When your child does something that can be clearly defined as crossing the line, it’s natural to lose your cool. Anger is almost always the first impulse to cross one’s mind in such instances. The result of following that impulse is a yelling session culminating in punishment for your child.
While it’s pretty normal to have your fair share of screaming matches when raising a child, it turns into a problem when these bouts of shouting turn into regular occurrences. When that happens, your child’s problematic behavior can actually worsen instead of improving, leaving both of you equally frustrated.
So how do you fix this dilemma? By controlling your natural impulse to scream at the top of your lungs.
It again begs the question — how to handle your child’s bad behavior calmly? Well, let us help you with that. The following tips might come in handy:
Find Out What’s Causing The Bad Behavior
A child lashing out is just the tip of the iceberg. They’re still learning how to express their emotions at this point appropriately. So the bad behavior you see on the surface is just the surface. You have to peel the layers to know what’s actually causing them to act out in a certain way.
This requires some detective work on your part. For example, if you find that your older child has been throwing tantrums since their little sibling came into the world, it might be because they feel their share of attention is being awarded to somebody else.
Jumping around or destroying things might be an indicator that they have extra energy they don’t have an outlet to spare in this ongoing age of the pandemic.
Analyzing their behavior and breaking it down into bits and pieces can help you get to the root cause of the problem. Once you figure out the underlying issues, you’re better equipped to handle them in a calmer fashion.
Check How You’ve Been Feeling Lately
Often, we tend to lose our cool quickly if we’re stressed out too. So asking yourself, “How am I doing? What’s my mood like lately?” can help you change your response and deal with things with composure.
But for that to happen, you need to know if your stress levels are higher than usual. And if anything else, besides parenting, is eating into your reservoir of patience and energy. Studies state that women are more prone to feeling the brunt of the pandemic life due to parenting taking most of their time, forcing them to sacrifice things like work that bring balance into their life (1).
Maybe that’s happening to you too? After all, it isn’t easy to balance work, kids, and the house when everybody is cooped up at home.
However, don’t think we’re blaming you for your kid’s bad behavior. No, we’re just trying to show you that added stress, and low patience levels can negatively impact how you react to difficult situations. You can become more reactive instead of proactive.
Get Back That Control
Wondering how to get it back? Since yelling is definitely out of the question (you know it makes everything worse), there are two ways you can go about it. One way is to control it in the moment, and the second is to focus on the bigger picture. Let’s discuss both:
- Control It In The Moment
When you’re in that sticky situation where everything seems out of control, take a few deep breaths before reacting. Evoke your calm inner voice and then handle the matter. When you stay calm and steady, you prevent the situation from worsening while reclaiming control over it. Besides, when you’re in control, your child feels more in control of their behavior too. If you continue keeping calm and composed through every tantrum, you’ll gain the confidence to handle the situation without screaming.
- Focus On The Bigger Picture
As for the bigger picture here, it’s about managing your own stress levels and ensuring they never go out of hand. The pandemic has put a lot of pressure on us in various ways, depriving us of the support we need and making us feel on edge. Being a mom, the pressure on you is higher, making it all the more crucial to take care of yourself. It’s the only way you can ensure your kids are taken care of too.
Find out what soothes your soul — long drive, bubble baths, a nice book — and make it a point to indulge in it every other day, if not every day. Guilt-free. You really don’t have to feel bad about prioritizing yourself sometimes.
Keeping your growing kid’s behavior in check can get tricky. However, if you’re sorted and in control, your children will be too. Thus calming the tantrum storms you have to face.