You may be feeling frustration from your kids. You’re juggling feeding time, nap time, play time, reading time, and your own time! This can be overwhelming. Sometimes, they can be too noisy or messy for comfort. You may ask yourself, how do I not take my frustration out on my kids?
It can feel too easy to take your frustration out on your kids. That could look like yelling at them, giving them the silent treatment, or putting them in elongated time outs. Feelings of despise, discontempt, and lack of empathy may come up for you.
As a new parent, this can all be overwhelming to you. It can feel impossible to not unleash frustration on them. To call them names such as “annoying”. Yell at them to sit down or be quiet. Although this feels like it’s releasing your stress, it’s not.
When we react to something with anger, it actually does not dismiss the anger inside of us. It continues to grow. Not only are we hurting ourselves, but we are hurting the children.
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Understanding that your child will make you frustrated
Your child is simply just a small human. They are constantly learning, interating, and growing from the world around them. The environment shapes their thinking and behaviors. This ties into their confidence, self esteem, and temperament.
Here are some tips for being more patient with your child.
Children will test your boundaries and limits. With experimentation comes consequences, good or bad. However, it’s important to acknowledge that they are young beings. A lot of the time, children will take in what they experience.
A young, developing brain is subject to taking information in from the environment around them. If you are frequently frustrated and express it in an unhealthy way, your child will pick up on it. They may incorporate the same behaviors or thought patterns.
Apologizing to your child after you release frustration on them is important. It shows that not only did you make a mistake, but you were able to own up for it. Explain why the frustration released is not a nice thing. They will take after you in understanding apologies.
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Recognizing your own feelings and where they come from
Where may your frustrations be deriving from? Are you feeling a lack of support in taking care of the kids? Maybe you feel overwhelmed with all of the responsibilities. It’s normal to feel burned out from parenting.
Practicing self care is a crucial thing to incorporate into your daily schedule. This allows you to have the time and space to reflect on what’s really going on for you.
Further examine aspects of your relationships with others and yourself. Are you upset with someone at this time? Are they not showing up or putting in the effort as you are? Maybe you haven’t felt attractive in a while.
And to top it off, you have a few rambunctious children who need something every two minutes. You just don’t have time to breathe and think for yourself. When you let the frustration build up within you, there’s no doubt you may explode.
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Separate yourself from the situation
Take some time to breathe and practice patience. This can look like turning your back to the situation to take a few deep breaths or physically leaving the room to step outside.
If you stay in a chaotic situation, you’re not likely to lessen your frustration. You may feel more tense, irritated, and overwhelmed. Being able to take a step away is important for you to gather yourself again.
Teaching your children about boundaries is a great way to help them understand when you need a moment to yourself. Explain to them your boundaries, that you will not help them if they shriek, but only if they ask in a normal tone of voice.
Commit yourself to practicing patience as well. It’s important to you to know that you can demonstrate self-regulation and self-control in front of your children. This will show them that they, as well, can do this themselves.
Validate your child’s feelings
Take some time to also acknowledge what is going on with your child. What are they in need of? Can it wait until you are done with the current task at hand?
Maybe your child struggles with anxiety, and that manifests into fear or their own frustration. It’s important to consider what’s going on for them. What areas of support can you provide to inhibit rambunctious behavior?
If you are going to be in the car for a while, prepare yourself with snack packs, books, drawing activities, and more. Keeping them preoccupied to avoid any out of control behavior in the back seat.
Have a conversation with your children about your triggers. This can look like shrieking, repetitive requests, and having temper tantrums. Talk with your child about the necessity to ask for things in a calm, nice way. Demonstrate the behaviors you want to see your child doing as well.
Let them know that you hear them and you are here for them, but are preoccupied at the moment. In the end, know it’s okay to ask for help. It’s brave to ask for help with parenting and taking care of your children. Consider seeking out a family therapist. You will learn coping skills for when things get overwhelming and how to settle the situation.
Child therapy near Thousand Oaks, Ca, can provide you and your child with the support needed.
Being parents is not an easy thing. It’s normal that you feel frustrated and overwhelmed. However, there are steps you can take to prevent yourself from taking that out on your kids. Remember to practice self care and reward yourself for the small steps.
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At our therapy practice in Simi Valley, Ca we offer Child therapy and family counseling, Teen therapy, Anxiety Treatment, Depression Therapy, Marriage Counseling, and Neuropsychological Testing.