I have witnessed other mothers seriously lose their cool with their kids in public. As a mom I know that this does not mean they are bad mothers, it’s just that kids naturally push their boundaries and have a penchant for doing the most ridiculous things on your watch … usually infront of an audience.
You get so frustrated and embarrassed that your natural inclination is to lash out at your child which is normal but it is not worth the months of guilt for losing control of yourself.
Here are 5 tips on how to be more patient and deal with bad behavior so you too can deal with your kids with zen-like calm during those unsavory moments.
Find out how to be a more patient mother
1. Pick your battles
If he cries to wear that new t-shirt to school for the fifth day in a row – let him. The teachers are used to the whims of little children and nobody will judge you. It’s not worth the fight and the tears especially when you need to get them going in the mornings.
Sometimes we just need to take stock of the situation/cause of the disagreement with our child and make the call on what is important and what is not worth the fight. It’s not called giving-in, it’s called allowing them to be children just like we once were.
They are lucky to wear whatever they want without getting judged for it. We would not get away with showing up at the office or showed up at drop-off in the morning wearing a spider man suit! My daughter has worn her cow pajama bottoms to school many times before, sometimes for days in a row! I don’t care because it’s not worth the fight and even though I would prefer for her to look like a picture every morning, I don’t mind her just being a kid while she still can.
2. Cover the basics
Sometimes children misbehave because they being plain naughty, but there are exceptions when the bad behavior is a result of over-stimulation. When you are presented with bad behaviour, do a mental checklist:
- Are they hungry?
- Are they tired?
- Are they over-stimulated?
All of these factors could result in a display of bad behavior which you might misinterpret as a tantrum.
3. Get down to their level
I might make suggestions but I usually let my daughter dress herself. She very meticulously plans her entire outfit for the day, no two items matching but that’s OK, she is learning to be independent and I want to encourage that. Sometimes her dad will come in shouting that she is taking too long to get dressed and helps her himself. This ruins her entire morning and is sure to result in a very tearful goodbye which I hate because I believe that children be sent off to school with kisses and happiness.
Daddy might not understand but as her mom I understand that she is trying, even at her young age, to assert herself as a woman. She loves to be organized (like her mother), and takes pride in organizing her entire outfit right down to her matching socks (usually mine). She might be taking a bit longer than I would to dress herself, but sparing a few minutes to allow her that will make her feel independent and give her a sense of achievement thus making it totally worth your time.
Children have not yet developed coping mechanisms to deal with overwhelming feelings so very often they start crying or throw a tantrum when they are overwhelmed. As moms our reaction to the situation will impact the outcome. As the grown-ups we don’t have that same handicap, we are adults and we have coping mechanisms we can use.
One such coping mechanism is to give yourself a time-out. Go for a walk, read a magazine, make yourself a cup of tea and sip it slowly. You will find that once you have replenished the well from which your children are drawing from you will be able to deal with your children much better.
5. Laugh and enjoy the moment
Easier said that done I know! But sometimes all you can do is throw your head back and laugh out loud with your child and just enjoy the moment because they are only children for a short while. Even when they drew a portrait of you with crayons on the wall. Even when your child is resisting potty training and has found a few very creative places to go potty (behind the curtains and couch)!
At the end of the day moms are all only doing their best. Once in a while we all flip out but we learn from our mistakes and the guilt we feel afterwards prevents us from lashing out the next time. Hopefully these tips will help you to develop coping mechanisms of your own.
Do you have any other coping mechanisms to add? Leave a comment and let’s compare notes. Moms are each others best cheerleaders!