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Episode 31 // Keep your cool, mama! Here’s my quick 4-step process for handling frustration and impatience with my kids… no yelling, door slamming, or anger management necessary.

What are we talking about today?

We love our kids… but sometimes, they drive us crazy! That’s just real life. We all get frustrated, impatient, and angry at times. But we want to handle those emotions well. We want to avoid yelling and stay emotionally present (and calm) with our kiddos. 

That’s why I’m sharing my 4-step process for how I personally handle frustration with my kids. In fact, it’s the same process I use to handle my frustration with anyone! 

These are the simple action steps that help me be a more patient, attentive, and composed mom. And this same process has helped so many women who I’ve worked with as a family counselor. 

It’s not a magic wand, it’s not rocket science, but it is helpful.

Pop in those earbuds, my friend, and let’s dive in.

Listen to Episode 31:

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Snag your resources here!

If today’s topic is meaningful for you, there are a few resources that I know will help you.

  • Episode 16 // This simple change in your communication will improve your marriage, your parenting… actually, every relationship you have!
  • Episode 24 // Do you want to have a great relationship with your kids when they grow up? Then let’s look at how to be a purposeful parent TODAY.

These two episodes are very helpful in making purposeful changes in how you approach your kiddos. 

There are two additional resources that I think will help you:

[This post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.] 

Today's Episode Highlights

Of course you love your kiddos. But sometimes, they drive you crazy!

When that happens, we want to find strategies to help ourselves stay calm, cool, and collected, so that we don’t continue to escalate into anger. 

In fact, there are two Scriptures that I would say are foundational to our goals here. 

  • James 3 – we must “tame our tongue” and not allow our frustration (or anger) to lead to hurtful or unhelpful words, tone, or interactions.
  • Ephesians 4:26 – “in your anger, do not sin” … it is a lot easier to prevent sin if we can avoid full-blown anger in the first place

The goal here is not to avoid feeling frustrated. It’s not to ignore our kids’ misbehavior or our own emotions. 

Nope. 

The actual goal is to handle our emotions in a healthy way – in a way that allows us to control our tongue and control our responses to the situation at hand. 

The 4-step process for handling your frustration well

Let’s look at the four steps that I use when I start to feel frustrated. 

(Yes, this does require that you notice your own emotional responses!)

  1. Pause. As soon as you notice you are frustrated, pause.
  2. Take a few slow, deep breaths: inhale, hold, exhale, hold. This calms your body. 
  3. Smile. Not with gritted teeth! Look at your child, think of the wonderful things about them, and smile at them gently.
  4. Use their name as you follow up. Not the “you’re in trouble” using their full name. Speak their name gently and with love. Slowly. Intentionally. 

At this point, hopefully, your frustration is manageable. It may not be gone! But your emotions are under control. 

This allows you to then continue the interaction in whatever way is appropriate. You may need to discipline your child or give a consequence for their behavior. You may need to ignore what happened and move on. You may need to offer a distraction or change the activity.

What if you are still getting angry?

The key at this point is to monitor your emotional reaction. 

Are you talking faster… or normally? Is your tone of voice calm? How is your breathing? The tension in your body?

If your emotions are continuing to escalate, take a longer (and intentional) pause, so that you can calm down effectively. 

It may help to have a statement for walking away, like “Mommy needs a minute. I will be right back.” Then leave, focus on calming down, ask God for what you need in the moment, and return when you are able.

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A reminder of the Disclaimers & Disclosures Policy: I am an affiliate with many of the resources I recommend, which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through my provided links. I never recommend products I don’t love! Also, I am a licensed therapist but this podcast is not therapy. It is not professional or personal advice to your specific situation. Get info about professional counseling here.