I’m a mother to young boys and ‘bickering’ is a word I am on intimate terms with! You cannot imagine the noise in our house or the silly arguments that escalate to full-blown warfare. Or maybe you can.
I must stop rising to the many squabbling occasions. Bellowing is getting me nowhere and worse still, it’s becoming a habit. On a typical day, I can and do actually turn into some kind of ranting, half-crazed beast! The boys even have a name for it: Mumbo. They run around doing terrifying impressions of this deranged creature.
The truth is that my kids are lovely: they’re kind, intelligent, humorous individuals. Their bickering is partly sibling rivalry (normal) and partly the fact that little things to adults can be massive deals to kids (also normal). I lose it because I’m tired, busy and constantly worrying about anything from the future of mankind to the next meal. Truth be told, if a fairy offered me a wish, I’d beg for mental solitude.
Due to a lack of fairies, however, I’ve done what most parents do when they want to make changes: surf the internet. Here’s what I discovered about how to stop yelling:-
Try to understand what is really going on. The behaviour that has your inner Hulk groaning to get out, usually masks genuine feelings. Attend to these and you’ll often find that the satisfaction of truly helping is an effective antidote to your anger.
2. Use Understanding to slow yourself down.
Take a breath and think before you react. Did you honestly need to grow horns over spilt juice? If a reprimand is needed, offer it calmly and in a well-considered manner. Recognise your anger signs and even better, say something well before you start to lose the plot!
3. Don’t be scared to be human.
Let your kids know what you can/can’t cope with. Instead of allowing the latest bout of fighting to drive you into the fires of hell, you could try explaining that you’ve had a long day and need a break. Allow your children the privilege of seeing your human side and respecting it. It will do them as much good as it will you
4. Remember it’s rarely personal.
Kids generally don’t set out to drive their parents insane. Try to realise that most of the behaviour you can’t stand is about a child’s struggle with him/herself. You, more than anyone else, can help with that.
So my parenting comrades, I wish you luck. If the above doesn’t work, say sorry when you can; try again next time and hit the fridge as soon as they’ve hit the sack!