Monday, June 30, 2014

Gentle discipline when you're at the end of your rope: You tell me

Do you have those days when everything's a trigger — and yet you're really, really calm and patient? Maybe you're not feeling well, or you're stressed, but you keep your cool under pressure and remain gentle and mindful with your children and the others in your path.

But … but … then the day just keeps going. Sometimes angry reactions are instant and volatile, but often they're the result of hours or even days of build-up. You can hold it in, and hold it in … but then, suddenly, you can't.

Hobo Mama is asking you: How do you practice gentle discipline when you're at the end of your rope?
What do you do in these situations? What do you do when you're at the end of your patience rope but you still have dinnertime and bedtime to get through? Some of us might be fortunate enough to duck out and call on a partner or friend to take over so we can escape before we explode — but what do we do when we don't have that option, or when it's not enough?

Here's where you think I have some thoughtful answer. Surprise! I'm honestly asking you.

Write me back with your best ideas ( or comment on this post, and I'll feature your responses (with first names & last initials or pseudonyms — let me know if you prefer privacy) in an upcoming post.

So tell us:

How do you remain a gentle parent when it's been a long, long day of choosing gentleness over and over and you're nearing your peacefulness limit?

Then be sure to subscribe to my blog or newsletter or follow along on Facebook or Google+ to see when I post your helpful answers!


Inder-ific said...

Change of scene. Get out of the house. Preferably to do something the kids like. Worst case, turn on the sprinkler, or get the kids in the bathtub, or let them play in the sink (you can tell my kids love water!) -- change venues immediately! Get the kids having fun and snap them out of their bad mood.

Then crack open a beer for yourself. Put on some music and try to shift your own perspective. Do what you gotta do, even if it means going on mommy time out (probably not with your small children in the bathtub, that would be a bad idea). Deep breaths. Chocolate. Call your partner or a friend and say "These are rotten kids!!! I can't stand it!" It'll be okay. :-)

Inder-ific said...

If you've tried all of the above and you are still struggling, may I suggest Zoloft. For you, of course. It helps a bit! GAH. This mothering business is no joke! :-)

Kendall said...

I have nothing to share, just wanted to say I know I really need to work on this more, so I can't wait to know the suggestions offered! :)

Nora and her Mom said...

We are also of the 'change the scene' tribe. If toddler is in a deliberate boundary pushing mode, I do my best to make it not seem like a reward for her behavior, but rather, redirection. We also have physical boundaries we can put up (aka, baby gates!) that, for now, work as a way to remove babe from tempting and dangerous situations. We use them sparingly so that she has never had the inclination to climb them or knock them over.
Usually though, if I am of the right frame of mind, I can realize that when she's really making me maddeningly frustrated, it's just that she needs a bit more one on one time with me, and a parent guided activity is what she craves.
We'll see how well I can cope when our second babe comes this fall though!!

sustainablemum said...

Totally honestly I am most likely to shout :(. But if I have a tiny amount of patience or calmness left I will remove myself and go away and count to ten take some deep breaths and return to the situation.

My youngest goes into crying and whining mode very occassionally which it is really hard for her to get out of. I have found, if she will let me, that hugging her/holding her works well, also my eldest has succeeded with humour/messing about which doesn't work if I do it.

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