Thursday, September 9, 2010

In the Heat of the Moment

Has your child done this before?

cut her hair off...or her sister's

dumped all the parmesan cheese on the couch and rubbed it in

hidden all the silverware in various places around the house

poured out all of your careful sorted beads, buttons and the like

filled the carpet with playdough

I borrowed these stories from blogs I read and things my own children have done. My question today is how do you control your temper in the heat of the moment? I find myself reacting strongly and quickly before I have time to really think about what I'm doing, and it often has negative effects on my children. I hope I'm not the only one who is not completely composed 100% of the time!


How do you react when you come upon a problem situation, without losing your temper?

How do you teach your child that what they did was wrong?

Any tips for keeping your cool?


As always, thank you ladies, for your continued insights and suggestions. And don't forget to send in your reader requests!


Alyssa Harper said...

Run out of the room to grab a camera. Makes for FABULOUS pictures, proof to your husband of what this munchkin's capable of, and cools my head before plunging into disciplining. Trust me, you'll LOVE having these pictures later on. And you'll love yourself for not exploding on the spot.

As far as disciplining, really, our job as parents is to teach children how to be responsible adults one day. I think creating similar consequences to what would be given to an adult: having to clean it up, put on a REALLY sad face and explain how disappointed and sad mommy feels (this one usually works wonders with my boy), or something similar. Kids don't have to feel "punished" per say, just taught that there are consequences to every action. And keep in mind that it may happen again in the future...actually, it most likely will. I know I didn't learn everything the first time around. Self control and self awareness require a lot of practice. Just be consistent with whatever consequences you give. Repetition is a great teacher, and that's all part of the learning process.

Delia said...

Ha ha...good question Laura. I wish I could say I do it right every time but I can't. When I feel good about how I handled it I will have tightened up my face, used my serious, low, almost whisper, but firm voice and told my child to go upstairs to their room right now so we can both cool off for a few minutes.

For my toddler, I am WAY more patient. I usually just remind him of the boundary {i.e. No. We don't throw blocks...something like that} and then take them to a short time out...after which I remind again of the boundary and show him good alternatives before letting him resume playing. This is after I have already informed him of the rule and tried distracting him at least once or twice.

For my five year old...not as much. So we need some time. After about five minutes we can discuss it and issue a consequence. I am more in a state of mind to bear testimony to him about being like Jesus. I can have a real discussion with him and not just lecture him. I ask questions and build on this answers to help him understand. I have learned that for us, this ONLY happens after we both have a cool off period first.

I hope that helps. :) I am interested reading more ideas!

Kelly A. said...
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Kelly A. said...

I love what Alyssa said about taking a picture!

Here's what I try to do...I remove my child from the situation and then I remove myself from the situation to gather my thoughts, say a quick prayer, and not act in the heat of the moment.

I too am far from perfect, but parenting is always a learning process.

Tressa said...

Alyssa, love the ideas! I think I need to hang out with you for a few days and let it rub off! :)

Laura, thanks for the question. It's nice to know we're not the only ones who don't end up being the mom we thought we'd be when our moms were getting after us! :)

I don't have any great suggestions myself, but love hearing all of your ideas. I certainly think learning to laugh could have you all done that when it just seems really hard? I know that time outs help me. I think sometimes I need the time out more than my son. He's starting to catch on, too, and when things go wrong will sometimes say "time out" or "break" and that's a good reminder for me.

Delia said...

Another thing that kind of builds on Alyssa's great advice that I thought of is to expect it.

Not in a pessimistic way...but in an accepting way if that makes sense. Kids are messy and they make a lot of mistakes. That is the way it is.

I can choose to roll my eyes at the grass stains on their pants...again...or I can just expect to stain treat them every time. No worries...because that is what happens around here.

I can get frustrated that my child is not listening and slow to obey {hard one for me!} or I can just expect it and put in place natural consequences. I can also just expect that it will take him 15 minutes to do something that should only take 5 minutes so that I won't freak out when we are late. No problem. I expect it so we plan ahead and start earlier.

This is something I have been working on anyway. It certainly improves my mood and helps me be in a more patient/teaching mode rather than disciplinarian mode.

Tannie Datwyler said...

One thing that helps me a lot is to take a step back and realize who's fault it really is. MANY times it is MINE.

Example - my son gets in the fridge and pours water bottles all over my living room. Well, it's my fault for leaving him unattended long enough for him to do that (he's not even 2) and for putting so many tempting water bottles in my fridge.

Another example - my daughter decided to slide down the stairs on her tummy this morning instead of walk (can she walk? Yes, for heaven sake she's 4, but she was just having fun) and she knocked over the CD player that was sitting on the stairs waiting to go up. She kind of ruined the CD player because it smashed on the landing, and then she cried. But I didn't get mad because it was my fault for leaving it there instead of taking care of it.

See? Now, sometimes OF COURSE it is the child's choices and they have a lot of responsibility in the matter. But again, I find that if I take part of the responsibility on myself I'm better able to handle the discipline. I can then talk about the right choice to be made, apply a consequence if necessary, and also caution myself for the future so it doesn't happen again.

Heather said...

I love the idea of running to get the camera. Not only is that good for a little cool off time, but it's also proof to grandma and grandpa that the little angel can sometimes be a devil. I swear, they don't believe it otherwise. :)