You’ve seen her in the corner coffee shop, soccer practice and the grocery store. Hair awry, face flushed, eyeliner smudged beneath wary, bloodshot eyes. Her kids are going through the phase. “They were angels last week, angels,” she tells you, clutching her Tim Hortons for dear life, “but now they’re out of control – I’m losing my mind.” You can relate, you tell her. You know what it’s like. You know full well that this could be you at the flip of a nightlight switch. Where did everything go wrong? And how to get your life back? Here are 5 tips for nipping these phases in the bud and getting your sanity back!
1. Breathe. No matter how old your kids are, it’s always appropriate for mom to take a time out. This ensures that your own emotions and actions don’t exacerbate an already out-of-control situation. To calm the nerves, and quiet the mind, yoga experts recommend simply becoming aware of your breath, and, then, making your exhalation longer than your inhalation (counting helps). Hopefully, the kids won’t be banging on the door!
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2. Positive reinforcement. Often kids are out of control because they want attention. In their better moments, be sure to reward them with praise, maybe take them to the movies or somewhere fabulous (that’s totally fun for you, too, of course). Forget toys, candy or a raise in allowance, or you risk adding fuel to the fire – not least because you deplete yourself even more.
3. It’s all about boundaries. You’ve heard this one before, but it is beyond key. Kids get out of control because they’re testing their boundaries. Figure out what their (and your) limits are in any given situation, write them down if it helps, and be sure to let your kids know. Nothing is too obvious.
4. The D word. Discipline needs to be consistent, and it doesn’t have to be rocket science. Gather your techniques: warnings, firm voice, your trusty countdown (1…2…3), and time-outs that enable your child to breathe, cool off and prepare to apologize – at which point, see #2.
5. Let it go. It’s hard not to take things personally, but it’s essential when you’re dealing with out-of-control kids. When you feel your shoulders starting to slouch and your eyes welling up, just use this wise mantra: “It’s not about me.” And know that this, too, shall pass. Then? Remind yourself that you’re doing your best – and that your best will be different every day.
Now that you have your take-your-life-back toolkit, make sure your spouse is on board, reapply that eyeliner, and do something nice for yourself. Many frazzled moms are so focused on others that they’ve simply neglected to care for themselves. Grab a babysitter: the latest chick flick and that way-overdue facial are calling!
Information is current as of the original date of publication.
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We have all definitely been there!
In my opinion, consistency and team parenting are the two things that save me. My husband and I work as a team and the kids see us like a team so they never try and play us against one another like my other friends have experienced. We're consistent with consequences (which is usually revoked priviledges like video games) and the kids know exactly what they're in for.
Positive reinforcement for great behaviour was a fabulous thing to point out Haley! My kids love hearing stuff like that and it encourages repeat great behaviour.
Mars9 knew what I was saying.
Thank you for writing what I was thinking.
Some of you other folks knew it too. Most of us agree that a lot of kids out there are out of control and the time to teach them right from wrong is when they are young.
Been watching kids grow up for a while now and found that they pick up a lot of bad habits from their friends in school and for some reason the TV. They think that crap is real and at an age when a lot of us were already out making a living. We knew it was just a TV show.
An 18 year old kid put one front wheel off the road and wouldn't get in and back out of the ditch because he thought it would explode. I knew it was safe when I was four years old. Just common sense. They just don't have it anymore. I told him that was just on TV shows and backed his car out for him and laughed my head off till I realized it wasn't funny but very sad.
You don't beat them half to death or even hurt them. lol. You just get their attention.
The people that are beating their kids in a bad way belong in the slammer. But then again so do their kids. lol.
She's 19 - kick her and her boyfriend out if she can't treat you with respect.
My 6yr old tried that with me and I just bent over and whispered into his little ear and said, remember little man we are not going to be out all day and we will be home at some point. Get the drift. He just looked at me and never said another word. I am old school I don't have to put a hand on them they have fear of what could happen not of what has happened and I have my kids respect because of that. You don't have to spank or smack your kids if you are proactive in keeping them in line. Your rules have to be reasonable and learn to pick your battles and learn the art of redirection.
Hahahaha... That's gotta suck.. I just laugh at people who have kids and can't handle them.. Hahaha...
I was spanked growing up, and I am so proud I was disciplined. I know right from wrong..
Hahaha.. Poor parents not being able to control kids!
Good thing I don't have any kids!!!!!!
Kids expect everything to be handed to them and don't respect anything or anyone!
Counting and waiting for them to calm down or just standing there and letting them get away with what ever it is that they are doing is just wrong!
Most kids nowadays don't respect anyone whether it be their parents, peers or themselves. I personally blame it on bad parenting and the parents wanting to be their friends.
I work in customer service and its amazing at the things kids say to get there parents to buy them things. And the parents bend ! I recall when I was a kid I had to work to get an allowance and kids nowadays just assume that its their right. We are not their personal piggy banks nor their cab drivers at beckon call.
If they want their boyfriend or girlfriend to move in with them...good luck...let me know how the apartment search goes !
I have a young son and I pray he turns out nothing like a majority of today's kids.
Out of Control Parents in and Out of Control World.
Carry a big stick and then you will get respect.
You guys are a riot. Take a deep breath, try to stay in control and although violence will make the wee ones fear you it certainly will not get you their respect. What do you do when children are older to threaten their existance as obviously beating kids with sticks isn't happening in their teens that will get you time in the slammer. lol
When I was a kid you just didn't get out of control. Big stick did wonders. lol.
Some of the kids out there need to be introduced to that treatment.
We never told adults to f*ck off. If we did it was an instant attitude adjustment then our parents were told and we would get it at home too.
What excites you most about fall?
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- Cooler weather
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- Kids are back in school
- I'm NOT excited about fall
- None of the above