Children don’t make us lose our temper. We lose our temper.
Adulting is hard sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time!
With all that we have coming at us, it makes sense that we would look outside of ourselves to see what’s obviously not working and then use that to explain our ‘short’ temper.
On any given day, many things don’t go our way. We misplace the car keys, get delayed in the school drop off lineup (because it took a while to get a resistant child into the car.) We arrive late for work, don’t complete all that we should and then race home to make dinner only to realize that we’re out of pasta! Frustration overload.
Trouble is, pent up frustration has to move and the human tendency is to release it on those we feel most attached to. (Unless we really can’t wait and we unleash it on the driver ahead of us in a fit of road rage!)
Just as a child saves up their frustration and big feelings for parents at school pick up, we do the same to them throughout the day, often without even being aware of what’s going on. The difference is, parents are meant to be the safe place for children to unload, children are not supposed to be ours.
When we blame our children’s actions for why we lose our temper, we’re missing the mark.
Yes, their actions frustrate us.
Yes, they repeatedly do what we’ve told them a million times not to do.
Yes, they add to our already huge pile of adult frustration.
BUT they are not responsible for how we process it, we are.
Today, try and catch yourself and pay attention to what’s going on inside of you. Remind yourself that regardless of what your children do, they are not the only reason you ‘lose it’. There are lots of reasons, and some of them are felt, but cannot yet be seen by you.
You’re human, your emotional system is overloaded – and that’s what needs to be looked into because that’s where the power to change your ways lies waiting.
It’s well within your reach.