Whoever said that motherhood was going to be easy? Who else ends the day exhausted, following all the fighting and hustling for basic things, going out all dressed up on to the streets only to get dirty, eating things beyond the usual donuts or rushing through that network of attics that suddenly appears in every corner of the house.
In order to get children to enter their adolescence as whole and healthy teenagers, and to enable them to develop in the company of other children, a ton of patience is necessary, the kind that we sometimes lack which then ends up with us shouting at them to do something. We’re not suggesting that you become the perfect mother like the ones from the Orange Rhino Challenge, but we do want to help you better manage your children’s feelings, as well as your own and avoid any explosive outbursts of anger.
1. A pact with the family
Tell your kids your purpose, which is to not scream. When you make a commitment in the presence of the rest of your family, it is easier to uphold it. I’m not saying that you will automatically stop screaming if it was something that you were already doing, but verbalizing it and apologizing when you falter is part of the learning that will bring you closer to your goal.
2. If you control yourself, they will control themselves
Children tend to mirror what they see, observe and experience, especially on an emotional level. If they see you as a goddess of calm and serenity, or as somebody who doesn’t lose their patience easily, they will acquire this behavior by emulating you. This advice is a 2 x 1 for every rule!
3. Children are children
Yes, I also think that I am going to be hoarse if I were to repeat myself again and again about what my children must do, but when I find myself telling them for the third time that if they do not take off their pants for laundry, there’s going to be trouble, I take a step back and stop repeating myself to them, reminding myself that children are just that, and will behave like children. And of course, they have a mind more occupied by wanting to play, than to assist with boring and mundane chores.
4. Bad days: we all have them
Whoever said that every day needs to be perfect? You can have a bad day; your little kid can have a bad day or even their teacher at school may have a bad day and pass on the ‘vibe’ to the child. Allow yourself to have bad days, and make sure to mix up your activities then or use a few minutes of escape to help reduce the tension before you potentially begin to scream.
5. Respect is the basis of your relationship
Children, however young, are still humans who deserve to be treated with respect. The fact that you do not react the same way when they ask you for things with respect, as opposed to when they cry out to you should make you realize how respect changes any relationship dynamic. Think briefly before exploding at someone, and everything is bound to be better and smoother.
6. Pressure cooker
When you feel like you’re starting to get angry, stop. Take a moment to calm down and you will be able to impart a better education without screaming or yelling.
7. Help them understand their own feelings
If you are about to explode as a consequence of their bad behavior, the best thing to do at that moment is to give yourself a few minutes alone. Then look for a quiet place to talk to the child in, about what anger is and explain how and why sometimes, you feel it too. To help let the anger pass, you can use some stories or anecdotes, or even consider, for instance, dancing together to release all that tension.