Category: Anger management

Striking a balance is the hardest thing to do

Striking a balance is the hardest thing to do

If you’ve been with me on the blog for a while you’ll know how I have always rued the fact that the twins seem to feel no pressure of exams while I am completely freaking out. The more I worry, the less they seem to think about it.

During their mid-terms in October last year, things got worse than ever. All through those two months (before and during the exams) I was constantly yelling at them and then feeling terribly guilty at the things I had said. We’d reach a stalemate, go through silent spells and then I’d be back trying to appease them, trying to get them to study, only to lose my temper yet again.

The worry about their marks and exams hung like a dead weight on my mind dragging me into the dumps, waking me up at night and keeping me anxious all day. I hated the entire exam system, hated that I had to handle it all alone and hated that I had to put the children through it all. It was  vicious.

All for a class 6 mid-term!

I can see how foolish that was, now. But the thing is, the reaction of a troubled mind is often far from logical. In retrospect I realise it was also partly because I had been struggling with a lot of health issues. That must have contributed to my chaotic mental state.

By the end of exam time I knew just one thing – I never wanted to be in that space again. More importantly, I never wanted to put the children through that. No marks, no awards were worth it.

We talked about it, the children and I. And we promised that at the next exam all of us would work towards keeping our cool, NO MATTER WHAT.

The children call it my Kalinga War, moment 🙂

Yeah Asoka the Great is part of their syllabus this term. So basically, that last exam was a sort of turning point. I made the keep-my-cool promise, even more fervently, to myself. I promised I’d not let the worry of their scores push me to the edge of reason, ever.

I am happy to say, this time round exam time has been relatively peaceful. Nothing much has changed – I still have to push them all the time, they still rush off the moment my attention flags, they’re still playing computer games, watching television, amusing themselves in a hundred different ways and annoying me in a thousand more.

The only thing that has changed is my attitude.

Sometimes the only way to make things better is to change your attitude. Click To Tweet

This doesn’t mean I haven’t lost my temper at all. A leopard takes time to change her spots, right? But I have definitely dissociated myself a little bit and that feeling of panic hasn’t come back.

For that I am grateful.

After years of worrying that the children do not worry enough I can finally see the benefit of it. I never thought I’d say this but here I am feeling grateful that H and N do not panic. A friend, who is a teacher, spoke of kids who threw up constantly, suffered from headaches and body aches or ran a fever throughout the exams – all due to anxiety. And these are kids from class five and six, 11, 12 year olds. I would not wish that upon any child ever.

That said, I have to admit I doubt myself all the time, specially when I see a lot of moms pushing on relentlessly. I know of moms who solve each math problem along with their child. And when I hear of things like this I cannot help but  wonder if it’s just me. If it is I who am at fault, that I don’t have it in me to handle the pressure and then I worry that H and N might suffer because of that. Am I allowing them to slide into mediocrity by letting go? Have I been too hasty in letting go?

I don’t have any answers and so for now I push all these thoughts away. I’ll wait for their results before I make up my mind about anything. If they aren’t radically different from the mid-terms I’m good, or else I’ll need to rethink their study pattern.

However, there’s one thing I’m sure of and that is that I never want to go back to the madness of those anxiety ridden days, for their sake as well as my own. I’d much rather they score less and be happy than top their class but become a bundle of nerves.

And for now I’m enjoying the sense of peace.

*********

Linking up with Vidya’s Gratitude Circle

 

Five ways to trounce the anger demon

Five ways to trounce the anger demon

This post was the pick of the week at Monday Mommy Moments.

If you follow me on Facebook you would have seen this update on my timeline a few days back.

 

And that was just a five-minute snippet of my entire day. Children can certainly drive you to the brink. Sometimes I think they are part of God’s master plan to teach us patience.

I yell at the twins. Multiple times a day. What follows is worse – they grow sullen and I am left with the feeling that I messed up, that I could have done better, that it really wasn’t worth it. Also, as they grow, I find yelling losing its effectiveness. If you have a tween at home you’ll know the eye-rolls and the arguing and the doors being shut. Oh! the door banging – how it provokes me!

And then it goes completely downhill.

I’ve blogged about this before . And I still remember the look on my daughter’s face after the incident I spoke about in that post. She was barely able to talk, back then.

Never had I experienced such extreme emotional outbursts as I have since the children came along. Click To Tweet

It is only a few years ago that I became aware of the necessity of keeping my cool.

Anger vitiates the home atmosphere and we say things we wish we never should have. Click To Tweet

Also, I wonder what example I’m setting for the children (yeah always, always the weight of being a role model). Besides, it is such a dreadful time waster.

So here are five ways in which I am trying to get past my anger.

Being aware of specific triggers

This has been tremendously helpful. I have learnt to recognise my triggers. There are specific times during the day when I’m most likely to lose my temper – Mornings would be the worst, then come study-time and bedtime. In fact whenever there’s a deadline to meet I know a yell is round the corner. So those are the times I plan for and remind myself to keep my cool.

Removing yourself from the scene

I’d almost forgotten this one till a friend reminded me of it on that Facebook thread. It works better for older children. For instance after I give them their breakfast in the morning, I tell them to watch the clock and get busy with other morning chores. I would have done myself a world of good had I not sat watching H wear that sock that day.

What’s the worse that can happen?

That’s a question I ask myself as I feel my patience slipping. So they’re slow in the morning, they’ll miss part of their breakfast. Or they’ll miss the bus. At night they’ll go to bed half an hour late. Is that worth yelling? Often it isn’t. Would it delay us further? In most cases it does. Oh and if they have flouted one of the unbreakable rules they have a yell coming and I do it without a twinge of guilt because I know they well deserve it.

Take a break, make yourself happy

This one is important because if I’m stressed or unhappy my patience runs dry way faster. I make time for myself. So I have a quiet cup of tea before I wake them in the morning. Or I try to meet up with friends in the evening – that’s absolutely therapeutic.

Partner up with your children

Long back when the children were really small we had the concept of an Angel Day when everyone would try to be good. That still works sometimes. Also, when I’m expecting a stressful day, if I have a work deadline or we’re having visitors for instance, I warn them off. It helps immensely that they’re older and understand me more. On good days not only do they tone down their squabbling, they also lend a hand with the chores.

That said, there still are days, many more of them than what I’d like, when I forget and give way to impatience. But I’m trying and getting better at it most certainly.

**************

Linking up with  Kreative Mommy for her #MondayMommyMoments. Do drop by to check out suggestions from other moms.
Kreativemommy.com

 

On my other blog: Beat About The Book

The Girl Who Drank the Moon #BookReview

The Girl Who Drank the Moon #BookReview

Book: The Girl Who Drank the MoonAuthor: Kelly Barnhill This is the story of a town, a cursed town. On its outskirts lies a greater forest. In this forest lives a wicked old witch. The witch demands sacrifice and so each year an infant is taken away by the town elders and left in the […]