We all have an inner Mommy Monster lurking within us.
It lays low, waiting for our children to push us to our limits. We try desperately to keep the monster hidden and out of sight, but no matter what, it creeps into our mindset and takes over our approach when we least expect it.
There’s no escaping this Monster when you’ve had a long day.
We’ve all had it happen. You scream like a mad woman when they’ve messed up your living room for the third time in one day. You roll your eyes back in your head as they tattling on their brother for the 12th time today.
Here are some quick tips for taming your Mommy Monster…
1. You can love your child and despise their poor choices. Make sure your statements regarding their behavior choices are not degrading or personal. Focus on the behavior not the child. Love them anyway.
“I love you… I can’t stand that your brother got hit over the head with a block.”
I have found that a behavior will not go away until we reach our breaking point with it and until we say we can’t stand it any longer.
2. Know your limits. Set up systems that allow you to get the down time you need. Find ways for your child to play on their own, or do whatever they can independently and safely while you take a rest, regroup or get something done.
Come up with a list of “go to”, safe, activities that give your 5-10-30 minutes of piece. Then “go to” that list when you need a break.
3. Just the facts. When you list the simple facts and avoid the fluff and circumstance you make your tone more clear. This will help you to tame the extreme emotions that come with “heavy duty” discussions and battles of wills. Speak directly, with little emotion and simple statements, and your child will understand you better and know exactly what is going on in your mind.
Here’s an example: Johnny you hit your brother. Hitting Hurts. We don’t hurt people or things in this house. Hurting is a bad choice. Because you chose this you have also chosen to take a break from the fun (or take a loss or take a timed out).
Avoid asking why or else the debate will go on and on… Just deal with the facts of what happened and how what happened doesn’t match your family’s plan.
4. Don’t take things personally. Their behavior has nothing to do with you and everything to do with that they haven’t learned to regulate or control their responses. You are working on getting them to do this on thier own… this is a step in the right direction. It might get worse before it gets better, so take yourself out of the equation.
5. Focus on what they did well. Try to catch them in the moments where they succeeded in making good choices. This positively reinforces what you want to see and helps you to think more positively about the tiny steps of growth they are making. Focus on the good stuff.
Follow these guidelines to tame your inner Mommy Monster, and hopefully, your mini-monsters behavior will begin to improve too.