We all lose our temper and get angry sometimes.
It is just a part of being human.
Honestly, everyone in my home lost their temper today, even my toddlers. My three year old lost her temper because I wouldn’t let her “do snap-chat.” My two year old lost her temper because…well, honestly I’m not sure. She kind of just had a fit. (and more than one) My husband and I lost our tempers simply because marriage is hard work.
But I am happy to announce that we are all in better moods. Also, I’m praying it stays this way for the rest of the day! Of course we didn’t come back to good moods on our own. Because let’s face it – emotions aren’t that simple.
Since there is no simple formula for recovering, I’m going to break it down into steps for you.
1. Lead by example and show them with your actions.
As I said before, my husband and I both lost our temper. And although it wasn’t easy to set aside our pride, we needed to apologize and give each other space. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about apologizing to our kids when we are wrong. In that post, I pointed out that it is important we do this to so they will learn by our example. Well just as much as they need to hear our apologies to them, they also need to witness our apologies to others. Their brains are like sponges absorbing the behavior of mom and dad. So don’t feel discouraged when you lose your temper. Because you’re not the only mom who does it. Just try your best to recover and let your kids witness it! You are doing a great job, mom!
2. Discipline when necessary and then give them space.
I say “when necessary” because sometimes anger comes from our own disappointments. If this is not the case though, and emotional or physical damage is done toward another person, we are forced to put on our mom jeans and discipline our kids. It’s not always easy to discipline our kids when they are caught in a wave of emotions, but if we don’t they will eventually drown in them. Be their safety boat mama! Next, make space optional. There’s no need to discipline twice by sending them to their room too. You could say something like, “It seems like you need some time to cool down. Would you like to go to your room until you’re ready to talk?”
3. Give gentle correction and encouragement.
Once your kiddo is calm and ready to talk -first things first- listen to them. Everyone wants to be heard. And because we aren’t perfect, sometimes we tend to point the finger instead of taking responsibility. Everyone likes to feel justified. But it is our job to remind our kids when they are wrong and guide them with gentle correction. Maybe you could help them figure out what led them to anger. Or if they haven’t already apologized, maybe you could nudge them into one. And last but not least, remind them of how wonderful you think they are with encouraging words. Lift them up after they’ve been knocked down.
4. Prayer and scripture.
1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. I remember when I first read this scripture. The gospel really made more sense to me once I understood that Jesus cares for me. He wants us to draw near to Him and pour out our frustration to Him. It really clicked with me because I thought about motherhood. I care so much for my kids, and I want them to cast all of their anxiety on me. I want to be able to fix their every problem and comfort them every opportunity I have. If I want this much for them, why wouldn’t our Creator want this and so much more. Leading our kids into prayer can teach them to lean on our Father in Heaven. And I have never lived a sweeter, more peaceful life than when I am trusting Him.
Overall, we all lose our temper no matter our age. It’s just a part of life. But we can make that part of life easier for our kids. How do you help your kids recover from a bad temper?
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