Whoever said, “The more you grow up, the less you blow up,” never met a stressed-out mom. I always thought I would be a self-controlled mother, but when I had kids of my own, my utopian theories flew out the window. Honestly, motherhood stretches us in ways we never knew were possible. It’s the toughest job we ever loved. Some moms have a higher tolerance level than others, but all moms have their boiling points. So what can we do when we feel the heat rising? One idea is to employ the STOP method.
S stands for “Step away from the situation.” Take a few steps away from the immediate source of frustration.
T stands for “Take several deep, calming breaths.” As you fill your lungs with air, your body physically relaxes, and gives you time to physically calm down and get a hold of yourself.
O stands for “Objectively look at the situation.” You may discover there’s more going on than first meets the eye. Perhaps the reason your son is throwing a temper tantrum is because he missed his nap and is understandably exhausted. Maybe you’re experiencing PMS, or perhaps you are hungry or tired or mad at your ex. When we are angry, our adrenaline is in high gear, so we must re-engage our brain.
P stands for “Pray.” Silently send up an immediate prayer to God asking for His help. A quick “Dear Lord, please help me have patience with my kids right now,” brings the situation before God, allows you to draw on His infinite resources, and reminds you of His strength.
Ultimately we need to get to the core issues behind our anger. We can all take positive steps to help relieve tension.
Find an accountability partner. Connect with a friend and talk about anger issues and solutions.
Keep a journal. Explore areas of bitterness, resentment or unforgiveness.
Reconsider your schedule. An overloaded calendar adds stress to your life as well as to your kids’ lives.
Remember the power of your example. Angry outbursts, tend to beget angry outbursts in our kids. If you grew up in an angry household, you can break the cycle. Visit a counselor if you sense you need help in dealing with an abnormal amount of anger.
Quiet Time. Try to find a time that you can take a few minutes to pray. You will be amazed how this will strengthen you emotionally and prepare you for your day.
Ask for forgiveness when necessary. Your kids learn from your humility and honesty. When you acknowledge your own weaknesses and apologize, it teaches your kids how to forgive and how to ask for forgiveness.
As moms, it is our job to create a calm and loving atmosphere in our homes. We may experience anger or frustration at times, but we can deal with it in constructive rather than destructive ways. May we be positive role-models for our kids, teaching them to respond to challenges with peaceful attitudes and actions.