Anger is a normal human emotion, but such a hard one to handle, isn’t it? I never thought I was an especially angry person. I mean, sure I felt impatient a lot and I could be pretty stubborn, but angry? Nah, that wasn’t me.
I must have gotten really good at hiding it, even from myself. Because it’s totally normal to get angry and frustrated from time to time, especially if you have kids.
When I had a second baby, all the tools I’ve developed for myself over the years, to appear put together and not a scattered mess began to unravel. I got frustrated and overwhelmed that what I’ve always done no longer worked. My fears and insecurities boiled up inside and I started yelling at my kids.
No one on earth knows how to push my buttons and make me angry and frustrated like my kids. Not even my husband and he knows me better than I know myself sometimes.
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I also never thought I was a “controlling” person before I had kids. But now I realize I do like to feel in control of my life. Who doesn’t? I use routines to know what to expect next, to maintain some sort of order in the chaos. They make me feel like I have it together, but boy my kids know how to take that illusion of control away from me. They reveal the parts of me that I haven’t perfected yet, and test my own limits.
Sometimes it’s very easy to get caught up in your anger and let a bad mood ruin your day. Something doesn’t go right, or your kids push your buttons one too many times and you know you’re about to lose it.
I love them with all my heart, but good grief, my kids frustrate me.
Sometimes I’m just in a bad mood and all the little things irritate me more than usual. I can usually recognize things are headed south. So what do you do when you realize things are going down hill and you want to snap out of it?
Here are 5 Strategies to Lighten the Mood When Anger Strikes
Almost all of these ideas involve the idea of using physical play to lighten the mood. They work really well to burn of extra angry energy and help build connection and fun with your kids at the same time. Bonus points if you can keep your cool long enough to initiate them without spouting off the anger first. Your kids won’t even know you were about to lose it. (Mostly for when they are just being irritating or doing kid things that drive you crazy- not for real discipline required situations.)
1. Pillow Fight
Its feels a little weird to type this but there’s something strangely satisfying about bopping your kid with a pillow, especially if you’re a little mad at him.
2. Water Gun Fight
The same can be said for dumping a bucket of water on his head, or soaking him with the hose. Not as a punishment, just all in good fun.
3. Do Something Unexpected
One time, my son was annoying me while I was doing dishes so I turned around and sprayed him with the sink sprayer. Totally out of the blue and we both started laughing. Make a silly face or just be a goof-ball. Your kids aren’t expecting that and laughter is a definite cure for a bad mood.
4. Tickle Party
Again, the sound of uncontrollable child giggles usually makes me laugh and laughter is a great cure for anger.
5. Dance it out!
The ultimate cure for a bad day is a dance party! We recently discovered that our Playstation has Spotify, so we can blare the music through the TV. My kids have hilarious dance moves and dancing it out always makes me feel better. Plus, it’s a great work out.