How to Stop Getting Irritated By Your Kids
This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for details.
Do you find yourself getting irritated by your kids often? Does everything they do drive you up the wall? I totally understand! I felt that way about my daughter for several months straight. Not only did my hair-trigger make me feel guilty and like a terrible mom… I felt like my irritation was making me miss important moments in her young life. Do you feel that way too? Keep reading to find out how to stop being so irritated by your kids.
Sometimes, getting irritated by your kids is just normal! It turns out that regular kids behavior is just annoying sometimes. They’re learning by using repetition, silly songs, bad jokes, and whatever they can do to get a rise out of you. By the end of a long day alone with them, it’s normal to feel worn out. Nobody has unlimited patience! But when is being irritated by your kids not normal? If you’re finding yourself waking up already irritated, feeling guilty for snapping so often, and needing to take mommy time-outs more often than you’re comfortable with, it might not be the kids at all.
Remember that period of a few months when I was irritated by my kid continuously? I was having a really hard time personally. My marriage wasn’t great, my health was making me feel gross, and I felt stuck. I was spending so much energy being depressed and angry at my current situation, that I had nothing left for my daughter.
Does that sound familiar to you? Understanding that you’re not actually irritated by your kids, just dealing with something personal, can help you be kinder to them and stop before you snap. Take some time to work on yourself and address your mental health and situation.
Find Your Triggers
If you don’t think your outlook or mental health is to blame for being irritated by your kids, try to figure out what’s triggering your irritation. Write down (or use a note on your phone) when you snap at your kids or start to feel the anger rising. Note the time of day, what’s going on in the house, what just happened, and how it made you feel. You might start to see some patterns! To find out more about parenting triggers, check out this post and the Parenting Style worksheet!
Address Your Triggers
Now it’s time to do something about those triggers. No matter what your triggers are, when you start to feel the irritation rising, take a big deep breath or drink some cold water. It’s amazing what a small pause and reset can do! If you noticed a pattern in your triggers, try to minimize them. For example, if your kids refuse to clean up their toys at the end of the day and it makes you crazy, institute a few clean-up times during the day. Your kids (and you!) won’t be so overwhelmed by a big mess, and you won’t be so exhausted right before bedtime.
It’s Okay to Walk Away
We often feel like we need to address our kids’ mistakes right away so they get the message. But as long as they’re not in danger, it’s okay to close the door and get some space to clear your head! Calming down for just a few minutes can help you make better choices about how to react. Finding time to calm down before you get too irritated by your kids and snap at them can even help you stop from getting irritated in the first place! Check out Love & Logic for more about calming down before reacting.
Change Your Phrases
The way your talk could be making you more irritated by your kids, and your kids less willing to listen! I wrote a post about changing your parenting phrases to be gentler and calmer. Not only can gentler phrases help you nurture a closer and more loving relationship with your kids, they can change your own attitude and let you hold on to more patience throughout the day.
Ask for Help
If you’re really struggling with being irritated by your kids, ask your husband or a close friend for help! Sometimes our irritation can feel like a shameful secret. But finding a loving and non-judgmental person to share your true struggles with can help lighten your mental load. Ask that person to celebrate with you when you make the choice to stay calm or step away from an irritating situation, and encourage you when you admit your struggles to them.
Remember that we’ve been given an important job: showing our kids how to be adults. I know it’s a huge responsibility, and it’s easy to feel guilty when we make small mistakes. But it’s also easy, in the mundane of every day, to remember that we’re molding our kids to be like us. We get rude awakenings every so often when our kids copy our behavior that we’d rather they didn’t, like learning a swear word or yelling when they get frustrated. But often, these moments don’t permanently change our behavior. Let this be the instance that helps you show your kids that people can change and improve themselves!
Remind Yourself that You Love Them!
You know that first moment in the morning, when your kid wakes up? They’re sweet and snuggly and warm… for about ten seconds! That kid is the same one that destroys the house and boobytraps the hall with legos. I know, it’s hard to believe. Spend some time every day enjoying some sweet and calm moments with your kids. If you can’t, spend that time thinking on some sweet moments or looking through their baby pictures. This time will help you remember that they’ll not always little monsters… and even when they are, you still love them just as much.
When you find yourself getting irritated by your kids? Leave a comment and tell me!
If you liked this post, Pin it!