Last week Monday I was tired after a two hour commute, I collected the children from nursery and childminder and arrived home knowing I would have to face the usual drill; evening meal, bath, story, prayers, make packed lunches, hang up clothes for tomorrow etc etc.
After dinner, I became extremely frustrated with my three year old son. He was insisting on his need to eat cake in the lounge as oppose to the kitchen. I told him he must eat around the table in the kitchen. He then became stroppy, stood on the spot and cried (whilst holding the plate of course!) My son is extremely strong willed and stood crying for ten minutes but it actually felt like an hour. I was not willing to bend my rules in order to get a little peace but was definitely tempted for a few seconds. Eventually my son gave in and ate the cake in the kitchen.
Having witnessed awkward family situations whilst out and about, I can see why parents become frustrated with their children. Whilst my son cried, my mind ran on the advert shown on television some years ago. A mother was out shopping with her two children and one child complained non-stop. Suddenly the mum dropped to the floor and began having a tantrum and caused a scene. The children looked on embarrassed as if to say;
“What is up with mum?”
Mum had had enough – mum was having a fit just as children do. It certainly made them stop and reflect on their behaviour as you could see the shock on their faces.
Having children means your patience is tested throughout the day. You would like them to do one task and they have other ideas. I am learning they are their own people and their personality and character is developing each day. My eight year old daughter is assertive and knows exactly what she wants. She will do/say anything to stay up later even if only for five minutes. I am improving my skill of not negotiating with her which annoys me no end but simply telling her in a stern voice which she does not like at all.
I do not want to be a mother who constantly shouts at her children out of anger and frustration. If this means I have to walk away in particular situations to catch my breath/put life into perspective then so be it. I have realised I have more impact if I speak firmly to my children and get them to reflect on their behaviour rather than acting out in frustration.
How do you deal with frustration?
What advice would you give others?