We’ve all been there. We ask our child (for the fifth time) notto do something, only to turn around and find him doing that very thing. A situation like this one can get even the calmest person’s blood boiling and might normally lend itself to yelling, screaming, or harsh anger.
Although the misbehavior needs to be dealt with swiftly and fairly, there are much healthier alternatives to losing our cool in the process. Implement one of the “Before and During the Situation” suggestions below to keep yourself in check. Once the misbehavior is handled in a calm manner, try one of the “After the Situation” suggestions to get your blood pressure back to normal and unity back in the home. And before you think I’m claiming to be an expert on the topic, let me assure you that you couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, I’m writing this post as much for my benefit as anyone else’s!
Before and during the situation
1. Pray. Pray for patience. Pray for peace. Pray for the supernatural ability to handle the situation as God would want you to.
2. Take a few deep breaths. As you exhale, attempt to mentally release whatever anger you are harboring. As cheesy as it sounds, it helps.
3. Take a time-out in the bathroom — and lock the door. As moms of young children, sometimes we just need a few minutes to clear our head before venturing back into the battlefield. And say a prayer your kids won’t hurt each other in the process of your “Mommy Time Out.”
After the situation
4. Be spontaneous–don’t say a word to the kids and go outside and start blowing bubbles (or something equally as fun). Invite them to join you whenever they are ready. Obviously, this should happen after the discipline and consequences have taken place.
5. Open your Bible and quickly thumb through your index to find some Scriptures on anger. Repeat them over and over to yourself. I’ve also found it helpful to have those particular scriptures memorized so that they can be recalled at a moment’s notice (Proverbs 15:1, anyone?).
6. Turn on a movie for the kids and jump in the bathtub. Although I don’t think TV should frequently be used as a babysitter, we also shouldn’t feel guilty in those moments where we need to use it as one (for our own sanity and the temporary well-being of our children).
7. Have a tickle fight. After moments of tension (especially after a child is disciplined), she needs to be assured of your love for her and that you generally enjoy spending time with her. What better way to show that than a tickle fight? Plus, laughter is good for the soul…so everyone wins!
8. Read a book together. There are few things in our household that will calm my very energetic boys quicker than sitting down to read a book in my lap. Not only does this give everyone an opportunity to settle down, it also allows for some good cuddling time.
9. Spend some one-on-one time with the perpetrator. If you have more than one child, it is amazing how enjoyable and easy it is to spend time with just one child at a time! And it could be that the child who ignited the flame of fury could be needing just a little bit of affirmation. Taking an hour or two to spend time with that child will not only reassure him of the love you have for him, it will also be an enjoyable bonding experience for both of you!
10. Stop feeling guilty and inadequate. Every mother has experienced a time in their MomLife where they have done something that she wished she hadn’t, whether it be an unkind word, harsh tone, or full-blown screaming. I fervently believe that God uses child-rearing to humble our (at times) prideful hearts. Through this He is teaching us to rely on Him and not to depend on ourselves. We can’t be the kind of mothers we want to be, or the mothers our children need us to be, on our own. We must look to His strength, love, and kindness.
The feelings of self-doubt and continual guilt are not from God. They are Satan’s way of attacking us. When we feel like this,we become debilitated. We become grouchy. We become irritable and short-fused. We don’t want to serve because we don’t feel like it. And that’s just what the enemy wants …
So next time you are faced with an otherwise explosive situation as a mom, try one of these tips to help diffuse both you and everyone around you.
Hi friends! I’m Jenae, the wife of an amazing man and mother to two adorable little boys. Prior to becoming a Mama, I taught a class full of bright-eyed six-year olds all about phonics, sight words, and addition. I now have the pleasure of being able to stay home with the two precious blessings God has entrusted to us. (Well, it’s a pleasure most days… some days it is just plain exhausting!) In addition to fixing quesadillas, making runs for my daily “prescription” of Dr. Pepper, and trying not to step on one of the hundreds of hot wheels that litter my floor, I also share fun and educational ideas for young children at ICanTeachMyChild.com. Above all else, I hope to point my children towards Christ and be an example of grace and love to all those around me.