When all have times when our emotions take over. When you lose your temper with the kids, what should you do? The Lord reminded me recently of just how precious tender little hearts can be and how we must be quick to correct our mistakes……..
I met her in the hallway about 20 minutes after school started. She was late, an unusual occurrence. Her red curls were tucked neatly under the cutest blue sparkle hat. She smiled when she saw me, but it wasn't her usual greeting. Something was wrong, I could tell in her bright green eyes.*
All morning she was uncharacteristically distant from both me and her work. My heart ached for her and Holy Spirit whispered, “She needs to know it will be okay.”
I seized the moment when she brought me her spelling words.
It was then that the tears could finally flow freely as she told me about her bad morning.
She and Mom did not have a good morning. Mom was upset with her about something and as tender hearts do, they take every word personally. Little Girl* was so worried Mom would be mad at her and Big Sister forever.
My heart broke into a thousand pieces as I restrained myself from grabbing hold of her and giving her a big hug (a no-no in the classroom.) I consoled her with reassuring words and sent her to the water fountain for a drink.
My thoughts then went to my own tender heart a few rooms away in the preschool. How many times had I lost my temper, letting my tongue lash out in words of anger against my little boy? Intuition tells me we've all been there.
When Mom Gets Mad
Life gets overwhelming and the pressures of our present situation weigh so heavy that the nasty comes gushing out of us like a bullet from a gun. Like a bullet, the nasty brings with it death and destruction. We chalk it up to a bad day, stress, misbehavior and more but the reality is life and death are in the power of the tongue and death is sometimes subtle.
Little Girl's death was likely short-lived when Mom picked her up, hugged her and told her it was all okay. Little Girl likely bounced back to her normal bubbly red-headed self.
Yet those moments when we, the adult, the competent one, get it all wrong, what do we do? Nothing hurts more than wounds never soothed with the healing balm of a repentant heart.
So we take action. We get over ourselves and our attitudes and emotions and we act as quickly as we can.
Breathing Life Into The Dead
That life and death are found in a tiny organ is amazing. We can kill but we can also resurrect. Our words can breathe life back into a situation, calm anxieties, and water confidence.
Our new essential oil diffuser is a magical little thing. Combine water and a few drops of kid-friendly essential oils and a cool vapor of therapeutic aroma is released into the air. The entire room is drowned in a gentle scent that changes the atmosphere. I can use it to calm fears, ease anxieties and purify the air.
Our words are like that vapor. They penetrate far and have lasting effects. The worst thing you can do after you lashing out is nothing.
Regroup and recognize what the enemy is trying to do. But then act. Don't let fear, shame or blame keep you from changing the atmosphere.
7 Action Steps to Take After You Lashing Out At The Kids
#1 Step Back – Take a moment and regroup. If you have to remove yourself from the room do it. Don't send the kids away, but rather go to the bathroom, the closet or nearest quite place for a moment.
#2 Repent – God can work in the midst of any situation, but a repentant heart will allow Holy Spirit to work in you.
#3 Calm Voice – Our words soothe or stir up. Be sure this time you use your calm voice.
#4 Apologize – To your children. They need to hear you humbly and meaningfully admit your mistake
#5 No Throw Back – As tempting as it is, don't blame them even when it appears as though their behavior set you off. You are responsible for your reaction, not them.
#6 Undo – If you lashed out with unwarranted or unrealistic threats (like canceling birthday parties or Christmas), let them know it was a mistake.
#7 Pray – Right then and there, pray with your children. It is okay if they see you cry.
Never allow the enemy to grip you in guilt, shame or fear over your words. Take steps to resurrect and breath life back into the ones you love?
What stressors make it easy for you to lose your cool with the kids?
*Details of Little Girl have bene changed to protect her privacy.