I love my children but there are days when they drive me absolutely crazy. So far today there’s been complaints about what’s for breakfast, the predictable refusal to wear shoes and a complete meltdown about the way fringes just hang in your face like that and that’s before 10am. I try to keep my calm but I am not the super chilled out zen parent I hoped I’d be. It is, however something that I’m really trying to work on this year so I thought I’d share my best tips for keeping calm when your kids are driving you crazy.
Give yourself a time out – as long as your kids are safe remove yourself from the situation until you are calm enough to deal with it without going crazy. Put the kettle on, take a few deep breaths, have a quick look at facebook or text a friend who will understand, do whatever works that will help you feel ready to deal with it again.
Change the way you view their behaviour – I know that my kids will pretty much refuse to put their coats and shoes on every single day and this is a real pressure point for me. Rather than pulling my hair out and dealing with the related hair transplant cost what I try to remember is that the refusal to get ready isn’t them trying to annoy me but linked to anxiety about their day, if I can keep them calm then it’s likely to get done quicker and I’ll be much calmer too.
Get a tag team – when my son is driving me crazy I often tag in my husband to play the good cop role while I try and sort myself out, when my daughter goes wild my son is totally my main support and is the best person at getting her to walk to school or to climb out from under the table. If you can get someone else to take some pressure off it’s a great help.
Focus on the good stuff they’ve done – rather than going on about what’s driving me slowly insane (Shoes! Why are your shoes not on?!) I try and focus on the good stuff – ‘You put your coat on so well, you look really smart today! Now lets see if we can do your shoes as well.’ This helps me to stay focused and a bit of positivity and praise means I’m more likely to get the job done too.
Messy kids room photo via Shutterstock