Every day, every parent, is faced with tough situations and
tough decisions. The most important thing that we need to remember is that we and only we are responsible for the way in which we react to these situations. It has taken me a long time and much effort to get to this place and I hope that by sharing this with you it will not take you as long as it did me.
No one can “make” you angry, just as no one can “make” you happy. The choice to get upset or the choice to stay calm in a difficult situation is yours and yours alone. It is very easy to say to a child or to anyone for that matter, “you make me so angry! – if you would just behave (or leave me alone, or take better care of yourself or clean up your room, etc), then I would be fine”. To be very honest I tried this when my children were young. I convinced myself that if everyone around me would just do what I wanted them to do then life would be smooth sailing. How wrong I was!!
I repeat – no one can “make” you angry”. It took awhile and it took some help but I finally realized that I needed to stand up and take responsibility for my own actions. I was in the one in control and no matter what was going on around me I had the choice on how to react. I learned that instead of reacting and getting angry I could step away, I could take a deep breath, I could look outside at nature, I could pause, I could do a great many things to give me just that little bit of space that my brain needed to think instead of react.
The most amazing part to me was that no one else in the house changed at all. There were still the same sibling arguments, my husband still forgot to do things he was asked, and my schedule was still jam packed, but since I had changed the way I handled the situations, the whole household was so much calmer and things went so much more smoothly. No longer was mom acting like “a witch on a broomstick”, (as my children loving called me at one time) I was acting calm – I was acting like a grown-up.
It is not easy to admit that I once was a “witch on a broomstick” but the I know that the most important thing I have ever done in my life was to learn to stay calm in the midst of the chaos and to realize that how I felt is entirely up to me.
So..take a good hard look at yourself. Are you hoping that the people or situations around you will change so that you can be calmer? Or are you taking responsibility, acting like a grown-up, and realizing that you are the one in control of your emotions?
Be honest with yourself, ask for help if you need it, and I wish you all the best in your parenting journey.
Have some fun today!