As parents, we are tried and tested every day. Some days more than others. How do we react in stressful situations? Are your patient and show an increase in love or are you quick to anger like I sometimes am? Learn why we should work on not being so quick to anger and show more patience to our children through my lesson in spilled pee.
How Being Quick to Anger is Hurting Our Kids
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The Lesson I Learned Over Spilled Pee
My daughter is pretty independent. At age 2 ½ she insists on emptying her own little potty into the big potty. Every time I cringe at the thought that I am going to have a ton of pee to clean up when she spills. I tell her to be very careful that she is going to drop it…
Well, it happened!
Right before nap time, we were using the potty like we do every day. She was in the bathroom, and I was in the kitchen getting her some water to take with her to her bed.
She yells, “I go pee-pee.” I respond with a great job; I’ll be right there…” But before I could get out, “I’ll be right there…” I hear a big crash…. I go rushing into the bathroom, and Talie had taken her tiny potty lid off to dump the pee. But instead of making it into the potty she had dropped it, and I had pee all over the bathroom.
At that moment I wanted to yell! I wanted to tell her that I told her to be careful so many times before. I was on the verge of being quick to anger! Why couldn’t she wait for me? But my fantastic friend popped into my head. And I could hear her say, “Don’t crush her!” “Show her love.” “She is just little”
At the moment I bent down on Talie’s level, and I looked at her innocent little face and said, “oops! Did we spill?” With her big beautiful eyes staring at me, she shook her head, “Yes.” I then proceeded to say, “well let’s clean it up!” We cleaned up the mess together (yes, she insisted… ) and we happily went off to take a nap.
During her nap, I thought about what the outcome usually is when the kids make a mistake. I tend to get upset; I at times am very quick to anger. Then, I might yell. And sometimes I might be too harsh. I then have huge amounts of mom guilt. The kids are sad. And I struggle to connect with them again for a little while.
What Does Being Quick to Anger Do To Your Kids?
Fight, Flight, or Freeze
When we yell at our kids they have one of three reactions. They fight, which means they are going to come at us swinging. They will Fight. When this happens, our kids will run away from us and usually hide. Or they freeze. Motionless. None of these are positive things to do, and the more we yell, the more these actions of “self-defense” in a way get ingrained in their heads.
Teaches Kids that Grownups are Scary
Have you ever seen an angry person? I always think, “Oh, I don’t want to get on their bad side.” Well, have you seen yourself angry? When we become angry and yell, we change. We become scary to a child. If the people we love the most yell and get mad kids will begin to think everyone does this. In turn, this will scare them off from all adult contact.
It’s Okay to Lose Your Crap
So when I am quick to anger and yell at my kids, I am teaching them that it is ok to do that to others. I am teaching them to yell at their siblings their friends, people they don’t like, everyone. Basically, I am saying, “Hey it’s totally okay to lose your crap on someone else…” I am teaching them we don’t have to be in charge of our emotions, that we can lose control whenever we feel like it.
Temper Tantrums are Okay
Seriously, can we say temper tantrums for adults? Oh, yeah, every time we yell and crush our kids we are having a big giant temper tantrum. We are essentially saying, “Hey, when you don’t get your way feel free to get in someone’s face and yell loud…” Throw in some frantic arm flailing as we talk and we have a full-blown temper tantrum.
Long-Term Are Kids Will Be Fine, Right?
As we yell at our kids, it not only affects them at that very moment but has long-term effects on children. Kids that are yelled usually have more behavior problems, suffer from more depression, and are likely to be yellers later in life. When we shout, it does not teach our kids to solve problems effectively, but to do it through anger.
Final Thought On Being Quick to Anger
Parenting is a hard gig. We have been entrusted to raise these special spirits to live to their fullest of potentials. The worth of each soul is great, and we should look at our kids with this same light. We have been given the opportunity to teach and to protect our kids, but what are we protecting them from if we are quick to anger for little mistakes they make?
It is said that the worth of the soul is great. We need to remember, life is about learning and growing. Are we giving our kids the opportunity to learn and to grow? Or are we teaching them to live in fear because they might screw up and make a mistake?
Whether we are dealing with spilled pee or bad grades, we need to handle ourselves in a way that says, “hey, yes, you made a mistake. Let’s try again, or let’s do better next time. Not with an attitude of “How dare you even try because you will never be good enough to do it on your own because you are just going to screw it up.”
What do you do to be a non-yelling parent rather than one that is Quick to Anger?
Looking for ways to stop yelling?
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Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!