If it's really bad I take a shower. Can think in there.
I take a deep breath, then bring back a funny memory of when my children were young. Like when my oldest son used to run right up to people and yell BOO and we'd pretend to be scared and he would laugh like a maniac. When I remember those times, I relax and find my Calm Mommy persona. I think that remembering they are children still is what does it for me and brings me the patience necessary to deal with whatever the issue may be.
I call Dad in, and I walk away. We both recognize when the other is near their breaking point. Each of us has found ourselves in a state we're not comfortable with, and that's why it's so important to have each other's backs! If he's not around, I call my sister.
I have to stop myself in that moment and realize that my 2 year-old son's ridiculous tantrum is making me feel very angry. When I acknowledge that emotion to myself I am able to stop reacting to his tantrum and accept it. I accept that his meltdown is a sign of fatigue, hunger, frustration, etc. Only then can I act as a calm leader for him. It's like a switch flips in my mind. I take a breath and tell myself that I'm the adult who can control my emotions when my 2 year-old can't.
I just tell myself that this too shall pass as one day they will have their own family, and the house will feel a lot emptier. All the things that make us feel frustrated with today... Will make you cherish that moment when you think about the Chantal T.
My doula taught me a hypnobirthing technique where you practice breathing deeply and saying to yourself "3, 2, 1, (and then whatever word is meaningfully relaxing to you, which in my case is lavender)"
So 3,2,1 Lavender Just buys me a couple of seconds. So this, and also trying to remember how I look through my kids eyes too. Don't want them to see me as something awful. Little eyes are always watching.
We are trying deep breathing right now. She has her temper tantrum (and I am short on patience) and I put our heads together and do some really exaggerated and noisy deep breathing. It tends to stop the temper tantrum and the deep breathing is cleansing for me as well.
I try to never let her know she's pushing them.
I try to find the positive in the situation. I force myself daily to journal the positive things about the day...even the worst days.
I stop and picture life without him. Changes my perspective instantly.
When my kids push my buttons it is never easy to hide with 5 pairs of eyes watching my every move. Instead of sending them to their rooms where they rant and rave and get into a shoving match (because we are not the Brady Bunch),they still come to me, they still push my buttons, and they still rant and rave, which brings me to the realization that it will not always be a walk in the park.
I was getting frustrated with trying to get my 20 month old to sleep after almost an hour of trying last night. He was so exhausted and having his own melt down. I felt myself getting angry and ready to start yelling. Then I stopped and looked at his little face and said to myself " he will never be this small ever again, I don't want to lose what could be a great opportunity to love and snuggle him blinded by my own frustration." Deep breaths and reminding myself his 17 year old sister grew up faster than I thought possible helped.
Remind myself again that THEY are the kids, not me.
By drawing, it keeps me calm and peaceful and helps me reason with him and work it out.
I sit in the messiest or most disorganized room in the house. This way they won't follow me in there because there will be no where comfortable for them to sit. If they try to break through this vortex I tell them they need to help me tidy it up...and they run away. Boom....serenity accomplished!
We do cookie breathing together. Pretend you each have a warm cookie in your hand. Deep breath in (smell the pretend cookie), breathe out (blow on the warm cookie to cool it off). It calms both of us down. Then I secretly find real cookies and stress eat!
When my kids were young and up to their young teens...I would turn on "my" music (child of the 60s & 70s), and start dancing around the living room dragging the two of them up with me. A bit energy draining, laughter inducing... Brenda M.
You ignore them. It may sound mean, but really they thrive on the attention they get from you. If you show you're not phased, they'll calm down. You'll have time to get a little breather and then regroup and discuss what they did wrong When we are at home, I scream and start running. My kids follow thinking we are playing a game of chase. Everyone ends up happy.
Sometimes I do what my mother did , I sing something from a musical. Things get silly pretty quickly after that.
Breathe, count to 5 in my head and develop the next sentence I'm about to say and very calmly say it. It's almost an out of body experience.
I imagine a tall topped up margarita glass while I'm sitting on an imaginary beach with the perfect breeze. If that doesn't work I do the "elevator breathing" strategy, 3 slow breathes in and out, to the top floor and back down again. The building gets taller the more "buttons pushed."
Deep breaths help me. When they get wound up we do big breaths together by 'blowing out the candles' on a pretend birthday cake. It really seems to helps them and me.
I get lost in a book.