Saturday, April 26, 2014

What to do when you lose your temper


Ha!  Why am I writing on this subject?  Because I lost my temper with some tantrum-throwing child just last night, and it reminded me that I've learned a lot over the years about what to do when that happens.

So sometimes you just get tired, or sick, or overwhelmed....and it happens.  You lose your temper.  And then you feel terrible. What should you do?

Usually when this happens the first thing, is to calm down and gain some perspective.  I usually go to a different room and think about what happened, why it happened, and what the real problem is. One woman I know retires to her bedroom to pray her bad feelings away.  This works too.

The point is anger is a secondary emotion, triggered by something stress.  It is a protective alarm clock for your body, telling you "something is wrong."  So the trick is, to stop everything, figure out what the problem is, and then calm down, so the anger goes away.  (Anger can be very damaging to a child, so it is important to understand how to deal with it, and not indulge the emotion after it strikes) (I'll talk more about anger and prevention of it and the proper expression in another post).

There are tricks to calming down.  Some people like to hit their pillow, some people like to listen to music or talk it out with a safe person, and some people just like to count to 100.  All these things work.

Once you have figured out what the problem is, apologize.  It is important for you to model the behavior you want your child to learn when he makes mistakes.  If you apologize and then show an increase of love to him, this will help him feel better and learn appropriate behavior for when he makes mistakes.

You also need to find a time to discuss the problem if he needs to make a change.  Ask him how he would solve the problem.  Kids come up with some amazing solutions!

Lastly, research has shown that it takes 4 positive experiences to erase one negative experience in a relationship.  So as long as you keep doing those love languages to the child you will be fine.  Make sure you show an increase in love to him.


Hope this helps!  My tantrum-thrower forgave me last night and I am glad.  I know your children will forgive you too.  That's the nice thing about children....they love us no matter how many mistakes we make.  We just need to keep trying.  So don't feel bad....just work on it.  We all have to....and you are not alone in this struggle.  It takes time...forgive yourself and move on, just trying to do a little better each day.  Over time, you will get better at not losing your temper.  I know because it happened to me!

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