The good folks at Circle of Moms (who, despite their name, are cool about including us dads) will survey parent bloggers on occasion to get our 2 cents on a particular topic. The latest question: What is your best tip for not losing your temper with children?
Being that JJ is just this side of 2, this question is often on my mind — so I was able to bang out a quick list of my* Top 5 Keeping Your Cool With Your Kid Tips:
1. Breathe. Take a beat, chillax, find your inner Buddha, Let Go and Let God — whatever you want to call it, stepping back for a second to regroup goes a long way.
2. Sleep. A well-rested Daddy is a better Daddy — better equipped to respond with more patience and less frustration.
3. Exercise. I find that when I take the time to blow off steam and burn some calories, I’m in an all-around better mood — and less likely to stress out on my kiddo.
4. Ask for help. Whether it’s from my husband, my Mom, or the sitter… from time-to-time I need to swallow my pride, realize I’m not Super Dad and admit I need a break. The only thing I have to prove to anyone is to my son that I love him. And sometimes that means I need reinforcements.
5. Focus. I want to be present with my son whether we’re having dinner, wrestling, reading or watching Dora. If I’m distracted by something else (I’m looking at you, iPhone), I’m more likely to miss what’s going on and prevent JJ from being his toddlery, rascally self. When I’m mentally and physically present, I can see things coming and respond in a more thoughtful way — thwarting both mischief and mayhem.
BONUS: Ask other parents what they do! Email a friend, scour the internet, call your pediatrician, read a fortune cookie. There’s wisdom to be found everywhere — look around and something’s bound to ring true for you. And be sure and visit Circle of Moms to see what fellow parents had to offer on this subject and many others.
*This is post is as much for my benefit as anyone else’s. I am admittedly NOT doing all of these, so hopefully jotting them down here will a) help me remember them, and b) hold me accountable for taking my own advice! Please feel free to share your wisdom on this topic as well!