10 Tips on How to Keep Your Cool With Your Kids
I am sure you have experienced the moment. It is the moment your mouth is about to open and the words forming on your tongue are ready to come out by themselves as you try to hold them back. It is the moment when you feel like you are two moms: one mom who knows the calm parent she wants to be and the other mom who may be just a second away from saying something to her child that she will regret. You hover at that moment until you finally tip one way the other. Sometimes that moment seems to last forever. Other times that moment lasts only a second. Even though it can be tough, learning how to keep your cool with your kids can be done.
Pray a Morning Offering when you wake up each day. Offer your entire day to God.
Pray for strength and patience before you need them. (Well, as moms, we really need strength and patience ALL of the time!)
Pray in thanksgiving for God’s help today-for wisdom, to keep your cool, and to be patient with your children. Thank God for these things before you are at the end of your rope. Trust in Him to help you. He will.
God gave you your children because He knows you are the right mom for them and they are the right kids for you. He loves you and wants the best for all of you. Trust in Him. He will help you to be the best mom you can be for your kids.
Pray over your children and bless them. This will help them to understand how precious they are to you and to God.
This sounds so basic, doesn’t it? Yet, do we do it consistently?
(Sheepishly raising my hand.) I know I don’t.
When you don’t get enough sleep or eat the right foods to fuel your body, you are not operating at your best. Instead, you are chugging along, trying to manage.
It is like unplugging your cell phone to use it before it recharges to 100%. The battery drains much faster, right?
When you do not operate at 100% or even close to it, your patience is thinner, the rope that you are trying to hold on to is shorter, and you may even feel that everything and everyone in your life is against you.
When you get enough sleep, you give your body time to recharge to 100% or close to it. You have more energy and patience. You can think more clearly and things don’t bother you as much. You are happier as well.
It may seem like a sacrifice to go to sleep when there are things around the house to do, but you will be able to tackle them with more energy tomorrow if you get enough sleep today.
3. Make sure your kids get enough sleep and eat well.
Cranky kids usually do not behave well. Kids that have eaten too much unhealthy food can be a challenge to deal with.
As a mom, dealing with kids that are cranky or bouncing off the walls just adds more challenges to deal with. These situations can sometimes be avoided with a little planning.
Set bedtimes for your kids and stick with them. Having a bedtime routine can be helpful. See Getting Younger Kids to Bed Earlier for more ideas.
Have healthy snacks readily available (like a bowl of cut up veggies on the kitchen table or in the refrigerator) so your kids can have something healthy to easily grab to eat for a snack.
4. Listen to your kids.
We don’t always listen to our kids as well as we should. When they starting getting cranky, irritable, or more defiant than usual, there is often an underlying reason.
Instead of pushing them to behave when they may not have the resources inside of themselves to do so won’t end well. Instead, take a step back and evaluate your kids to see if they might be:
Offer a healthy snack if your kids are cranky between meals. Sometimes our kids would not finish eating lunch and then be crank a few hours later.
Did your little one miss a nap or not sleep well last night? Planning some quiet time may help your child to recharge. Cuddling and reading a book, or laying down to rest for a while can help your child to take a break and recharge.
-in need of time with you
Sometimes kids get cranky when they want time with mom. Have you been busy working on cleaning, cooking, or projects around the house all day? Your kids may be missing you.
When you can, plan to spend time talking, playing, or reading to them. Even if it is for 15 minutes, time with you can help them to recharge.
-in need of quiet time
Have you have a busy day at home or been out of the house for a few hours? For some kids (and for some adults, too) a lot of activity drains them quickly and they need quiet time to recharge themselves.
Be attentive to your kids in this regard and plan some quiet time for them to help them to recharge and be peaceful.
-in need of outdoor play time
This can be especially true for boys. At those times when your kids start running around the house or tossing a ball indoors, it may time to get them outside for a while.
This can help them to burn off the energy that they have which is bursting out of them!
When you feel that moment coming on, count to yourself. Count to 10. Or, pass up 10 and keep counting to 100.
Counting helps you to calm your nerves a bit and think of how you can appropriately respond to a negative behavior or situation with your children. It gives you time to think and plan.
6. Call your husband.
If he is at work, call him if you can. Hearing a friendly voice on the other end of the line can be just what you need to help you to hold yourself together when you are feeling frustrated with your kids.
I still remember the time I took the phone into the bathroom to escape from our kids and call my husband to ask if Take-You-Child-to-Work-Day was the next day. Talking to him and just hearing his voice for a few minutes helped to give me the strength to deal with our kids more effectively instead of flying off the handle. He helped me to tie another knot in the rope I was holding onto.
7. Call a friend.
Being a mom at home with our kids can sometimes feel isolating. Calling a friend to chat, to ask for help, or to share ideas can be very helpful.
You are not alone.
8. Take a time out.
-take a short time out
Go into your bedroom, the bathroom, the garage, the car, or wherever you can be alone for a few minutes. Breathe. Pray. Close your eyes and rest for a few minutes.
-take a long time out
Sometimes you need more than a few minutes of a break.
Make time after your kids are in bed to do something to recharge yourself. You may enjoy watching a favorite movie, reading a book, working on a craft project, or even going to bed early.
Do you have a friend you can trade babysitting with? One of my friends and I would take turns watching each others’ kids for an afternoon once a month or so. The kids had a great time playing together and we as moms could enjoy some time alone to recharge.
9. Count your blessings.
Counting your blessings while a toddler is screaming may not seem like the best timing, but it may be the best thing you can do at the moment. My kids are healthy (scream). We have a roof over our heads (scream). We have food to eat (scream). We have a God who loves us (scream). My husband and I have a loving marriage.
Counting our blessings helps us to soften our hearts to our kids and to God. It helps us to gain a better perspective and be more loving and patient.
One day your children will be gone from home. They will be on their own to forge their own lives and (as strange as it may seem in some moments) we will miss the days when they were home.
Keeping this in mind can help get us through the tough moments that we deal with as a mom.
Make a plan.
Which idea do you like best? Choose one or two that you plan to use when your patience wears thin.
Knowing ahead of time which methods you will use to keep your cool will help you to be successful when the time comes to use them.
Help other moms.
What do you do to keep your cool with your kids? Leave a comment below so we can learn from each other!
Together, we can help each other to be the best moms we can be.