The other day, my kids had an At-Home Learning Day, when teachers have “professional development” (aka a break) and the kids stay home with a list of online learning activities.
I rearranged my schedule to be home, so I was also looking forward to a break myself. I’m not really sure what I envisioned for the day…maybe a morning of pajamas, coffee, and the kids being entertained with fun educational games instead of Pokemon and Power Rangers.
I’m still not really sure how it all started, but by 9:30am I was losing my shit.
Every time I tried to do something I was interrupted by a demanding kid.
The wifi wasn’t working, so I couldn’t get the websites to load and the app versions were taking forever to download.
My 3rd grader was being an a-hole.
And somehow, we had run out of toilet paper.
Each one of those things pushed me closer and closer to the edge and eventually I snapped.
I yelled. I threatened. And I said shaming things to my kids. #parentingfails
Maybe it’s just a way to make myself feel better, but I’m convinced that every parent loses it on their kids at some point or another. If there are parents who always keep their cool and never yell at their kids, then I’d love to know their secret.
In the meantime, I’ll keep working on these steps to handle things better…
How to learn from your parenting fails
I try to learn from each parenting fail. I don’t expect perfection, but I know there’s room for improvement. So, with as little blame as possible, I break down what happened.
First, I look at how I felt, both emotionally and physically. Emotions usually have physical feelings that accompany them. When we can identify both, we’re better equipped to manage our response.
Emotionally, I was feeling angry and flustered.
Physically, I was feeling tension in my jaw, neck, and shoulders.
I was in Fight-or-Flight mode over shoddy WiFi and an impatient 8-year-old!!
Think of these physical and emotional feeling as cues or warning signs. When I feel that tension, I know, if I don’t do something soon I’m eventually gonna blow!
One quick, easy way to stay in control is to take a few slow, deep breaths. This reassures our brain that the “threat” to our system is just a mouthy kid and doesn’t warrant a fight-or-flight (aka lose my shit) reaction.
Are you making a bad situation worse?
What’s the most annoying thing someone could say to you when you’re stressing?
“Calm down.” or “Relax!” or “You’re overreacting.”
Listen to you inner voice during times of stress.
How does it sound? Are you’re beating yourself up, adding insult to injury? Are you saying things that are compassionate to yourself and to others involved?
During my meltdown, I was practically chanting, ‘Just calm down. Don’t get upset. You don’t want to set a bad example of how to handle stress.’
Not only does that sound super annoying, but I was also beating myself up for not setting a better example! WTF?!?!
Here’s a good formula for how to change your thinking:
1) Accept what’s happening without blame.
2) Acknowledge your feelings about what’s happening.
3) Focus on solutions.
Here’s probably what I should’ve told myself…
‘Wow, this isn’t how I thought this morning would go. I’m so annoyed with the wifi! Just because he’s having a hard time waiting, doesn’t mean I’m doing something wrong. He’s just ready to get his tasks done and I don’t want it to take them all day. I can reset the modem and get breakfast ready while we wait.’
Click HERE to learn more about how to be your own bestie instead of your own worst critic.
What’s your most recent parenting fail? Share in the comments below!
Thanks for taking the time,