Do you ever have days where your kids drive you absolutely bonkers?
(It’s okay to admit it. We all feel that way sometimes, right?)
Days where you’re stressed out, on edge, and it doesn’t really matter what the kids do – it all just drives you nuts.
Maybe it’s their fault – maybe it’s yours… but you’re grouchy, they’re grouchy, and the whole thing is just a mess. You’re ready for the day to be OVER, and bedtime just can’t come fast enough.
But what if you could actually PREVENT that anger before it ever started? What if – instead of finding ways to deal with it and make it better, you were able to stop it from actually happening in the first place (at least most of the time)?
Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Well, you’re in luck, because today I’m sharing four ways you can do exactly that.
1. Identify Your Anger Triggers
Think back to the last handful of times you really lost it with your children. Is there anything they all had in common?
Perhaps there are one or two specific behaviors your children keep doing again and again, or perhaps you always seem to get angry at the same time of day or in the same locations. See if you can find a trend.
The things that set you off again and again are your triggers. Identify what they are, and you’re well on your way to preventing mommy anger for good.
Everyone’s triggers are a little different.
For me, it’s having too much going on at once. Like when I’m trying to think about something, listen to something on the computer AND put the groceries away and then three little kids all start simultaneously whining for snacks. It’s just too much.
So what are your triggers?
- Your son’s whining
- Your daughter’s ungrateful attitude
- Too much noise
- Anything that happens first thing in the morning before you’ve had your coffee
- When your children climb all over you and you feel claustrophobic
- When you feel like someone is disrespecting or ignoring you
Can’t figure out a pattern? Try keeping track of your anger on a physical sheet of paper and looking for trends that way. Sometimes the cause is a little sneakier and harder to detect.
- When you don’t eat well
- When you don’t get enough sleep the night before
- When your mother-in-law visits
- When your children embarrass you in front of others
- When you’re fighting with your spouse
- When things don’t go as planned.
This may take some time to figure out, but it’s absolutely worth it.
2. Create New Systems and Routines
Once you’ve figured out what your specific triggers are, find ways to rearrange your day or form new habits so you can avoid them.
- Clutter driving you bonkers? Do a quick tidy up of the house at night before you go to bed instead of trying to clean the next day after the kids are already awake.
- Can’t function without coffee? Wake up 15 minutes early so you can enjoy your first cup in peace and quiet before the kids wake up.
- Are your poor eating habits catching up to you? Do all your meal prep for the week on Sundays so you have healthy meals at the ready all week long. You could also “cook once, freeze half for later” or set up a meal swap with friends so you don’t have to cook as often.
- Tired of tracking down lost shoes and backpacks every morning? Make hanging everything up where it belongs part of the routine when the kids get home from school. No snacks until everything is where it belongs.
Yes, it may take a few days (or even weeks) to get everyone in new habits, but stick with it and it won’t be long until it’s second nature.
3. Teach Your Children How to Behave
For most of the moms I’ve talked to who struggle with mommy anger, the cause is one of two things:
- The fact that their kids don’t behave OR
- Their kids are just fine; it’s the moms who are overreacting without good reason.
If your children’s poor behavior is a big factor in your mommy anger, then the best way to prevent that mommy anger is to teach your children how to behave!
Lucky for you, I happen to have a book that will help you do just that. It’s called TEACH Your Children How to Behave and it will show you step-by-step how to:
- set reasonable expectations for your children’s ages, personalities and ability levels
- prevent your children’s bad behavior BEFORE it starts
- choose consequences that really work
- deal with 25 of the most common behavior problems
- AND teach your children how to behave so they make better choices next time.
If this sounds like the type of book that could really help you, you’ll definitely want to go check it out here: TEACH Your Children How to Behave.
Alternately, if your kids’ behavior is just fine and it’s your own reactions that are the problem, my +Positive Parenting Challenge will be a better fit. You can find details about that and sign up to join us here: +Positive Parenting Challenge
4. Change Directions
And lastly, for those times when you’re about to lose it soon if you don’t take action RIGHT NOW, your best bet in the moment is simply to change directions if at all possible.
- Get the cold groceries put away, and then leave the rest for later so you can take the kids outside to run off some energy.
- Turn the chores into a game. Hot potato, basketball and relay races all work really well for this.
- Take a break from what you’re doing and have a 15 minute crazy dance party.
- Plop the kids in front of cartoons for 15 minutes while you go take a shower or step aside for a minute to yourself.
- Break out their favorite toy that they never get to play with.
A little bit of redirection can honestly work wonders.
Need more ideas? I have a ton in another post of mine: 25 Ways to Reset When You’re Having a Rough Day.
Alright, so there you have it! Four ways you can prevent mom anger before it starts!
Ready to take the next step?
Click on any one (or more!) of the options below to find some great resources that will really help you.
1. Make your parenting fun again with the +Positive Parenting Challenge
2. Learn about the top 20 reasons your children misbehave – and how to fix it.
3. Grab my book – TEACH Your Children How to Behave – and get a step-by-step guide that really works.
Discuss in the comments below: What are your mommy anger triggers? What steps can you take to change that starting TODAY?