Are You Ready To Change How You Parent?
Are you the parent that regularly blows up- not only in front of- but AT your children?
While it’s normal to show frustration now and then, losing your temper at your kids on a regular basis can leave them feeling fearful and nervous around you.
One of our main jobs as parents is to make our kids feel safe and secure, so the long-term effects of regularly witnessing outbursts of anger on our kids can stick with them for longer than we realise.
Do you find yourself wracked with guilt and filled with self-loathing when you lose control?
Parental guilt is one of life’s facts. The nature of being a parent is such that we often take on the emotional responsibility of almost everything that happens to those we hold most dear.
However, if you’re unable to hold your temper and your disciplinary methods are crossing a personal line, you might feel that particular ache of regret that you get when you realise your child is afraid of you in that moment.
Are you trapped in a cycle of losing your temper followed by regret, shame and helplessness?
Getting off the angry parent merry-go-round can seem impossible at times.
You make up your mind to be calmer and kinder one day, and the next, they accidentally break the doll you had as a child- or something else of great sentimental value- and you can’t help but fly off the handle at them… and the look on your precious baby’s face makes you wonder why you were freaking out over something material.
You feel that familiar pang of guilt and swear to do better.
And round and round it goes...
If any of the above resonates with you, you’ve come to the right place.
No one decides to have a short fuse, and there could be any number of reasons you’re stuck in this toxic cycle of anger and guilt.
You might have been raised in an authoritarian household, so you don’t know any different.
If there are outside factors causing you to experience overwhelm and anxiety surrounding your parenting, or even your life in general, it could cause you to struggle with your temper.
Even worse- this cycle is probably causing even more frustration and anxiety, leading to even more tension, and you’re probably so tightly wound, you feel like you’re about to snap at any moment.
So, What’s The Answer?
Firstly: BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
Kids don’t come with a manual, and raising them is hard. Being hard on yourself won’t change the situation.
The next step is to acknowledge that this can’t continue.
In the long run, you could be perpetuating the cycle and your kids could end up in the same boat.
Worse, a childhood of fear and trauma can lead to a life of all sorts of negative responses and toxic coping mechanisms.
Acknowledging where you’re going wrong is confronting but once you’ve done that, you’ll be on the path to being able to create a peaceful living situation for yourself and your family.
You might even have looked into some methods before.
If you’re aware of past trauma or turmoil, talk therapy may have seemed like the obvious choice.
However, if you’ve ever been for counselling, you’ll already know that while it might work, it can take months- or even years- of sessions to work through all the issues.
There are also some courses out there that focus on changing your children’s behaviour instead of your own. This is really just a way to allow you to continue to avoid the real reasons for your own, out-of-control reactions.
You may even have looked into something like hypnotherapy, which may or may not work long term, but can also take a while and many costly sessions.
If you’ve tried some or any of these, you might have been ‘fixed’ for a while- but if you’re here, you’ve probably found them lacking and decided to abandon them, your confidence and bank balance bruised.
If the methods did work, you might have seen yourself slipping into old behaviours and reactions, because you haven’t fully dealt with your own traumas.
But if they didn’t, the cycle likely would have started again. The impatience, the yelling, the smacking, the fear, the tears, the regret… and on and on.
What if I Told You There is A Way Off This Destructive Merry-Go-Round?
Because there is.
How do I know?
Because I did it myself.
I changed the way I parent to create a calmer, happier home, where my kids know I respect them, and they respect me.
Am I a perfect parent?
I still lose it now and then, but the difference is that I know how to bring myself down from that place and make necessary changes to create a harmonious home for my children.
“How did you change?” I hear you ask.
Go back to the top of the page and read those questions again.
How do I know to ask them? Hold on, this is going to get a little raw...
Before I had my children, the way I parented didn’t really cross my mind.
I’m quite chilled out as a person anyway, so I expected parenthood to be a breeze.
Boy, was I in for a surprise.
Like many new mothers, I suffered from post-natal depression after my eldest was born.
I desperately wanted to hold and bond with my baby, but, try as I might, I couldn’t connect with her AT ALL.
One day, my daughter was screaming incessantly, and all I could think was that she hated me because I couldn’t connect with her.
Eventually, driven to the brink by frustration by my failure to breastfeed and severe sleep deprivation, I totally lost it and threw a heavy book against the wall, creating a massive hole.
I sobbed and sobbed, feeling like the worst mum in the world.
This story has a happy ending.
I stopped trying to breastfeed and bottle-fed her guilt-free, knowing my baby was fed and content.
She screamed and cried a whole lot less, and finally, we bonded.
But I never forgot the feeling of helplessness and fear that that period of her life might affect her long term, and I began to do research into conscious parenting.
And that’s when I decided to parent in a way that allowed my children to feel their emotions and their parents to respect them as autonomous beings.