"Your step by step roleplays are a godsend, I love that you show me exactly what to say, and answer what I'm thinking. But the hardest thing is still to calm myself down when my boys get wild and my buttons get pushed. I end up screaming despite my best intentions." - Mollie
"When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they're finished, I climb out." -- Erma Bombeck
Mollie's right. The hardest part of parenting is regulating our own emotions. So what happens when your child does something that makes you want to scream, and a playpen won't work? What are your options?
a. Scream and then feel remorseful later.
b. Resist screaming by calming yourself down.
In other words, you can escalate the upset, or you can try to stay calm to settle everyone down.
Of course, you have more options if you take positive action BEFORE you feel like screaming. Often when we lose it with our children, it’s because we haven’t set a limit, and something is grating on us. Some parents are trying so hard to be patient they let things get out of hand, and then snap.
The key is to set limits BEFORE you get angry. The minute you start getting angry, it’s a signal to do something. No, not yell. It’s time to intervene in a positive way to meet everyone's needs so you prevent the irritating behavior.
But what if despite your best efforts something happens that pushes you over the edge?
What do YOU do?