"A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret."I read this on Facebook while I was working on this series. Talk about timing, right?
Patience is defined as:
the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.My wife will tell you I sometimes accept delay or trouble too easily. And I sometimes do lack urgency. Some of that is because I tend to become scattered when rushed. I've learned over the years that its better for me to go slow and get it right, or at least try, rather than rush and forget two things, go home and get them, only to realize I've forgotten a third thing.
But for whatever reason, I struggle with this when it comes to the kids. Some of it is that the cacophony is incessant. I know every parent complains about this. And truthfully, every parent deals with it on some level.
But some days...
Its just all too much. The hundreds of questions, the fighting, the questions to answers I've just answered. And I'm not talking about questions like "do tigers eat people" or "how does the moon follow us." No. I like those questions. The ones I really dislike are the ones like "when do we have snack" when they just had snack.
And the pouting when I tell them they can't have snack right now because its 10 minutes till dinner. That drives me crazy. Its enough to make a guy long for those days when he wasn't sleeping but he also wasn't bombarded by 500 questions every minute.
L: Daddy, did you know your belly has different colors inside and the food goes through it?
ME: That is really interesting.
L: Its blue over he...
R: Daddy, can you carry my Elsa doll upstairs.
ME: Not now R, I'm listening to L. What was that L?
L: Daddy, did you know your belly has different colo ...
S: Daddy, I hurt my own self!
ME: How did that happen?
R: whaaaaa. Daddy, CARRY MY DOLL UPSTAIRS
S: Oh, nevermind
L: Daddy, is it bath night?
ME: No. Its not bath night.
L: I don't want to take a bath.
ME: Well good, its not bath night.
L: But you said it was bath night.
ME: No. No. No.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Its impossible to get into a flow like that. I'm frankly worried I will go crazy. I know a lot times I tend to be General Custer, picking bad battles and riding into traps and cannon fire. Is this one? Should I just give in?
Where is the damn instruction manual for the kids?
*Finds manual. Realizes it is 150,465 pages.
Alrighty then. No wonder they don't give you that at the hospital.
*checks glossary for "snacks." Glossary lists 148,564 pages on which the word "snacks" appears.
Great. THAT was helpful.
By my count, this is my FOURTH post about being angry, quick to anger, or short with my kids. Just in the last two months mind you. So what can I do? Well, like any good, reasonably internet savvy person, I turned to Google. Luckily, I'm not alone. The query "How to stop yelling at your child" nets 4.6M results. That is almost as many results came up from "I hate Cam Newton." Which means Google sees more posts about hating CN than about angry parents. I'm not sure whether that should fill me with joy or fear.
Unfortunately, I read a lot about the topic, and came away with little to show for it. This one helpfully pointed out that not yelling feels awesome. Thanks so much. Though it did also mention that taking time for yourself can help you manage stress, which is good as far as it goes.
Psychology Today actually had some of the best advice. Slow yourself down; be an active listener; ask yourself what the problem is; recognize anger; don't take it all so personally.
That first piece of advice is good. I'm afraid being an active listener might be what got me in this trouble, though. I know what the problem is... my kids won't leave me alone, and I'm angry about it, so I've got that one covered as well.
The devil is in the details, one post helpfully said. Indeed.
GO CHECK OUT PART I OF THIS SERIES HERE.