Sometimes being a parent could be the toughest job in one’s life. They drive you crazy, but we are damn sure you wouldn’t trade them for the world. Isn’t it? But, you might indeed feel like you are losing your patience when your kids are driving you crazy. Be known, you are not alone. Almost all parents find it hard to stay calm at times with kids around at home. Read on to know how to stay calm when your kid is driving you crazy. We hope this would help you to some fair extent.
15 Ways To Stay Calm When Your Kid Is Driving You Crazy
Change The Dynamic:
Sometimes it is not just you but also your kids are likely to get stressed and anxious. Since they are likely to get anxious and stressed, their irritating behavior might be about seeking reassurance. Your kids would expect to know that despite the upheaval, everything would be fine, you will still remain with them, you will be protecting and loving them. And when you respond to this deeper need of your kids, they would probably forget about their annoying actions that might be driving you crazy.
You should spend at least 20-30 minutes playing a board game with them, or drawing together, or spend some time doing any activity that would pull you and your kid both, “out of the dynamic of generating stress.”
Do An Emotional Check-In:
One way to stay calm when your kid is driving you crazy is to do an emotional check-in. When you are more connected to our emotions, we are likely to make better choices regarding how we respond to our kids.
To do an emotional check-in, simply close your eyes, place one of your hands on your belly and the other hand on your heart. Here, notice your heartbeat, your inhales, and exhales. Try and scan your body for any sensation and finally, open your eyes and notice the way you feel
Ignore The Irritating Behavior:
One of the best ways for staying calm is to ignore the irritating behavior of your kid. Make sure that you ignore any behavior that is attention-seeking, annoying, or that occurs after you have said no to a request of your kid, and also be sure that you shower your kids with proper attention when they are performing good or desirable behaviors.
Safely Communicate To Yourself:
Our nervous system perceives an obstacle or threat when we are about to lose it. So, it is essential to let your mind and body know that you are fine and safe in the present moment.
This can be done by telling yourself, “This is not anything serious. I can handle this. I can help my child and myself. I must stay calm and not be overstressed.”
Do Simple Yoga Poses:
You can do some simple yoga poses like Downward Dog, Forward Dog, Leg-up-the wall, or Child’s Pose. Being upside down would help you to calm the nervous system, increase flow of blood to the brain, and help you calm down when your kid is driving you crazy.
To enhance the calming benefits, you should take 5 to 10 deep breaths.
Shake It Out:
Shake your body parts to reduce your stress and stay calm when your kid is driving you crazy. You should shake your arms, hands, and legs to counteract the stress response of your body and frustration-fueled excess excess energy.
An interesting fact is that many animals shake dozens of times in a day to clear away their stress effects.
Use The “Quick Coherence Technique:
Research at the HeartMath Institute shows that if we get ourselves into a calm state then our children’s hearts would physically respond to our state of heart.(1)
A technique developed by HeartMath Institute can help you to stay calm when your kid is driving you crazy. For this, you should focus your attention on your heart. Inhale for 6 seconds and exhale slowly for 6 seconds, deeper and a little slower than usual. Try and feel gratitude or care for someone or something. Do this for at least 2 minutes. You can also tell your kids to join you in this.
Take Deep Breaths:
Taking deep breaths could be essential when you want to calm down yourself. When we are triggered into fight or flight mode, then we stop breathing quite often and begin to breathe less deeply. This is because the sensation of anger increases in our chest.
Taking few deep breaths would aid in relieving your stress and lets your body to remain calm enough to focus and also think before you lose it. When we calm down, we are able to parent more effectively.
Relax With Your Kid:
Relaxing with your kid is highly essential when you want to stay calm while your kid is driving you crazy. You can do simple mindfulness activities with your kids, such as exploring your garden, taking a nature walk, laying in the hammock, and so on. This would create an excellent opportunity ti connect with your kids more and also model stress management.
Change Your Perspectives:
“Life is all about perspectives.” In fact, your perspective is one of the most powerful parenting tools. You can try and shift the way you think about your child’s behavior when they are not understanding your words.
You should try some of the following perspective shifters:
- Shift your perspective from “My child is being so bad” to ‘My child is having a hard time.”
- Shift the perspective from “I am failing as a parent” to “I am learning new ways of parenting every day.”
- Shift your perspective from “I can’t take it anymore.” To “I can do better things. I need to think of the solution.”
Try And Laugh:
Sometimes situation might be really ridiculous when your kids might be creating a mess around you. Say for example, you might feel like screaming and losing temper when your kid would spill all the juice in the room after you have cleaned the room properly. But, what you can do is try and laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. This would help you in reducing stress and help you stay calm.
Give Yourself A Time-out:
If you feel like going crazy, it is time to remove yourself from the situation. Take a back step and allow yourself the required space and time to calm down. You can ask your partner to take a step forward in handling your kids while you give yourself a timeout and think about the best possible ways to handle the situation.
A timeout, before you crack, might help you stay calm and keep a check on the situation without a major blowout. This way you can model a positive and healthy way for dealing with anger.
Focus On Something Lovely About Your Kid:
Your kids can sometimes be an angel and in another minute turn to be a devil, without you even noticing. But, when we see the devil or aggressive behavior of our kids, we forget the angelic moments that we spend with our children or about all the good things of our kids.
However, the trick is to focus on something lovely about your kid, think of the angelic moments spent with your kids, and try to ignore the ridiculous behavior of your child at that moment. This helps you to stay calm when your kid is driving you crazy. After sometime, when you become calm, you can make your child understand and get situations under your control.
Involve Your Child In Problem Solving:
You should routinely involve your child in problem solving, managing difficult situations, and trying to help them figure out some helpful ideas to solve a particular problem. This way they grow a habit to likely cooperate with various solutions. This way they do not always drive you crazy when a situation is going really odd.
You can improve your child in problem solving by describing a particular situation and then asking, “How can we solve this? Or, what would you suggest?”
Have Magnesium- Rich Foods:
One more way to stay calm when your kid is driving you crazy is by taking more foods that are rich in magnesium.
During stressful situations, magnesium gets depleted, which is precisely when we require it most. It is hard to stay calm and not react when this magnesium mineral is low. Research has shown that magnesium might help with brain functions that helps in reducing anxiety and stress.
It is advised by The National Academy Of Medicine that adults must not exceed 350 mg of magnesium supplements in a day.(3)
Though eating more magnesium can be good when taken in the form of food, a higher dose of magnesium supplements can result in many side effects.
Ask For Support:
If you stay with your partner, then support each other when your kid is driving you crazy and help each other to remain calm. You should always ask for support when you find it hard to manage with your kids alone. You can also take help from your parents or other family members and work together.
Finally, we would say that you are not alone. Every parent goes through the time when they find it hard to stay calm when their kids are driving them crazy. But, ultimately, being adults, it is our duty and responsibility to solve the problem, look for better and more effective strategies that can be employed to remain calm in tough situations when our kids are driving us crazy. You can try out the above mentioned ways to stay calm when your kid is driving you crazy and look if it works for you.