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Do you scream at your kids? Don’t blame yourself. The author gives us plenty of strategies to manage parental anger and to control triggers.
Even the most loving mother turns into a monster, when there is just 20 minutes left to check into the school and the child is playing with her socks and boots. Even the mother who believes only in the happiness of her child, ends up pointing to the past mistakes and predicting the future doom of the kid’s life, due to the fact that a negative remark from an outsider about her child had sat comfortably in her mind for a long time. Even the mother, known for her patience, loses her cool on seeing her kid’s report card.
We the mothers, irrespective of the million number of things that we swim through, always view our kids always as our number one priority. We are their queen, their guardian angels, protectors, magicians, sworn knights, providers, defenders, carers, nannies and much more. We are their everything. Our every single thought encapsulates the wellness of the little tots that we have brought to this beautiful planet.
But, despite of all the above, how or why do we allow the anger to overcome us?
I am the mother of a six-year-old child. The love I have for my daughter can’t be described in words. To be very honest, I wouldn’t even allow my husband to reprimand her. To add to this, people who would judge my daughter or make some reckless remarks about her would directly go to my hate list. I can go on bragging endlessly about how much I love her.
But, despite possessing that capability to love my baby to that level of infinity, I also take things for granted. Though I would not allow the whole world to lay a finger on my daughter, I am surprised to realise how much I allow my emotional swings to hurt her. I shout, scream and hurt her emotionally and physically.
Why? I have brooded over this question for the past six years and needless to say, this stands as number one on my improvement parameter with regard to parenting. Counselling from my mother, online material, books, pep talks with mothers of my age group, mother’s forums are some of the sources I did seek to find out ways to get my anger into control. As we all know, there are no perfect strategies on how to control anger in the art of parenting, but a mix and match of awareness and discipline has made my life much better.
To start with, what are we capable of?
I was crowned as a mother when I was 24 and I hardly did know how to hold a baby. But then, I handled motherhood with grace as soon as my baby stepped into this world, as if a super magical hormone that had been embedded in the most secretive zone just been released from the time she was born. The abrupt physical changes, sleepless nights, breastfeeding, mental stability to accept and adapt to the new role and much more, I was able to absorb and deal with all of this. Where did this potential come from? No one taught us. As a matter of fact no one could tell us, even our own mother cannot prepare us, in terms of what is to come. All those bits and bytes of information that is being fed to us from the day we conceive is just a small piece of island in the whole wide ocean. We have to swim and go along to mature in this role. That’s Nature’s design! No wonder, the role of motherhood is celebrated from ancient days across all the life forms, because, it’s magical, demanding and irreplaceable.
Only a mother or a parent can love unconditionally, all the other forms or sources of love cannot compare to this. This statement can be challenged, but can never be disproved. The first and foremost thing is that it’s a love that would never fade and would never expect anything in return. To give an example, we are the ones who are capable of walking out of lunch in the midway and cleaning the our child’s poop and coming back to continue with our lunch.
If I have to jot it down, the list would go on endlessly. To put it aptly, the mother does not sacrifice anything here. It’s just in her DNA. It’s the way she has been designed. She can go to any extreme limits to make the simple/complex things happen for her child. To the outsiders it may look like a sacrifice, but to her, that’s how it is. Her child will always be her first priority and the apple of her eye.
So, this divinely designed “mother” capable of loving and protecting her “child” to the heights of infinite galaxies; how does she allow the anger factor to intrude? Why does she go to the extreme of hurting her child? What actually disrupts this nature’s ability to only love and protect? The answers are simple and straight. Few things listed down, based on my experience, are:
This list would go on and on, varying from person to person. But I have jotted down the top few based on my experience. The common trigger is that we try to fit our kids into a square box to be accepted by the society, respected by the people, succeed and prosper and leave the important purpose, happiness, to thin air.
But every single child is unique. They are not born in this world to meet the parent’s expectations. They are born to live, love, shine, shimmer and achieve their purpose in their own unique style that they are designed. Yes, as a mother /parent, we are obligated to protect, provide, facilitate, guide, support and above all love them with all their perfections and imperfections, talents and flaws and ups and downs.
In reality, we try too much to control our children along with the other needful activities. In the name of protection, we intrude too much and tend to diminish their true nature and force to develop a fake mask to be accepted by the society. So, in the initial years of the childhood, we indulge too much in shaping them in the way we want, in the way we dream and in the way the society demands.
As the actual nature of the child rebels at these demands, the mother loses or forgets her natural character to love and protect and instead permits anger to control the situation. In my experience I would say, this is the basis of all problems. Refusing to accept a child’s originality is a common problem and this is getting worse generation after generation. I acted on few areas, to improve my relationship with my daughter. The action items were based on my attitude and how I perceived my daughter and the situation. I have listed the following, which made big difference in my life. The trick is to control our anger and to extend our limits of patience.
In reality, we try too much to control our children along with the other needful activities. In the name of protection, we intrude too much and tend to diminish their true nature and force to develop a fake mask to be accepted by the society.
Activities involving kids should add 20 to 30 percent of extra time. Wake up early, Set the clock 10 minutes faster etc. should help.
Keep it simple. For example, school days are huge triggers for me. Before getting ready to school, things like the choice of dress, keeping the bags ready, shoes and socks ready etc. should be done in the previous night. No complicated cooking in the morning. Wake up, brush, a healthy breakfast, dress up and walk out. This is the straightforward plan. So clearing away the clutter as much as possible in the previous night, would save a lot of running up and down.
Your child’s abilities, powers, perfections, exceptional areas, flaws, imperfections, her crankiness, traumas and inabilities should be accepted equally. It’s not only sufficient to understand the ups and downs of our child, but to recognize the ups to encourage and to realize the downs to help accordingly.
This is one primary area that we as mothers should master. Ignore, avoid, limit or restrict those who make negative remarks about our kids.
Our child is going to be little only for a short while. So let’s stop curbing it and enjoy it to the fullest. Accepting a naughty kid as a naughty will make life easy.
Let’s not expect perfection. They are not machines. As much as we have evolved learning from our mistakes, they will do the same. Give them freedom.
Do not square them. Teach them and explain to them what is right and wrong and explain them the benefits of choosing the sides, and let them decide.
When in such a hurry, there were many a days when I would hardly look at my child and would end up screaming, whenever I noticed some mess-ups. Instead, if I kept looking at her now and then, many of the mess-ups had turned up into a funny thing ending up in giggles and laughter. After all, all the things our children do are silly or funny. There is nothing sinister about their deeds. Trust me, looking at the children whenever possible keeps the momentum.
‘Me’ time for the mother is very crucial. To take good care of our children, we should firstly take good care of ourselves. Plan your gym time, book time, parlour time, coffee time, etc. Sacrificing the ‘me’ time would end up expecting too much from our kids.
A ‘must’ routine. A healthy breakfast sets the body well in action. This one good habit would solve around 70 % of the problem.
Don’t be the single warrior. It will churn us out. Take help wherever possible. After all we are social beings. Involving people in various ways will lead to harmony.
Hug a lot. Kiss a lot. Do it all the time.
Play music whenever possible. It has the magic of soothing our mind.
Let’s tell them when we are happy, sad, frustrated, annoyed, angry, excited. Talk to them. Express your feelings. But ensure that your feelings are expressed in a transparent, honest and simple manner. This will channelise communication and comfort between you and your child.
It’s okay to express your anger. If your kid annoys you, tell him/her in a firm manner but in a straightforward sentence instead of sarcasm. ‘Stop breaking your toy. Play with it nicely’, does more justice than ‘Stop it NOW! Don’t you know, how expensive it is? I am not going to buy any toy for you from now on. Now, go for timeout’. Which one is simple? Which one is effective?
You can track your progress on a day-to-day basis. I did this, and it helped me a lot to improve on the way I treated my daughter. Initial days were marked with red most of the times, and eventually it started to change its colour to green. I tracked it separately for how I treat her in the morning and in the evening. You will be able to understand a trend and what is actually influencing you to go out of control. This is much recommended.
You can track your progress on a day-to-day basis. I tracked it separately for how I treat her in the morning and in the evening. You will be able to understand a trend and what is actually influencing you to go out of control. This is much recommended.
My girl loves attention, as does any other kid. So I am improving myself on activities such as no TV or I-Phone during play and homework times and replying looking at her eyes and if busy, I ask her to wait and make it a point to come back and answer her question or look at what she was trying to show.
Quite a hard one but the more I improved on this, the more I experienced peace. Don’t enforce your choice and don’t accept your child’s choice just like that. Talk through it, find out an option that will fit you both.
Many times, we do falter. Let’s learn the habit of apologising to our kids. Reconciliation is an important trait to be taught and it’s best to reflect it through our actions. Hug, kiss, say sorry and make up.
Life is a journey. No matter how hard we try, we will mess up, fail, and get lost. But never give up. Keep trying to be the better version of yourself every single day and every single minute. Sometimes we may not be able to see any results, even after weeks or months. But keep up with your perseverance, and the bright sunny day will embrace you at the right time.
As I conclude, I like to highlight that as much as “loving unconditionally “ is a blessing, it requires hard work and smart work to uphold the discipline. Every time you are about to yield to anger at your child, just make a quick thought, “If I don’t love my child and accept her flaws, who else in the world would? “
We as mothers occupy the highest and most powerful role in our children’s life. So let’s not allow these fleeting emotional swings to belittle our unequaled prominence in our child’s life. We are their eternal solace. No matter how far they go, what all they become, we will be there to accept, embrace, love, guide and support them and that’s what mothers are made for.
Dreamer. Reader. Traveller. Foodie. Lover of Life.
I create my world at dianajanetjoseph.wordpress.com
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