Does frustration get the better of you?

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?

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14 thoughts on “Does frustration get the better of you?”

  1. I wrote a blog, “How my niece & nephew raised me,” based on them teaching me patience! Well, I should say they tried. I have zero tolerance for inanimate things that frustrate me. That’s bad, but in the good news, I usually vent the frustration and once it’s spewed out, I move on. What’s the point in dealing with it? People, however, can be either rewarding or frustrating–often at the same time! It sounds like you are doing a good job balancing being human with being a mom–and there’s a skill set I admire.

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  2. I am going t pass about making a comment, since I do not have any children of my own. However, being an uncle, you get a privilege of lessening all the rules, and being your nephews and nieces favorite. Especially, since we make them go back to their parents after we have spoiled them.

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  3. As I do not yet have any kids, I can’t say I can relate to your everyday struggle as a mother. However, I usually deal with frustration by stepping away from the situation and taking long, deep breaths. Sometimes a good cry can also help release the pent up frustration!

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  4. Timely topic. Over the weekend I was trying to finish a writing project. Then the dogs started barking. My neighbor’s dogs on the right side of me kicked it off, and then the dogs across the street chimed in and finally, mine could resist no longer and joined the chores.

    Normally, I would have just closed the window and talked in soothing tones to my little dog to calm her down and waited for the barking to stop. But I was tired, pushing a deadline and struggling with the last chapter and I snapped and yelled SHUT UP!!! at the top of my lungs. I immediately regretted losing my patience, and worse, my little dog ran and hid in the closet! Today when the dogs started barking, I took a deep breath and calmly distracted my dog so she didn’t join in and it was over almost as quickly as it began. I hate losing my cool, but I am human and we all cross the line from time to time.

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    1. Thank you for sharing, Marquita. You were fully aware of your frustration and understood your actions did not reap good results. We are indeed human and will make mistakes.

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  5. Oh Phoenicia!
    Your post brings back memories from the time my children (two girls) were small. The oldest sounds like your 8-year-old: strong-willed and hard to shape. We still clash even though she is now in her 40s! I don’t think the conflicts ever go away between the oldest daughter and the mother. But your ideas of walking away, taking a timeout for yourself, and refusing to negotiate on certain issues sound like the right ideas to me. Children always test the boundaries. It’s part of their need to define themselves. Your children have a strong mother who is presenting a wonderful role model of responsibility, achievement in the work world, and caring for a family at home. They will grow up remembering the behavior that you are showing them now. Don’t give up! Tomorrow will be better!
    Dr Rin

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    1. Glad I was able to bring you back to memory lane!

      I try to be strong Dr Rin. Us mothers tend to be hard on ourselves. Raising children the correct way is not easy but they are indeed a blessing.

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