I recently had an opportunity to speak with the folks over at Fatherly. The subject? Losing our cool (meaning: raising our voice, being irritable, impatient) with our kids. Here’s the thing: It happens to the best of us. Sometimes a lot. Here are some of my thoughts about stress, parenting and losing our temper with our kids:
“I think of it as an iceberg. The bulk of the stress is underneath the surface,” says Dr. Stephanie Smith, a clinical psychologist based in Erie, Colorado. “We’re not really paying attention, but it builds up throughout the day. It all piles up, but when we reach a certain level the tiniest little thing can tip us over the edge: we’re out of Cheerios or whatever. It’s silly little things that end up being the breaking point.”
The good news is, there can be some teachable moments when our kids see us feeling stressed out. Like this example:
“It’s ok to take a few deep breaths, or an hour, (after a breakdown), but make sure to come back to it,” says Smith. “In an age-appropriate, developmentally appropriate way say, ‘I’m sorry, I’ve had a really rough day, and I kind of lost it for a minute. I’ll do better moving forward to deal with those feelings before that kind of thing happens again.’”
To read the entire article, check it out on Fatherly.