So you’ve lost your temper—again.
You feel terrible about it. You feel guilty because you know that your children deserve a parent who doesn’t lose their cool, but sometimes, you’ve just had it.
So what do you do now? Here are 3 important steps to take after you’ve lost your temper:
#1. Find the temper trigger.
You can’t promise yourself that you won’t ever get upset with your children again. It’s just not wise to set yourself up for failure.
But you CAN pay attention to the patterns that bring excessive anger to the surface. Where is it most common? When are you triggered by your children? Think of the last time you’ve thought or said, “I’ve had it!” What scenario caused this?
Find out which of your needs aren’t being met, and take proactive measures to meet your own needs to prevent this from happening again. You want to intercept your emotional response and create a different pattern.
#2. Examine and change your beliefs about why you “need” to lose your temper.
If you let it, your parental anger can reveal your own limiting beliefs. This is great news! Once you’re aware of a limiting belief, you’re more able to let it go.
Consider the possibility that you believe your children won’t listen to you unless you get upset. Do you believe your anger is what creates cooperation?
When you believe that, you communicate in a way that sets both you and your children up for that scenario. As long as you continue in that belief, that will be your experience.
Get clear on what you want to create instead:
- I am communicating in a way that my children respond to.
- I am taking care of my own needs so that I’m not angered by my children’s needs.
- I am recognizing the scenarios when my temper flares and I am changing the pattern.
#3. Own your own stuff when you lose your cool.
As a parent, it can be uncomfortable to own your own short-comings and to apologize to your children after you lose your temper.
But you will teach them some of the greatest lessons they can learn from you by seeing your willingness to grow and thrive.
Give your children a voice and have them help you stay accountable.
Here is the phrase I used with my own children:
“If I do anything in a way that makes you feel upset or afraid, I want you to tell me.”
Your children will love your experience together if you take these steps. So will you!
Move forward, believing that you can create cooperation with ease.