Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Love is Patient. Sometimes.

Like most everyone, I love my children with every fiber of my being. And like most everyone, they drive me crazy. Recently, I'm struggling with being more patient. Or some patient. Kind of. Okay, let me be honest - my patience sucks.  I have lost my cool so much lately that its not in the realm of omgineedaglassofwine but on to wondering what the heck I'm going to do about this shiz for real.

To be fair to myself, it is common knowledge that Will could make the Pope swear and Mother Theresa pound her fist. Even so, I'm sad about the way I've handled conflict with them. I know that shouting is not the answer. That disciplining them out of anger is destructive and yet I do it anyway. I'm upset, they're upset and the tone of the home is ruined. This issue is a huge source of pain and frustration for all of us, and I'm just at a loss.

I've been reading what other people do about this. Apparently, I'm not alone as the second Google result was my topic "how to be more patient with my kids". Some of the advice I think is sound, some is too syrupy for my taste and some is just stupid. One of the things I thought was most helpful was to remove stress where you can. For example, if getting ready for school causes blowups like in my house, simply add 15 minutes to your routine. We're all sleep deprived and me time deprived, but really, most people can spare an extra 15 minutes. I know I'm sooo much more equipped to deal with kiddo insanity when I'm not in such a time crunch myself.

Apologizing to my children is easy - I'm a softie anyway and feel badly pretty much the instant I shut my mouth. But I want a true change.  Apologies become hollow when the offense is repeated and as someone who was treated badly as a child, that is the absolute last thing I want to do to my children. If you, my most favorite reader people, would leave advice or insight in the comments, I'd be very interested to read it. And if you don't have advice but just want to let me know that I'm not the only lunatic on the block that would be awesome too!
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6 comments:

Nancy Beck said...

Mornings in our house used to be SO bad!! Andrew could be distracted by anything or nothing at all and I am not a morning person. Not a good combination. His ADHD meds don't kick in until school time which is what we want because it needs to last all day. Finally figured out that he could not go in his room to get dressed or he would never get ready. For the last few years he has put his clothes, shoes, socks, glasses etc. all out the night before. Everything is downstairs(his room is upstairs). He gets dressed in the den downstairs. His toothbrush & deodorant are in the small half bath downstairs also. We actually hang his school clothes in the coat closet downstairs & keep socks & shoes in a bin downstairs. Once he comes down he does not go back to his room. This works for us because his sister gets ready upstairs & by the time she comes down he is dressed. No food for him until he is dressed & taken his meds. He packs up his bookbag & now his football gear the night before & leaves it by the front door. It took some time to get to this point but there is a lot less yelling at our house in the mornings now!! It it worth the extra time the night before. Since he gets dressed downstairs Joe or I can be there to be sure he doesn't get distracted but still do other things like get our breakfast etc. Otherwise we would have to go stand in his room to be sure was actually getting ready. Seems he was plenty old enough to just go to his room to get dressed but it just wasn't happening! This works for us and over time he needs less directions from us(most days anyway!!). Still have bad mornings but they are now the exception instead of the rule. Praying you will find a plan that works for ya'll.

Nancy Beck said...

Okay, did not realize my comment was going to be so long!! Sorry!

bereccah said...

Do NOT apologize for that comment - it is exactly what I needed to hear! We have the same issue with the kids being upstairs and us being down, so your plan is definitely going to be copied at my house to at least some degree. Thank you very much!

Amy Torrington said...

Well, glad I'm not the only one!! I think we are sitting in the exact same boat right now. I try to take a step back and figure out why I am like this recently (and maybe a little further back than that). Stress. Stress at work, stress with homework, stress in personal life, etc = no patience. Question is: how to fix/change? Let me know if you find the answer. You are not alone!!

Dena said...

good lord - i am on the friggin edge these days myself - i feel like total shiz - annie is soo excited when i get home and wants to hang on me - it drives me bonkers when i am trying to cook - so then i feel like an ass....
combine age, stress and work = lots of beer in the fridge and an early bedtime - when you figure it out let me know!!!

bereccah said...

It's funny how you "know" cognitively that you are not the only one in the boat, but can still feel so alone! Thanks so much for the comments - just reading them makes me feel better. :-)