Sunday, April 28, 2013

10 Things To Try Before You Lose Your Temper With Your Child

Making your home sing Mondays

Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday linky party! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). 

My point with each Monday post is, what are YOU doing or going to do today to make your home sing? It can be an attitude or an action. So have fun, do some blog hopping and if you want, link up!

Topics can include marriage, parenting, encouraging women, organization, cleaning, saving money, our behavior and attitudes, homemaking, homeschooling, recipes....the opportunities are endless.

Do you ever find yourself losing your temper with your children? Have you ever just had one of "those" days, and you wished that you could be calmer when you have to discipline or correct them?

Have you ever thought about what you must look like when you're mad? Have you ever thought about what you must look like to your child? Do you know what I'm talking about when I say "mad mom" face?  Yup, that's where the guilt comes in, because you HAVE thought of it, right?  And you've felt bad!  So have I!

A tired mommy is one who has answered the same question over and over, who has chased a fleeing toddler through the store, said "No" to the same question fifteen times in a row, watched her child throw a fit at the mall for an audience of hundreds, changed a major diaper blowout only to have to change another one in less than ten minutes......

You get the idea. As the day goes on and the kids are only getting started, mommy is starting to wear down. Sometimes, she may even find herself overreacting to something that is, indeed, a very minor situation. Sometimes, she just wants to cry.

She loves her kids. She knows she does. She loves being a mom. But sometimes, she feels really guilty and wonders if she's "good" enough. She looks at all the other moms and wonders how they make it look so "easy." She feels awful if and when she loses her patience. Sometimes she feels like a failure.

Moms, here are TEN things to try the next time you're about to lose your temper with your child:

1. Turn off the tape recorder in your head. The one that keeps playing the same old negative words that you've said to yourself many times before:

"You're a failure.  You don't deserve to be a mom.  If you really loved your child you wouldn't have lost your temper last time.  You should feel awful for wanting him to take a nap so that you can too......."  and so on.

Stop the bad talk and stop comparing yourself to that "perfect" mom that you think you should be.

2. The next time you feel yourself losing your temper, go off into another room and pray. I can't tell you the number of times I had to go into the bathroom (the only place I could be alone) and just pray that the Lord would help me to calm down and not be so frustrated, and praying that He would guard my words so that I could speak with my child calmly. Then, remember that you aren't alone and you don't have to do it all on your own.

3. Don't take their behavior personally; keep it in perspective, and don't cry.  You've already prayed, now take a few deep breaths.  Think of a police officer.  They don't cry when they give you a ticket, do they?  They don't take it all personally and get their feelings hurt and sob hysterically and say "Where did I go wrong? I must be a lousy police officer," do they? They just told you what you did wrong and handed out the consequence. Then they told you to have a nice day.  When you are handing out consequences, remember the police officer!

4. Allow yourself some time to calm down, if necessary, before you speak with them.  Part of our job as parents is to train our children.  You signed up for this, remember?  So did I.  We just didn't know that it might involve scrubbing marker off the walls or trying to unclog a toilet that has been clogged by a sock or putting a child back in bed for the 432nd time that night.

Just take a few deep breaths, say a prayer, and perhaps remove yourself from the situation to calm yourself down, if needed.  Then when you've calmed down, return and speak with your child.  Think about it from their perspective.

If you have a boss, would you rather have your boss correct you calmly or by yelling? I'll bet your child would choose a calm voice.  I know I would!  Remember, this season of life will pass and believe me, you WILL miss it someday.  Well, maybe not all of it......  ;)

5. Lower yourself to their physical level. It's very easy to be annoyed and frustrated when you are the one towering over them. It's easy to feel your temper build when you are in the position of authority.

6. Try kneeling in front of them, placing yourself at or near their eye level. Try sitting next to them on the couch. With a small child, try kneeling so that you are looking up at them and they are looking down at you the next time you need to give them a verbal correction.

Putting yourself in a "humble" position may be all you need to be able to speak in a calm voice. It may be all you need to be able to respond to the situation without losing your patience or your temper. It may be all you need to remind yourself that, sometimes, what you communicate isn't as important as how you communicate.

7. Let them know you love them. A situation, while important, is not as important as our childrens' hearts.  We want them to know that we may not have liked their behavior, but we DO love them.  We don't ever want our children to fear that they will lose our love by their misbehavior.  We want them to be secure and trust our love and know that while we may have to correct them from time to time, we will do it in love.

8. Give them a hug and don't withhold forgiveness.  Don't be afraid to hug your child at the end of a correction or discipline.  Don't be afraid that a hug will confuse them or make them think that "what they did was o.k."  A hug reassures them of your love for them, and a hug will go a long way to calming YOU down, mommy.  Sometimes we might feel like we don't want to hug because we still "feel" angry.  But you have dealt with the situation, given a consequence and now it's time to forgive and move on.

9.  Don't be afraid to say "I'm sorry" when you need to.  Your child will not look down on you for it.  By doing so you are obeying the Lord, will set an example for your child, ease those guilt feelings on your part and hurt feelings on your child's part and restore your relationship.  Children are very forgiving and that will help heal your mommy heart!

10. Go to bed at a decent hour. Don't stay up late reading blogs (even THIS one, lol!), or playing on pinterest or facebook.  A tired mommy can be a cranky mommy, and a cranky mommy is more apt to lose her temper.

Just remember that you can trust the Lord to help you when you feel close to losing your temper.  Trust and lean into Him and make your home sing!

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own "Making Your Home Sing Monday" Linky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post so that others can join the fun!

If you don't want to miss any blog posts, you can follow me or subscribe in your reader or by email.  You   can also find me here on  facebook as well!  I'd love to connect with you!

I am linking to these linky parties:

The Life Of FaithTheBetterMom.comWhat Joy Is MinePhotobucketHappy Wives ClubExceptionalisticCovered in GraceRaising Imperfection i should be mopping the floorWise-Woman-Builds Missional Women
All Things with Purposekatherines corner
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Also We Are That Family 

Friday, April 26, 2013

When You Have A Child You Give Your Heart Away

To love a child is to give your heart away.  To have a child love YOU is to get it back.

I was talking to a young father in the produce section once.  He shared that he loved his little daughter so much that he couldn't bear to have another child.  He said that he worried so much about her that he just didn't want to have any more.

It wasn't because he didn't want any more children, and it wasn't because he felt like he couldn't afford any more children.  He was just afraid to open his heart again.  "I don't want to be vulnerable," he said.

I looked at this sweet man and said "You're already vulnerable! You already have one child in this world so whether you have one child or ten, you are going to be just as vulnerable."

He thought by limiting his children he could limit his fears for his child.  He thought that he would double or triple his fears if he added more children, because he would have more children to worry about.

It has been my experience that worrying about your children is the same, whether it was worrying about my one child when I had only one, or my two children now that I have two. I have not now cornered the worry market just because I have two children.

I have several friends who have had only one child, and they don't seem to have limited their source of worry by limiting their children.

They worry if their child will be spoiled or selfish by being an only child.  They worry about their only child "missing out" on the give and take and fights and fun of siblings.  They worry if their child will resent them for not giving them siblings.  They worry about what will happen to their child and who will give them love and support when they're gone.

Then I have lots of friends who have more than one child, like me!  Whether they have two children or ten children  they have worries as well.

They worry that their child will feel invisible because of so many siblings.  They worry that their older children will feel resentful for having to help with the littles, and that the littles won't be as close to their oldest siblings because of the age difference.  They worry that their children will feel the negative responses that some people give them for having a big family.

If you have children you are going to be vulnerable. But is that really so bad?

It just means that your heart is open to love.  Lots and lots of love.  And your heart is open to joy, lots and lots of joy.  The opposite of vulnerable would be closed, guarded, shielded, protected.  Is that the kind of heart we want to have?  A closed, shielded heart?

 We had two children.  We did not want to close ourselves off from such joy because we were afraid of being more vulnerable.  Can you even BE more vulnerable?

Yes, you are vulnerable when you have children.

Your heart is going to forever leave your body and go walking out that door right along with them whenever that child crosses the threshold.

But it will come back to you again every time that child returns home.  It will come back to you every time that child gives you a hug, smiles at you, says "I love you" or says "Mom?" when you answer the phone.

It will come back to you in moments of joy and moments of tears. In moments of faith and moments of fears.

Yes, children make you vulnerable.  But they also make you a mother, and what a blessing from God that is!

If you don't want to miss any blog posts, you can follow me or subscribe in your reader or by email.  You   can also find me here on facebook as well!  I'd love to connect with you!

Be sure and come back Monday and link up to the Making Your Home Sing Monday  linky party! 

I am linking up to these linky parties today:

Missional Women
The Life Of FaithTheBetterMom.comWhat Joy Is MinePhotobucketHappy Wives ClubExceptionalisticCovered in GraceRaising Imperfection
Wise-Woman-Builds Missional Women
All Things with Purposekatherines corner
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