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Growth Personal Development

Parenting Rage is Real — Here’s How to Manage It

Can you relate to this scenario?

You wake up and spend 30 minutes coaxing your kid to get dressed for school while you rush to get ready for work.

They fight with you over what they want to wear, insisting on the same blue shirt they’ve worn every day this week.

You finally make it to the kitchen table for breakfast, only to have them refuse to take a single bite of food.

You try hard to keep your voice from rising, asking them nicely over and over again to please eat their breakfast.

“Eww, Mom, the yolk’s too runny.”

Snap.

You’re not sure if this anger has been bubbling up inside you for a while now or if you just woke up extra irritable today. But something inside you has broken in two.

Your heart pounds and your hands shake as you let out a desperate yell in response:

“FINE, GO AHEAD AND STARVE!”

Alas, parenting rage has reared its ugly head.

Parenting Rage Is Real

What you’re experiencing is legitimate—and more common than you think.

Rage is the uncontrollable, monstrous sibling of anger. It’s an emotion we’re all prone to feeling—whether or not we like to admit it.

No one wants to be the scary mom shoving her cart down a grocery store aisle with a crying kid behind her. But when we feel rage, our families often bear the brunt of it.

As parents and caregivers, it’s our job to provide a safe and loving environment for our kids—not traumatize them with our uncontrollable meltdowns. And yet, we’re imperfect human beings who get tired and stressed and lose our tempers once in a while.

So, what now?

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Managing the Fury You Feel

The good news is that parents and caregivers can take proactive steps to manage the fury we sometimes feel. Here are a few places to start:

Ask yourself, “what’s my unmet need?”

When we experience escalated feelings of stress, sadness, or anger, it’s because an unmet need has been continuously ignored or violated. It’s impossible to take care of your family’s needs when you yourself are drawing from an empty tank.

In the case of parental rage, sit with yourself for a moment and ask yourself what you really need. Are you stressed about work? Sleep deprived? Frustrated with your marriage? Perhaps you need your co-parent to step up and help out more with the kids.

Be aware of your triggers.

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What behaviors send you careening over the edge? I suggest keeping a trigger journal to observe words or actions that set you into a rage.

If you notice that back talk always gets your temper flaring, do some inner work to find out why. Is there something from your own childhood that makes you react so strongly to your kids having a different opinion from you?

Being aware of our triggers helps us deal with the negative emotions associated with them—and hopefully react better next time we find ourselves in a triggering situation.

Forgive yourself.

Yelling at your kid doesn’t make you a bad parent. It just means you’re human. Forgive yourself for the times you’ve lost your temper—and let your child know how sorry you are for your outburst. Move forward and commit to doing better next time.

Parenting rage may be real, but so is our love for our children. When we work on our own issues, we can learn to respond with gentleness and compassion instead of anger.

Love and Blessings,

Katherine

P.S. If your rage has become unmanageable, please don’t hesitate to ask a professional for help. There’s no shame in needing additional support. The Conscious Parenting Revolution also has a network of supportive parents here to offer you solutions, or a listening ear. Join our private Facebook Group today!

P.P.S. Now more than ever, reducing stress and building community is key to health and wellness. As
a mom, you don’t have do it alone. You’re invited to join me, along with several other top experts on September 21st for a live, interactive event You’ve Got This Mama: Step Into Your Power, Rediscover Yourself and Be Amazing. It’s free too!
Join other moms who, just like you, seek practical solutions to everyday mom challenges.
You need to register to gain access and a ton of free gifts. Click HERE.

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Growth Leadership Personal Development

Being Driven in the Workplace

Being Driven in the Workplace

What drives you in the workplace? A friend of mine told me about the advice he got when he first sought help to manage his out-of-control Type A Behavior. After filling out the usual forms, the doctor asked, “How may I help you?” My friend replied, “I don’t know where to begin.” The doctor wisely said, “Pull any loose thread—it’s all one knot.”

Aspects of Type A Behavior include a sense of urgency, impatience, competitiveness, and being easily upset. Of those four behaviors, two of them—impatience and upset—aren’t hard-wired, don’t serve you, and can easily be controlled.

You’ve heard many people talk about the “fight or flight response.” We are hard-wired to look for danger and threats. Anything that sets off an alarm in our lizard brain will trigger a physical reaction. And an emotional reaction, as well. We see the emotional reactions of people around us all the time. We probably notice our own emotional reactions, as well. Even if we don’t like to admit it.

There is nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. It is all part of being human. But the people we most admire have the ability to manage the emotions and physical sensations at the moment.

Top Athletes Know-How 

One of our pleasures in Mastery Under Pressure is working with top athletes. We love helping them defeat their hardest opponent: Themselves. We often see top athletes sabotage themselves with their own thoughts and doubts. But the very elite performers have one indispensable skill: They have learned how to let it go. 

Do world-class athletes lose their tempers? All the time. In every sport. Whether it’s a tennis racquet smashed on the net or a baseball bat was thrown in disgust, we have all witnessed the best players lose their cool. But by the next point or their next at-bat, it’s as if it never happened. The best performers learn how to let it go in the moment.

Take Back Control at the Workplace

Being driven in the workplace doesn’t mean you have to let your Type A tendencies take control. Learn from the pros: Are you confused, upset, distressed, annoyed, or any of a hundred different emotions? Is work feeling more stressful these days? Tune into your body. What are you feeling and where are you feeling it? 

Is there a knot in your stomach? Do not avoid the sensation. Focus on it. What does that knot look like? Where is it located? Is it deep in your gut—or closer to your heart? Can you breathe into it? Take a deep breath and picture the air you inhale going right to the knot. Notice the knot loosen. And notice your mind calm down as well. If you start to tune into your own body, you will change the way you think and feel.

 

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Growth Personal Development

Accepting Change

Let’s face it, change can be hard and within change is the inherent fear factor- leaving what we have known and are comfortable with and not knowing what the future will bring. Of course, the more comfortable and content we are with our situation, the more difficult it can be to make the adjustment.

Yet even knowing that change in life is inevitable, it very often still fills us with a sense of grief. Losing a friend, job, or opportunity understandably fills us with tremendous sadness, as can a break-up, betrayal, or disappointment, but even seemingly happy occasions can be just as traumatic. Especially if they are situations that force us to move from one stage of life to another. Graduating from high school or college, leaving a job, or moving to a new location, birthdays, weddings and retirement can fill us with distress. Leaving what we’ve known, are used to, and are comfortable with, whether good or bad, can lead us to that overwhelming sense of loss and/or anxiety.

The crux of the anxiety associated with change comes from the fact that we feel that we are losing something. At times, we may even feel that we have no control. Shifting that paradigm will go a long way to making the process smoother and less painful and it really isn’t as hard as you may think.

Acceptance is key

 Although it’s perfectly natural to want to fight against the tide, cross our arms, dig our heels in to prevent change, it can be as impossible as preventing the change of seasons. Taking the time to fully understand your feelings and their complexity is an essential part of acceptance. As exciting as it may be to start something new, we may also be experiencing fear, nervousness, and anxiety about what we’re leaving behind. It helps to:

  1. Focus on the positives that the change will bring.
  2. Be patient with yourself- understand that it takes time to adjust to a new normal.
  3. Visualize specific benefits associated with the change, such as making new friends, navigating through unchartered territory, and discovering things about yourself.
  4. Get caught in the positive wave. This can help you see and focus on what you’re gaining versus what you’ve lost.

Practice gratitude

Being appreciative for what you’ve known and the joy it has given you goes a long way in moving on. Taking time to reflect on where the experience fits into the bigger picture is very helpful.

  1. Understanding that life is about growth and learning.
  2. Honoring what you have learned.
  3. Finding the gift in the change goes a long way in accepting what is.

It may take some effort, but it is possible to promote enthusiasm for what’s to come.

Sometimes, reflection and redefinition are called for

Very often when you’ve spent a long time doing something, such as child rearing, it’s difficult to envision doing anything else.  It is not unusual to experience emptiness and disconnection in such a situation. Many people feel lost and confused about who they are when their identity had been so strongly associated with a particular purpose in life. Now that our role is changing it is not uncommon to experience an identity crisis. Having to redefine ourselves can often cause us to experience grief as we mourn the person we used to be, but it can also be exciting to imagine who we are becoming.

  1. Be patient with yourself.
  2. Take the time to get reacquainted with yourself.
  3. Identify how you have changed- what were you like before this stage of your life?
  4. What do you yearn for now?

90% of the participants who participated in a recent survey that I conducted on betrayal said that they wanted to move forward, but that they didn’t know how. When you’re in the middle of a major life change, no matter what the change, it’s hard to imagine ever becoming your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual best. But it can happen. It just takes a commitment to do so. You are worth dedicating time to understand and take care of yourself and to transform into the best version of you, yet.

Dr. Debi
Founder and CEO, The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute

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