I’ve been losing my temper and yelling at my kids more than I ever have before. My partner, two kids (6 and 8) and I are all cooped up together and I’m struggling. Between working from home and trying to homeschool and keep the kids occupied, I have no patience. I feel terrible but I can’t seem to break the cycle.
So many parents are in the same boat right now. We are in an unprecedented time and there’s not much we can do to change it. It’s great that you want to stop yelling. As I think you know, yelling doesn’t solve the problems we’re facing and it usually makes everything worse. It’s natural to feel frustrated and upset these days.
If you want to have more patience and be less reactive and explosive with your children, start by being compassionate with yourself. Beating yourself up about what a bad parent you are for losing your cool or how you should be managing better will not help. Picture that your child is learning how to ride a bike. They keep falling and are crying and frustrated. Would you get upset with them and tell them they have to do better? Of course not.
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Sarah Rosensweet is a peaceful parenting coach and parenting advice columnist for Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three big kids (ages 13, 16, and 19). Sarah teaches parents a non-punitive, connection-based approach that uses firm limits with lots of empathy. Enjoy your kids again! Find her at sarahrosensweet.com