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Losing my tempers

I yell at my kids. I fly off the handle.

I lose my temper.

Does this sound familiar?

“I’m constantly losing my temper and blowing up at my little one (3). I’ve lost it over the tiniest things. I feel horrible about it. I feel like crying when I’m yelling at him. He always looks so scared, and I feel awful afterward that he’s going to be traumatized somehow. I love him so much. But I just can’t hold it back.”

Are you thinking, “Yup, same,” and you don’t know how to stop the pattern, because your outbursts keep on happening? And your kids probably aren’t helping, because sometimes they act up and get on your nerves, which makes it even harder to not lose your patience?

You might have tried:

Counting to 10. Taking a deep breath. Leaving the room when you feel your adrenaline rising. You try to last as long as you can.

But eventually you explode anyway, and then you feel awful about it. Is that familiar?

How the Unparenting course can help:

Week 5

We devote all of Week 5 to you, the parents. Because you matter, Mom and Dad. You’ll learn about the three hidden reasons you lose your temper with your children and can’t seem to control yourself. Even though you swore up and down: “I’ll never do that again.”

You’ll see for yourself how suppressing your emotions and trying to be cheerful all the time doesn’t help but just makes your outbursts worse. And we’ll talk about what to do instead. You’ll learn how to handle your emotions so you don’t have to keep them bottled up inside, but so they also don’t fly out uncontrollably and hurt your children. And you’ll learn how to control your temper so you’re not constantly on the edge of exploding.

We’ll go over a simple tool to help you through situations where you’re approaching the boiling point. It will help you let off steam and not lash out at your kids.

If you’ve found yourself losing your temper in the past and doing things you later regretted, you’ll learn how to stop that before it starts. We’ll also cover what to tell your children (even young ones) so they don’t take your outbursts too personally and you won’t have to worry they’ll end up traumatized somehow.

You will help your children feel safe with you even if you have messed up in the past. And you’ll learn how to avoid messing up again in the future.

We’ll be spending the whole week talking about how to take care of yourself and your own well-being so you don’t fall prey to emotional outbursts out of exhaustion. We’ll talk about how to stop sacrificing your own needs and have more patience for your children. How to get some much-needed rest and self-care so that you don’t burn out even when you have little ones around. And how to start enjoying parenting, not just surviving and putting off living your own life until your kids grow up.

Your children will be more at peace.

Each week of the course will also present simple techniques for handling situations where your children are misbehaving, acting out, crying or making scenes. You will learn how to work things out with them without getting into long, drawn-out discussions; repeating yourself a hundred times; or yelling at them.

This process works with every child if their parents genuinely live Unparenting principles. We’ve seen it with tens of thousands of parents. We will guide you through the course so you can soon enjoy the same benefits they have.

If your little one is still very young, that’s totally fine. We’ll show you how to communicate and work things out even when one of you can’t talk. We’ll help you get a handle on your nerves so you’ll be able to deal with many of the situations that currently get under your skin (like making messes, grabbing dangerous things, refusing to get dressed, refusing to go to bed, throwing food, or crying during diaper changes).

This will clear up so much of the tension, stress and yelling in your home. The atmosphere will feel much better, and you’ll be able to be a much calmer, more stable parent.

How parents are doing after finishing the course:

Before the course, I felt like a less than great parent. I yelled at my kids sometimes and didn’t respect them or myself.

Now I respect both myself and my kids. I’m more patient, even though it can still be hard sometimes. But I can stop, feel what I’m feeling, and then respond based on that. I don’t yell. I raised my voice once this whole time, but it wasn’t a yell. :)

I think my children are happy about it. They don’t have to be afraid that I’ll lose my temper. I seem like the “nice” parent now, even though I don’t think that’s the right way to look at it. Everybody’s different, and we’re all trying our best. What’s important is that I think I’m a better mom (than I was before) and that I believe the Police/Teacher cycle will end with me.

I’ve got two big personalities in my kids. The first is my daughter. When she was 18 months, I thought we would never be able to have another child, because I just didn’t have the strength to handle her. Then I started following Unparenting, listening to their audios, and gradually changing my approach.

I find things easier with my son, even though people around us stare at what all he can do and what I allow him to do, and at how I stay calm because I know what he can handle and what he can’t. It’s much easier to talk with him and work out what I need and what he needs.

I was always looking for something to give me some perspective on the daily grind, something to help me be more present in the here and now. Unparenting has really helped me in that.

I appreciate my children more, I appreciate my husband more, and that gives me more peace, the perspective I was looking for, the ability to do one thing after another and not stress over everything else I have to do and fret over not having the time to do anything creative or just chat with my kids.

Now I find the time to go outside when the sun is shining instead of later, when this or that is finished. Thank you.

My husband is listening along with me, and he just said that if we had known about Unparenting four years ago, we would have enjoyed raising our daughter much more and not stressed as much over every little thing or made as many wrong moves. We would have been more upbeat and understood much more about cause and effect in parenting. Thanks!

Before the course, I was the sort of the mom who tried to do everything the nice way, explaining and repeating myself. When my daughter didn’t respond the way I expected, I would yell. I always knew best how things should be done, and it ate at me when they weren’t done right. I’ve been with Unparenting for almost three months, and I’ve done three weeks of the course. I’m going at my own pace.

I’m becoming a calmer, more centered mom. I laugh more. It took me awhile to figure out what “working it out” really looks like. Not the kind of one-sided deal I was used to. Now I know it’s important for everybody to have a chance to talk and give their opinion. My daughter used to answer every question with, “I don’t know.” Now she’s able to say what she wants and needs, and we can try to find a way forward together.

Unparenting helped my daughter (7) and me to enjoy quiet mornings without endless reminders. I handed over responsibility to her. It didn’t work well at first, because she didn’t keep an eye on the time. I was at my wits’ end, constantly checking up on her and hurrying her along. So we decided to set a timer on the phone, and that’s helped. This morning we had time to play cards for 20 minutes before leaving to catch the bus! We planned out the bedtime routine in the same way.

Before Unparenting, homework was a nightmare as well. We used to sit there for up to two hours. Stress, yelling and tears. Now homework takes no more than half an hour. We try to make it fun. We play games and compete against each other. And she tells me things like, “Homework was fun today, Mom. Not handwriting so much, but the rest was fun.”

I like how we talk in advance about how things will go: I share my ideas, she shares hers, and we put them together to make a plan that we both stick to. Like when she’s having a sick day and I need to get some work done. We decide on what will happen when, and it works. I could give a lot of examples like that. And I’m so happy about it. My daughter is calmer overall. She doesn’t cry. She can say what she needs. To me, Unparenting means a peaceful family.

Your course is the best! I’m doing better with my kids, but I didn’t even realize it until I started going out and seeing people (other moms) again after having spent the summer on our own out in the woods.

Just yesterday I went out with my kids, a 3 ½-year-old independent girl and a 1-year-old boy. We were totally fine on the playground, but my mom friends were constantly stressed and kept saying, “Don’t go there, put your shoes on, do you need to pee? No? PEE ANYWAY! Right now, or else you’ll pee yourself!” (Which of course did happen.) “Take a drink, eat this snack, stop crying, it can’t hurt that much … .”

Yesterday was the lightbulb moment when I realized that I don’t want that, and thanks to Unparenting, I don’t have it either. Because just six months ago, my daughter would have been climbing all over me, and I would have been watching where she went and what she was doing, checking whether she had drunk enough water and whether she was dressed warmly enough, but now she manages all that herself.

And you know what? I’m proud of myself and of my kids for managing to escape that cycle.

I have two boys, 3 ¾ and 1. They’re my treasures, and I would do anything for them, but before starting the course, I felt like everything was piling up and overwhelming me.

My older son had started acting jealous of my younger one. He was always pushing him around, and I would get angry at him. Then he didn’t want to go to preschool or to see the grandparents. I had sensed for a long time that I wasn’t managing things well, and I often found myself taking it out on the kids a bit, who of course paid me back in tantrums that made people (mainly their grandmothers) criticize me and point out how spoiled they are and how they do whatever they want, of course with no helpful advice.

Then I found the course, and my husband and I loved it immediately. I felt like this was exactly what we had been needing. We’ve been doing the course for a month, and in all that time, I haven’t had to yell or get particularly angry, and it’s working.

I’ve found this month incredibly relaxing, and you can really see the change in the children. They’re happy, more affectionate, and even fighting less than before. Everything seems to be going fine. I’m so glad that I’m here and I finally have a happy family where we all feel comfortable and able to communicate. Thank you, Unparenting!!

Before Unparenting, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing as a mother. When I had just one child, we didn’t have any major problems, but when our second son came along relatively soon after, things started to pile up. I felt like I couldn’t handle my kids, and there were so many things I didn’t know what to do about. At the time I had a 2 ½-year-old and a 10-month-old. Each one with totally different needs at different times. After my second was born, I started paying more attention to the older one so he wouldn’t feel rejected, but it didn’t have much of an effect.

Unparenting helped me examine my conscience and realize it’s all about my mindset. I calmed down and started communicating more and giving orders less. I realized that the way I grew up, even though my parents are great, they still had more of a Police and Teacher approach, and as a kid I was pretty timid and afraid to tell my parents when I had a problem. This leads me to treat my children differently so they won’t be afraid to tell me anything, so they won’t do things they don’t want to, and so they aren’t afraid to show that something scares them. So far it’s going quite well, even though I often find myself sliding into Policing, especially when I’m under stress.

I’ve started seeing my children as these amazing people, not just little kids who don’t understand anything. Our success stories definitely include the way our older son (now 3 years, 4 months) communicates. He uses phrases like, “I would need …,” and he doesn’t throw himself on the ground in the toy store anymore. Instead of choosing a present for his birthday, he picks out what we should buy for his little brother, and then he shows it to him proudly once we get home. :) When I told him we should look at some more toys (hoping to figure out what he might want for Christmas), he answered, “That’s okay, Mommy, we don’t need to look anymore. We’ve already picked something out, so we can go home now.” A year ago, he would have been on the ground, kicking and screaming because he wanted everything, and now this.

Another success story is how he picks up on how I comfort his little brother when he’s crying, or him when he’s crying, and goes over to him, hugs him, and says, “Don’t cry. I’m here.” Just this morning, the little one was crying his eyes out, and I was at my wits’ end because we were late for preschool again, and my older one hugged him and comforted him until he stopped crying and calmed down. He showed me that all it took was pausing and being there with him for a moment, and all was well.

And then there’s the cleaning up. When I say I’m going to clean up, my 3-year-old offers to do the dusting himself. He picks up his little brother’s toys, helps me fold laundry, helps me cook, and tells me what he can do and what I can do. We don’t even talk about “working things out” anymore. It just sort of happens. When he’s watching cartoons and I need him to go take a bath, I just say so, and he tells me how much longer he will watch before he goes into the bath. And he really turns it off and goes when he says he will. He does that in a lot of different situations, like, “I just need to park the car, and then I’ll go get dressed.” At first I asked what he needed before he could go get dressed, but now he says it without prompting. That’s probably the biggest change. I take an interest in what the children need, not just what I need to get done. I can still see how my husband yanked the clothes onto our son to get him ready for preschool, and the poor thing was struggling and crying. That was the last time that happened. I noticed how he was looking at his little brother, who was playing with a toy car. He wasn’t talking well yet, so I asked him if he wanted to play for a few more minutes and then get dressed. He nodded yes, a minute more. So he played for about 20 seconds, then came to me to get dressed.

My husband couldn’t believe his eyes. He admits that my methods work, but he can’t or doesn’t want to change himself, although he does use some Unparenting principles without realizing it. :) There’s still a lot I’d like to change about myself (and my husband), but the children don’t need to change a thing.

The children are happy now (I hope). I can see how they relax when they get home from Grandma’s, where they have to do what they’re told. Suddenly they’re jumping on the couch and running around, as if they know that at home they can be themselves. In the past I would have seen this as a sign that I can’t handle them, because at Grandma’s they behave and at home they’re climbing the walls. But now I see it quite differently. They aren’t afraid to show their feelings, their real selves, and that makes me happy (and sometimes I jump on the couch with them). :D

I feel more balanced and stable. Sometimes I catch myself falling back into Teachering, and it’s like I see another me standing nearby, looking at me and saying, “What are you going on about now? Are you listening to yourself?” Then I almost start laughing at myself, my talking just like my parents used to and the kids not listening. I stop, and suddenly whatever was bothering me doesn’t seem as deadly important (because it hardly ever is), so I just stay quiet.

I don’t get sidetracked by unnecessary, unimportant things, so I have more time for what is important. I also took the advice from Week 5 to take some time for myself, outside the house, without kids, for the first time in three years. I signed up for a two-hour sewing class every week. I always look forward to it, because that’s the only time I can focus on what we’re sewing and not on what to make for dinner, what to do with the kids, and so on. “Mom” mode switches off, and I can enjoy my time. :) So thank you for coming into my life!

What now?

Look at other topics you’re interested in and keep on exploring the course.