I yelled at my little one the day after Christmas. Talk about a way to land the jolliest season, right? I know, I kind of jumped right into this thing, but it is our reality and the truth is my heart is still so sad about it.
I could give you the full story and tell you all of the many things that my 4-year-old, strong-willed blessing did. (The girl has got some fire in her.) I could tell you about how she complained all morning about wanting the GIRL baby alive and not the BOY baby alive that Santa brought her for Christmas. But, here’s the truth; A year ago I made a promise not to yell, and I broke that promise.
So, I’ve spent the last week or so trying to figure out what brought me to that point, how I’ve done a great job in not yelling all of this time, and what I can do in the future to avoid it. My hope is that in my honesty with you, being vulnerable enough to admit that I yelled at my little one, that if you’ve found yourself in this same space, there will be answers, understanding, and maybe a little bit of hope to help you and I both to avoid it in the future.
1. Maintain a Full State
It’s no secret that kids have the energy of Flash, The Avenger. I’m honestly convinced that there’s some type of energy super power supply that’s pumping into them, that we adults do not have. It probably left us at the ripe age of 13, and I don’t know about you, but mine has not come back . . . at all.
With that being said, the reality of that imbalance is that while we sometimes need time to regain our energy and get to our centered state, staring right at us are kids that do not. So, we end up operating in a deficit that leaves us tired, irritated, and definitely not filled with the grace that’s needed to love on our babies.
The first thing I do in these cases is maintain a “full state,” My life coach Emily Johnson
calls it the “replenishment cycle.”
When I’m feeling low in any area, I replenish. I get my nails and hair done, I stay consistent on having quiet time in the mornings, I go to workout classes, and I most definitely squeeze in time to have a good meal that’s not good for me, weekly. Those are the things that replenish me! If I start to miss those, an imbalance is created, and I begin to operate from a place of deficit, and not my “full state.”
2. Don’t Take It Personally
Secondly, I realized in certain moments, I would feel like a victim of my little one. I would feel like the behavior my daughter was showing was happening to me, and I started to take it personally. We find ourselves asking questions like,
“Does she want a different doll because she doesn’t think that the gift I got her was good enough?”
“Is he dragging his feet to get out of the car because he’s purposefully trying to make me late?”
Or just flat out, “Why are you doing this to me?”
Well, with that mindset we begin to start believing the worst about our children, that they somehow have malicious intent behind their behaviors—even when they don’t. So how do you stay away from that mindset? Just don’t take it personally.
The behavior that pushes our buttons might be something our children are struggling with or needs some limits set on. So, even if the inappropriate behavior is directed at you, it’s not about you. It’s about them.
3. Become a Future Thinker
And, lastly, one of the things that Julie Richard
, speaker and founder of Fearless Mom
says is that our goal while raising children is to create adults that respect authority, are responsible, grateful, and honest
. Well, I don’t know about you, but my little one doesn’t have all of those traits right now. And many of you that are reading this are thinking the same.
Here’s the good news: All of the work that we are putting in now is most definitely going towards seeing those traits in our children down the road. That’s our goal. Those are the marks that we are creating every time we discipline, correct, and repeat the same directive a million times.
We want to be able to one day look in the eyes of our adult children and see the fruits of our labor. So, how do we do that? Remember this: Raising children becomes easier when we become future thinkers.
When we keep in mind that delayed gratification is a real thing, we can start to bring ourselves into a more calm space in even the toughest of moments.
So, here’s a recap of everything that has helped me remain calm even in the most difficult moments with my daughter:
Maintain a Full State
Don’t take it Personally
Become a Future Thinker
With those 3 things in practice, both you and I can gain more hope and brave even the toughest storms in this space we call parenting.