, but it’s a grind.
So the next time you are pushed to the edge, pause your brain and take note of how you handle it. What did you do to remain calm? How did you talk to your kids about what they were doing? Parenting is not an exact science.
Let’s close on a funny note. In the comments, let us know one thing that your kids did that made your head explode.