Her eyes flashed hot, “Really Mom?” her eyebrows raised, “Really?”
My blood ran hot as my mind raced. Yes. REAALLYY! I wanted to scream with all my might. I must be doing something wrong. This can’t be what God intended mothering to be like. . .
Her penetrating stare interrupted my inner dialog. “Yes really,” I whispered as my eyes flashed with anger. Lord help me. How can I teach her to control her emotions when I can barely keep mine in check?
I used to think if only I mothered right there would be no confrontations like this one. My children would always understand why and would not challenge me. I just had to do it right.
The reality is kids have minds and emotions of their own. At times their preferences and thoughts are as unpredictable as the path of a tornado. And our job as mothers is to help calm the raging winds, not add more turbulence.
How do we stop the storm from causing permanent damage in our families?
- Take a deep breath. Take a second to calm your emotions. Pray quietly, remind yourself of the truth: that your battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil. (Ephesians 6:12); that you are training your children to learn to deal with strong emotions.
- Ask questions, wait for an answer, and listen. We are not mind readers. Although we can often guess what our kids are thinking it is better to ask. Ask what is wrong and wait for an answer. If your child does not want to answer be persistent. Tell your child, “I care about you and what you think. I need you to answer me.” Then listen to what your child says.
- Be prepared for answers you do not like. Your child may accuse you of favoritism or of being unfair. Do not let this rile your anger.
- Instead ask more questions and calmly speak the truth. If your child claims you don’t love her, calmly ask why she thinks that and state ways you show her your love. Remember at times you doubt God’s love and He patiently reminds you of His love.
- Ask forgiveness if needed. We are not perfect mothers. Our kids will never learn to ask for forgiveness unless we admit our mistakes. As you listen to your child you may realize you have wronged your child. Admit your mistake, name it, and ask your child to forgive you.
- Consider a cool-down period, but do set aside time to discuss the issue. Perhaps one or both of you cannot calm down enough to talk right away. Consider allowing a period of time to cool down, but do not let the cool-down period to extend indefinitely.
Really moms, with God’s help we can use these tools to manage our raging emotions and help our children calm theirs.
What helps you manage situations when your child’s emotions are out of control.