We’ve all been there – those moments as parents when we lose our patience and react in a way we later regret. I recently had one of those moments with my daughter. In the heat of frustration, I hit her, and afterward I immediately felt overwhelmed with guilt and shame.
As parents, it’s so important that we model peaceful conflict resolution for our kids. Physical punishment, even if it’s “just” a swat on the arm or leg, sends the message that hitting is okay. But we know it’s not. Children learn by example, and we want to set a positive example of compassion, empathy and self-control.
Trust me, I know how hard parenting can be! Kids can push our buttons like nothing else. But it’s our job as the adults to stay calm, deal with our own emotions, and handle situations in a peaceful, respectful manner.
So what can we do after moments like these when we mess up? Here are some healthy responses:
Don’t downplay what happened or make excuses. Own your actions and sincerely apologize to your child. Explain that you made a mistake and what you did was wrong. Ask for forgiveness. This models humility and accountability for kids.
Examine What Triggered You
Reflect on what caused you to get so angry and lose control. Were you sleep deprived? Stressed? Hangry? Understanding the root cause can help you anticipate and manage triggers.
1- Take Care of Yourself
Make sure you’re caring for your own needs – getting enough rest, eating well, taking time for yourself. We can’t pour from an empty cup! Self-care helps us be calmer, more patient parents.
2- Set Limits Respectfully
If your child’s behavior is pushing your buttons, set kind but firm limits. For example, “Please stop that. Mommy is starting to get upset. Let’s take a break and calm down.” Breathe deeply!
Commit to Change
Once you’ve gained perspective, commit to changing your approach going forward. Consider:
- Positive discipline methods that work for your family
- Walking away to cool down when emotions are running high
- Role playing peaceful conflict resolution with your kids
- Finding a parenting mentor or support group
The goal is breaking unhealthy patterns and forging new habits through practice. You’ve got this!
Focus on Connection
After you’ve apologized and made a plan to improve, the most important thing is reconnecting with your child through love and quality time together.
1- Do Fun Things Together!
Schedule special play time – maybe a trip to the park, baking cookies, reading books, playing games. Enjoy laughing together! Happy connections will help repair any hurt.
2- Give Lots of Hugs, Kisses and Cuddles
Physical affection releases oxytocin, the “love hormone” that bonds parent and child. So give plenty of hugs, kisses, cuddles. Tell your child how much you love them.
Remember, all parents make mistakes sometimes! Don’t beat yourself up. Learn from what happened and forgive yourself. When you know better, you do better. You got this! 💪
In summary, stay calm, apologize sincerely, reflect on triggers, commit to peaceful discipline, focus on reconnecting through quality time and affection, and be kind to yourself as you learn and grow. Parenting is a journey – we’re all figuring it out as we go. The most important thing is that our kids feel loved, secure and valued.
Frequently Asked Questions
Give them space and time to cool down. Don’t force interactions. Let them know you’re available to talk when they’re ready. Keep apologizing and reassuring them of your love.
For young kids, keep it simple – “Mommy lost her temper and hit you. That was wrong. I’m very sorry. I should have walked away and calmed down.”
When disagreements come up, demonstrate taking deep breaths, speaking calmly, compromising, and validating each other’s feelings. Praise your child when they resolve conflicts well.
Look for signs like smiling, laughing, seeking affection, wanting to play together. Don’t expect things to go back to normal instantly – rebuilding trust takes time. Just stay patient, loving and consistent.
For young kids, use distraction, redirection, natural consequences (losing a privilege), and time-outs (1 minute per year of age). Praise good behavior more than scolding.
I hope this post provided some reassurance and practical tips if you’ve had a parenting low point. We’ve all been there! The most important thing is that we learn and grow from these moments into the kind, patient parents we strive to be. Sending all parents compassion and encouragement! 💖