You’ve tried everything to get off the crazy train of yelling. Or blaming. Or threatening. Or criticizing your kids.
No matter how many “good days” you have, eventually fall back into old patterns again.
And then you feel horrible.
Your intentions are excellent, but something still seems to be getting in the way of kicking this habit. Forever.
5 reasons you still yell at your kids
- You’re normal. Yep. In those dark moments, it’s easy to feel like the ONLY one who has difficult days. You hide from the world, believing that you are in some way more flawed than other parents. If we could peek behind the happy facade presented on social media or in public, we would find good families everywhere struggling to break unhelpful patterns, feeling confused about the “best” parenting strategy, and at the same time wondering if they are failing their kids. You are not alone. You are not unusual.
- You’re imperfect. Imperfection is the one thing we all have in common. Even though our struggles may look different, none of us have this all figured out. No one handles things with grace and precision perfectly in every setting and in every interaction. No one. Being imperfect is not an excuse, it’s not something we say to justify wrong behavior, it’s reality. When we can turn from striving for perfection to embracing imperfection, we can admit our mistakes, make amends, and refocus our attention in a positive direction. (Again.)
- You skip self-care. Our bodies are not created to stay in a state of stress for very long. Short bursts of adrenaline are helpful to keep us safe, but the constant 24/7 pressure, high expectations and packed schedules are counterproductive. Self-care takes a backseat to caring for others at any cost. Unfortunately, your body pays the price. And so does your parenting. Five deep breaths can seem like a drop in the bucket in the middle of an intense argument, but five deep breaths at various times throughout the day can make a significant impact.
- You need more practice. Each of us carries relationship “baggage” into our parenting: conscious and unconscious thoughts about how families operate, how families communicate, and how people handle (or don’t handle) big feelings. Interrupting these thoughts and deciding to act/speak/manage things differently is not easy. At first. Eventually, new behaviors will take less effort. Taking a deep breath will become second nature. Realizing your triggers will be more clear. Be patient with yourself during the process.
- You need support. It’s not easy to reach out for help. No one wants to admit that they just lost it with their kids (and even when we do share, we tend to brush it off, “anyway, how is your day going?”) Staying with the pain, admitting the shame, feeling the guilt, and crying the tears is healing, but that level of vulnerability requires a safe and respectful space to share. If you don’t have a close friend to support you, maybe it’s time to reach out to a Mental Health Therapist, join a support group, or seek help from a Parent Coach.
Can you relate to one or more of these categories? If so…welcome!
Parenting is complicated. Relationships are complicated. Life is complicated.
So, if you don’t have it all perfected yet, you’re in good company.
But, let’s not stay here.
What is a logical next step for you? Just one small thing you need to do to keep you heading in a positive direction (in spite of setbacks)?
- Hang a reminder that it is OK to be imperfect
- Call a close friend and plan a coffee date
- Commit to spending 5 minutes doing self-care today
- Give yourself permission to have a “do-over”
- Research therapists in your area
- Write down all the things you are doing well
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Review a situation that went badly and explore how you could handle it differently next time
- Learn about self-compassion
- Give yourself a hug
Perfection is impossible. But progress is!
You are not stuck. You are not alone.
Keep going, parent! We are all in this together.