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I Wish I Could Stop Reacting And Start Acting Right With My Children

by Jocelyn

I am a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) of 3 kids, a 4 and 5 year old and one 18 months. I have had alot of problems with my 5 yr. old since she was about 2. She just seems to be a difficult child. My son who is 4 is very mellow and easy going.

I find I also am a difficult parent. I lose my temper very easy and it usually ends up with me yelling and sometimes saying really bad things to my kids and even smacking them at times. I know my father had this kind of temper as well and scared me terribly as a child. I have never hit my kids hard but even just a smack when I am angry I know is unacceptable.

I know I am teaching them the wrong thing as they model their behavior after me. I now see them losing their temper and hitting each other. I feel terrible as I am sure it is my fault they react like this.

I just do not know how to calm down and act when I get upset and angry. I just react then feel bad about it.

How can I change this? I feel like I need to get away but even though I react this way to my kids they are very attached to me and I don't have any help to get a break that I so need.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Jocelyn, and thanks for telling your story here. It is good that you want to learn to manage your anger so that you can be a better parent to your children. This is so very important, as you know.

I will recommend some tools, and if you use them I am certain that you will feel better and find that you can act instead of reacting.

Please do all of the exercises on this FAQ page, in order to understand and heal your anger. This is the top priority for you. All of the tools you need are right there, but they only work if you use them...and the more you use them the more they will help you.

Use this two part imagery process for positive mental rehearsal to prepare yourself for a good day of healthy parenting.

I recommend you do these exercises every morning, to prepare you for your day. I know you're busy, but I assure you this is the most important activity for you right now.

Believe in yourself, Jocelyn. You're a good person, and that's why you want to be a good mother, and that's why you told your story here.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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