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222 Comments

  1. Thank you Monica for your willingness to confess this. It is very humbling to admit struggling with anger. I have two toddlers and it can become very overwhelming at times. I want to confess my triggers to everyone. When issues arise in my marriage I tend to take it out on the kids. When my toddler screams I really don’t like screaming so this is a huge trigger. When I’m giving instruction and it’s ignored. Lord please give me self control.

  2. While not a parent yet, I am the child of parents who did this and I cannot express how damaging it was to me. First, I want to thank you for recognizing the problem and for demonstrating care and humility by apologizing to your son. I am sure that means a ton to him. Next, I would like to share my experience being on the receiving end of this. My parents would sit me down and angrily lecture me for hours at anything that they considered a slight to them. Often, I remember it was from not cleaning well enough. Once, when I was older, it was for being home at 8:01 when I was supposed to be home at 8 (I got stuck behind a tractor and was unable to pass). I remember these instances because they were times that I was genuinely trying to do the right thing, but as a child/teenager who was still learning skills and how to be a person, not everything was 100% correct to my parents standards. Cue the hours of lecturing, telling me all of the ways that I have failed them and how awful I made their life. This went on until the day I moved out at 18. Now, I am not saying that your lectures are as gruesome and hurtful as theirs, but they could turn into that if left unchecked. This treatment lead to extreme depression, suicidal ideations, self harm, and EXTREME distrust and fear toward my parents. The people who were supposed to care for me instead caused immense hurt. Now, as a 27 year old, I see my parents about once a year because the hurt is still there. I have had an extremely hard time communicating with my husband, as I completely shut down with any conflict—just as I did when my parents lectured me as a coping mechanism (as you mentioned, just taking the lecture, apologizing incessantly even when the offense was a genuine accident, and trying to get it over with a quick as possible). These lectures would go on for hours. After LOTS of therapy, patience from my husband, and conversations with him to communicate my past struggles, and I am finally able to have semi productive conversations surrounding conflicts. Nearly 10 years after moving out. I do not write this to cause harm or make you feel bad, as I see you are already making positive strives to remedy this, but rather to illustrate how detrimental to the child and to your relationship with him this behavior can be if left unchecked. Thank you for taking steps to work on your parenting and anger, I know that parenting is an incredibly challenging job. Best of luck to you and your family. Bless.

  3. Ugh…THIS. Catching my angry self and pressing pause before things escalate. So good to hear others struggle with this too. Thank you for sharing ❤️

  4. Wow, thank you for this post Monica! I have struggled with this same thing and I often feel so guilty with asking for forgiveness, again! This was just a great reminder of a few things I can do to not get to the “anger” stage but also praying and asking God for self control. Oh, how I want all of the fruit of the Spirit! Thanks again for your wonderful reminder. It is also so good to know I’m not alone in this. Blessings to you!

    1. No, you are NOT alone! 🙂 Blessings to you, Alisa!

  5. Valerie Talbert says:

    Oh Monica,
    I have struggled with this for some time and REALLY hate admitting it too. It is the thing I wish most I can change about my [parenting. For me I notice it happens when IM overloaded with work. Not usually what the kids are doing over se, but compounded with all the other “things” going on that are pulling at me. These are great tips. I so appreciate you baring it all and letting me know I am not alone. You are so wonderful and your boys ARE lucky to have you!

    1. Thank you so much, Valerie. The struggle is definitely real. 🥰 You are NOT alone, and it can get better…sounds like being self-aware of your circumstances and emotions is a huge key for you. Keep it up and God bless you!

  6. Anna Wendelschafer says:

    I could have written this myself. I have a teenage daughter almost 16 and I am just now realizing the way I have been speaking to her is basically verbal abuse. But I am at a complete loss as to how to parent her. Please help guide me Lord.

    1. Oh bless you Anna. It is not too late. Humbly talking to your daughter is a great first step. I have a podcast episode coming this spring on this topic that I think will encourage you as well. Seek God’s forgiveness and help and He will walk with you to a better place! Big love to you.

  7. This is so good, Monica…thank you for sharing your heart. So many things you said are things that I’m currently struggling with. In one of your podcasts you mentioned some book resources you’ve read in this area. Would you mind sharing books that have helpful for you? I was just praying this morning for the Lord to help me with self-control so I don’t think it was a coincidence that I came upon your writing this afternoon. I have three boys (6, 4, 13 months) and love them to pieces and desire to be the best mom for them, but anger is a struggle for me. I know that I’m at a place where I need some help with this.
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hey Lauren, I’m so sorry. I know that feeling well and it is no fun. I do cover some of this in my book, Boy Mom, so of course I’ll encourage you to read that if you haven’t. Mostly, Boy mom will equip you with the perspectives and tools to parent better so you are not left frustrated and then vulnerable to anger…But another book I always recommend is Triggers in parenting — that is a great help to exchange your angry reactions for gentle responses. Otherwise, pray — ask others to pray for you. Breathe. Step back and regain composure and know that everything you do matters– each time you parent with maturity and wisdom is another step closer to healthy habits that will stick. And your kids are young enough that they truly will forget it if you’ve blown it now, but as they get older they will not. So, great time to tackle this! Big hugs to you!

  8. Monica, thank you so much for sharing. I clicked on this post expecting it to be a random post and I honestly wasn’t expecting to read about how God has faithfully grown you in this area—but I am pleasantly surprised! Your kind words and encouragement were highly needed.

    I am a college student and I’ve always felt like home was a toxic environment for me. My mom definitely falls prey to this method of anger-lecturing (even more so now that I’m an adult and she can’t necessarily place punishments on me) and it has massively impacted the way I view myself and has caused a lot of my current insecurities. In a way, I felt a lot of resentment towards her because I always felt my feelings were disregarded. Reading your post was so encouraging and helped me better understand the perspective of a mother. I think at the end of the day, we extend our anger like this because it’s difficult to love each other. God is the only one who has perfect love and we can only pray and humble ourselves so that we can learn to love like He does. Reading a lot of these comments are really touching. I anticipate that one day I’ll be experiencing the same things haha! I can’t say for every child out there if they’ll go through the same experiences as me or have the same heart for forgiveness. But I can say that God has grown me and my mom in His own timing and He’ll do the same for you (-:

  9. Monica Bane says:

    Have you been spying on me? I didn’t know I had anger issues until my 3rd child. But the worst part for me is in the middle of my tirade with a growling voice I KNOW it is wrong and yet my flesh is so wound up, I can’t stop it. My issues are improving but I still have to keep myself accountable every day and sharing my struggle with my husband helps. I also notice a correlation between daily time in the Word with having fewer episodes of outbursts. Daily time is hard with 5, 3, and 1 year olds around when my husband is on his work hitch of 96 hours with a day of travel on either side out of state. But I also share my struggle with the boys and ask them to pray for me. I feel God’s pull towards more time with him and he is gracious to continue giving His mercy. I know that I must do the same for my boys, and myself. Thank you for sharing your struggle. From one redeemed imperfect mom to another.

  10. Have been there too many times. Raised three adult children who though are successful, have anxiety problems. Had another child later in life and I am doing the same damn thing… She wasn’t planned, and when I found out I was pregnant my first concern at my age was her health, but the next one was that I knew I was not a great parent and felt I was going to screw up another perfect little person. I was right, she is only eight and was crying yesterday after a lecture of her not being responsible and being rude to me, she said crying
    ” I wish I was never born. I am terrible child.” I literally wanted to die. I held her in my arms and told her how wrong I was and how perfect she is, and how she makes mistakes because she is human and a little kid who is learning, not because she is a terrible child, and I asked for her forgiveness. That’s how I came upon this site, looking for answers to change my horrible habits.

    1. Oh Rose…You handled that so well yesterday. I don’t know what all went on with your other kids, but it is NOT too late with your girl now. Please do the work to be the mom you know you can be. We all mess up but you can do this!!! I believe God can redeem all of your heart’s regrets by loving this little girl so well. Yes, you’ll still mess up, but if your intention is set every day to give her grace and encouragement, then the bad moments will be less and less. Do not give up and please do not beat yourself up. Keep connecting with your daughter and the good times will absolutely overshadow the bad. Bless you, thank you for sharing and please stick around as I hope to offer you more encouragement in the days ahead! 😉 aloha-

  11. What a great summary of how so many of us feel! I have asked for my sons’ forgiveness and cried when they so easily and generously give it over and over. I ask God for forgiveness, get it and vow to do better only to falter and ask again. His Grace is amazing. But I think the biggest thing we moms struggle with is we have forgiveness from our kids and from God but then actually forgiving ourselves. And it is so hard when you see that dichotomy in yourself between knowing it is selfish to act out in that way and still not being able to put on the breaks. Thank you for making me feel like I don’t have to be so hard on myself and maybe chip a little more at self-forgiveness. Aloha!

    1. Amen, Jen. Well said!! Thank you for the comment. Much aloha–

      1. Of Course! Love the posts! PS–How do you get a picture to link to yourself in the comments??

  12. George (the regretful extrovert) says:

    I am not alone. I am not a monster. I am a dad that wants to raise good humans. Thank you for the reminder of this, though I don’t know how long it will last.
    I am a loud talker. I am a public speak. I get paid to lecture, and people like it, but not at home. Reading this blog was so close to what I suffer, but the real damage is with my (opposites attract) wife. She has grown so weary of the monster in me, that there seems little connection left in us. I am a good intentioned parent, with great lessons to teach, and my kids (now 10, 12, 14) have learned it. They are amazing, but my marriage has been damaged. We are dedicated to a stable family, and almost never fight. But inside she is disgusted by me, and I am resentful to her for it. I’m trying so hard to be a better me, but that goes from all to nothing. I am either silent and depressed around the family, as I hate myself for this character flaw, or I am an overly involved, lecturing nutcase. There seems no middle. No grey. No balance.
    At least today, I’m a step closer (to what I don’t know) in knowing I’m not alone. I related so much to your short blog. So. Freaking. Much. (Shall I say that again a few different ways; your body language tells me you didn’t understand…)
    However, your correction tactics don’t seem to apply to me. (Not trying to be critical). I have too much time alone. Most my work day is alone, without much concentration needed. My time alone in my head is great for reflection on myself, but far too easy for negative self-talk. I do not need a break from my kids. I absolutely love spending time with them. I am very balanced in the parent/friend relationships. I play incredibly hard with them (good!), but I also parent incredibly hard (not so good due to stern, long, lectures). For example, I would have been in the surf with my sons (we skateboard together among many other things), but then the freak out forever, and ever, and ever would have happened just like it did for you.
    You asked for comments. These are my comments. I’m sure you know I could keep typing for pages and pages. I’m forcing myself to stop. The family is walking up. I couldn’t sleep. I’m going to read your blog again and see if any of your solution tactics can be spun for my issue…not sure… Thanks again for at least giving me someone to relate to. May peace be with you…and me…and anyone actually reading this. We are not alone in our struggle. I will focus on that today. Well-intentioned love can certainly injure. Damn.

  13. I used to parent like this too. It was a never-ending vicious cycle of guilt and remorse. I would apologize and try to start fresh and do better, but would always repeat the same behavior. It finally ended when I understood that everything was perfect just the way it was. My children were perfect and I did not need to change them. I could accept them just the way they were and not try to control them or make them behave. I was perfect just the way I was. I did not need to try harder or do better, but could just relax and enjoy my family. The anger came from fear of losing control. Once I understood that I did not need to control, because God was in control, I could trust that everything was happening just the way it was supposed to and rest in God’s grace. Once I was at peace, my children were also at peace, and the conflict simply disappeared.

  14. CJ Jennings says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I totally battle with this, as well. I’m praying for you tonight. I’m praying for my own heart, as well. Only by faith do I believe God can change our hearts and change what comes out of them. I so desire my children to love the Lord and am fearful they will turn away because of my harsh words. Again, thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment, CJ! Thank you for prayers, and I am certain God can do a great work in us. My battle has gotten so much easier as kids have gotten older as well. Sometimes we just need to know that we are in a crazy season, and hold on tight. 🙂 Bless you and keep in touch! aloha-

  15. Thank you. So what I struggle with. Super grateful for your honesty and vulnerability! Gives hope in the world of so many seemingly “super moms” all around.

    1. Thank you Gwen! Haha, one thing I’ll never even pretend to be is a “super mom” 🙂 Much aloha to you–

  16. I too have been there. I keep working on it. For me, for helping the kids and myself to be cautious with our words, I share ” Nails in the fence” . Its a story about being angry and hurtful.
    You have a great way of sharing that speaks to many. Not everyone has the gift of speaking so well from the heart.

    1. Thank you so much for the comment, Julie! I’d love to hear more about “Nails in the Fence.” Is this a story I can find? Much Aloha and bless you–

      1. Nails In The Fence

        Author Unknown

        There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

        The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

        Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

        The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”

        The little boy then understood how powerful his words were. He looked up at his father and said, “I hope you can forgive me father for the holes I put in you.”

        “Of course I can,” said the father.

        I think the lesson the young man in this story learns is such an important one and also is a lesson that unfortunately many of us learn much later in life. When we are young, saying or doing mean or hurtful things out of anger or frustration to the ones we love (or even strangers for that matter) seems pretty easily remedied. As children we are confident that the adults and people in our lives are more then capable to forgive and forget our offenses no matter what we would say or do. It’s not until we reach adulthood that we realize the long term damage our words and actions can have on one another. Suddenly as adults we look back on our own lives at the times when someone hurt us with their cruel words or actions and although we were able to forgive them, there are some things we discover were never able to truly forget.

        The fact is there are some things that we may say or do that ultimately can never be taken back no matter how many times we apologize to the one’s we hurt. Unfortunately we tend to realize the level of irreversible damage we caused only in hindsight and even more, the ones we tend to hurt the worst are the people we usually love the most. As the saying goes, “To err is human, to forgive divine,” which is true, we are human, we make mistakes, and sometimes we say or do things we don’t mean out of anger in times of great frustration or sadness. Yet, every time we are in a dispute with a friend, disagreement with a loved one, or even just having a bad day, it’s so important to remember to pause and take a moment to think about the possible permanent repercussions our actions and words could have on others. It’s only natural that we will have times in the future where we will lose our tempers or be pushed to personal our limits. However, when we find ourselves in those times of great frustration or anger, we must be sure that whatever we say or do in those moments won’t, like the nails hammered in the fence, end up leaving permanent holes in the one’s we love and in relationships important to us that we will never be able never undo.

        I hope this helps you the way it helps me. We are all just trying to live our lives the best we can.

        1. Nails In The Fence

          Author Unknown

          There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

          The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

          Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

          The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”

          The little boy then understood how powerful his words were. He looked up at his father and said, “I hope you can forgive me father for the holes I put in you.”

          “Of course I can,” said the father.

          I hope this helps you the way it helps me. We are all just trying to live our lives the best we can.

        2. Thank you Julie! I had not heard that story before but will keep it to share with my boys. Beautiful! Thank you for taking the time to share it here…a great lesson indeed! Much Aloha to you-

  17. I feel as though my outbursts towards my teen girls are relentless. The girls will have tears streaming down and I will continue. I feel like a horrible mother. I am a single parent. Sometimes I also feel like I have caused so much damage in their lives they fear me. They never know what to expect…. Either evil or nice…..nothing in between. I have taken them to therapy because I have read so much information on emotional abuse. My 14 year old daughter is hurt more because of the favoritism that creeps up with my younger daughter. I feel lost and broken, but most of all….. Really disgusted with myself. Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you the best.

  18. Oh how I love that you shared this in such perfect detail that I kept saying, “Yes, yes, exactly this, me too.” These exact feelings and regrets and knowing in the midst of the tirade that it is wrong but thinking that just a few additional words (or digs) would give the release to make the whole rant worth it. And, that shame leads to more shame and repenting but then the cycle continues. My kids have forgiven me over and over again but recently my middleave son has said, “You always say sorry but then you don’t really change.”

    A big trigger for me tends to be seeing behavior that I interpret as a character flaw (inconsiderate, ungrateful, selfish, lying). I get so distraught at the idea of my kids not just making a mistake but BEING that mistake (not just telling a lie but being a liar, not just displaying ungrateful behavior but being a horrible ungrateful person, etc…). I go down this ridiculous, counterproductive path of shaming them endlessly until I’ve become far more horrible than their original bad behavior.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing so honestly. I desperately want my family and God to see this change in me. Bless you – God has used you to help other parents before they break their child’s spirit.

    1. Thank you so much Mel…I relate to you so much!! You can do this, and it begins with a deep conviction. My kids have said the same thing (what your middle son said) and I just remind them that as much as I hate sin, that is the nature of it. (Romans 7 I believe..”I do what I do not want to do.”) I tell them that with God I can get better, but that I am human and this is my area of challenge right now. Even since writing this I have grown a lot, and I know you can too!
      Please please come by on Tuesday next week when I’ll be reviewing the brand new book, Triggers–which is in my opinion the bets book for moms who struggle with anger. I think you’ll love it! Aloha for now–God bless!

      1. I will be back for sure, Monica. Looking forward to your book review! I looked up Romans 7:15-20, I will refer to this as an example of our sinful nature and how we need God’s help.

        Thank you again as well as all the other mamas who shared their stories in the comments. This changed the whole trajectory of my day yesterday and I had such peace.

        God bless!

  19. Oh, dear! We just came home and that’s exactly what happened on the way home in the car … I’m so sad … and you are absolutely right about those 3 issues … #2 is my main problem … although I do love being with my kids 18-19 hours per day I also realize it moght be too much …

    Thank you, Monica, for your posts. You inspire me :*
    And I must turn to Him more often …

    Kisses,

    Ivana (from middle Europe)

  20. Thank you so much for being so honest, its not easy to admit out loud or to others our wrong doings. Your article completely hit home for me as I do the exact same things to my boys…even though it was done to me & I vowed not to do to mine. I deeply regret it afterwards & see the hurt in their eyes as they are waiting for it to be over. I have the same triggers & need to be more aware of the warning signs. The fact that we are aware & wanting to do better is a great start! Thanks again for sharing…you are helping others!

  21. Leigh Ann says:

    I totally feel this way!! You could have been writing about me. Not sure what my trigger points are with my youngest (4), but I know what they are for my oldest (20). He is incredibly ‘entitled’. Very self-centered. I am not that way. I love to help others and to be ‘present’ for our large family. He does not feel this way and doesn’t want any part of it unless it is his birthday or Christmas. I really would like help on this if anyone has any suggestions. I have tried everything from taking it all away, tv, car, phone, etc. NOTHING works. It’s like he doesn’t care if he has it or not because, in his mind, he will get a new one. VERY FRUSTRATING!!!!!

  22. Wow! Thank you for sharing your heart. I felt/feel like such a failure in this area. Your post speaks to me so strongly. I have been there so many times. I have spoken to my 19 daughter, sons 18, 12, 10 about how I want to stop. I see them responding to each other the same way and I want us all to be kinder. My 10 yr old and I came up with a phrase that helps us sometimes. FOL! With 3 boys you can probably guess what that means. Fart out Loud 😉 When I’m on a rant he will say FOL mom to try to get me to gather myself. But most times I’m so angry it doesn’t work. I will now go watch the v-log for tips. Thanks again for giving me hope and tools. 😀

  23. Thank you so much for that! Its exactly what I needed to hear this week!!! Its so helpful to have a reminder that we’re not the only ones going through these struggles. I too am a mom of 4 boys. It is both so challenging and rewarding, isn’t it! 😊♡

  24. I’ve had your blog post here saved and tucked away and now I’m referencing it in an older post I’ve updated and putting back out on social media tomorrow. I know the anger-lecture cycle all too well. And sadly, so do my children. Thank you for your honesty and openness.

  25. I understand. My 3 children are very active and happy and then here I come freaking out because my 19 month old drug out all the toys again or woke up after 5 minutes into his nap… I holler and yell until I feel like a complete fool… I looked online for a diagnosis because sometimes I feel… like I have anger issues. My poor babies don’t deserve the yelling or my frustrated sense of physical touch. Sometimes I’ll squeeze my son’s thigh if he’s not letting me hold him… which makes him cry. I have a 4 year old a 2 year old and a 3 month old so sleep doesn’t happen and I’m a mean mommy. 🙁 I need prayer. I will overcome this and give them a childhood of happiness.

  26. Reminds me of your more recent post…EXPAND which has really really really helped me 🙂

  27. I can relate. I do the exact same thing as you and then I have tremendous guilt. Thank you for sharing this with us and helping us know that we are not alone.

  28. Oh gosh ….I could have been the one writing this. Thank you being vulnerable and owning your truth. I.am.that.mom. Sadly, my anger played a part in my husband walking away, now filing for divorce. There are many other factors but God is showing me my part in the failure of my marriage. As a mom, juggling recovery from cancer, working full-time, juggling schedules for 2 very wonderful, active boys, anger was (notice past tense ….;) a place I could easily get to – simply overwhelmed having to do it all with very little if any support from my career-focused husband. Either way, I have to own my emotional reaction of anger. Working to accept my truth.

    1. Wow Trista, I admire YOUR honesty!! It’s so easy to blame others in a divorce and you sound like an amazing strong person to accept your part. Thank you so much for commenting, and here’s to a better way in the days to come! 🙂 Much aloha!

  29. Thank you for your vulnerability. Being a parent is such a growing experience…one that really is life long. Thank you for your words that help sharpen eachother.

  30. Veronique Lara says:

    Wow! Wow! Wow! This spoke to me this morning. I got so out of control last night that I actually got into my car and drove away at 8:15 PM! Bed and bath time with an 8 1/2 and 4/12 tends to take me to that place… I’m tired and the frustration builds. Husband jumps in for tickle sessions… Wants to show a YouTube surf video “really quick”… I’m out!
    So I drive away. Park and sit and just stay quiet. I am so mad. Then I’m sad. Some tears. Two hrs later I go home. Two hrs. Yup. That’s right. Ugh
    I really get this and feel completely convicted. The words coming from my mouth are only tearing down and damaging my relationship. Getting angry like that never works. So… I have a little hideaway in my closet (with a lock) and mommy just needs to take a timeout each night to gather and prepare for bath and bedtime… Because one day they will be showering and going to bed all by themselves and won’t need me. Ouch. 😥
    Thanks for this!!! 😀

  31. Well described. I wasnt ready to put my thoughts into words. It was more of a jumbled mess in my head. This was very helpful.

  32. I so could have written the 1st half of this. Thank you for the encouragement. And the advice ♡

  33. You are not alone! Never. ever. alone.

    Your authenticity in sharing this information is HUGE. What a blessing you are to so many others because you were brave to open up about what could be considered a “shameful topic.”
    Your sincere want to change is a beautiful place to be. You are moving your way into awareness and this is going to make a difference.

    My scenario looks something like this. I am a foster-adopt mom who is currently in the process of working with a child and two Counties because the child is from another state. I have 3 social workers, 3 attorneys, a judge, and a therapist all involved in the case. All of which want information at different times regarding the child and they want it when they ask for it, and usually wait until the last minute to request it. PRESSURE! You feel it… I do! I feel the stress and have to find “me” time on a WEEKLY basis. I HAVE to… and I make it a PRIORITY. I do it for the family. I constantly tell myself that I am living in this moment right now and not looking back or looking forward to worry. I have been telling myself this A LOT lately. I am a talker… yes, just as you explain… I am good at communicating. I pride myself in my communication skills, but it can turn ugly when I am under stress.

    Your article brought me so much hope because I no longer feel alone now. I did just an hour ago. I felt like no one else dealt with the anger and the tongue. I am so glad you shared. Thank you for sharing and thank you for allowing me to comment and feel like just one other person “gets it.” There is so much encouragement in your article because you were real! Bravo. You can do this! I am cheering you on from my little part of the world. Much love and support to you in this journey! I walk with you! -JO

  34. I also struggle with controlling my anger with my children. I have two children 6 and 9. When I am tired is when I seem to blow my top. I yell loudly, point blame, and even sometimes swear. It is very difficult for me to write about anger and parenting. Afterwards, I feel so horrible as I see the tears welling up in their eyes. I pray for God to give me patience. Patenting is a thankless, guilt ridden job. I hope my children do not grow up remembering how “crazy” their mom acted when she was upset. Your article has helped me to realize that there are other moms that go through the same parenting issues as me. Thanks!

  35. Yup. You just hit the nail on the head. I have two preschoolers and these moments happen too often for my liking. Even though I know lectures and words don’t work at this age, I end up throwing a few expletives into the air and throwing things.

    I get rest. I keep asking my husband for time away, and feel guilty and sad for asking for time away from my family. Finding a way to express my need for time away from hyper-awareness is so hard for me–I can’t explain why I need it, and the only conclusion I can come up with is that I am selfish and needy. So I end up staying home and getting more mentally exhausted by the day. The most time I have taken by myself is two hours.

    1. Cassie, thank you so much for your share. I feel this so much and we have some parallels. I have so much guilt and some resentment when it comes to “asking” for me time. I feel like my husband should know the signs by now and offer a respite. But I take all this out on my 7 1/2 yo daughter. And I believe the behavior issues that are affecting our family and her teacher(s) is linked to my bad parenting. I am stuck between is my very smart child also ADD, or some other behavior issues at work. If I get confirmation that she is struggling with things because of something underlying I feel like I can react correctly. I feel crazy guilt but like she does everything to go against me, nothing is smooth or easy. But this article and the comments have given me lots to think about and the reassurance that I am not alone in these struggles. Thank you all

  36. I’m nervous that I’m going to be an angry parent, because I already struggle with anger in marriage. I don’t really like being married right now, though I know God has called me to be this particular man’s wife. I know Christ calls us to hard things….and I don’t appreciate this particular one. Haha!
    Maybe I can apply some of this advice to marriage?

  37. Thank you so much for showing me that I’M not alone! I can completely relate to everything you’ve written here, and I am constantly struggling to stop the anger lectures. I feel so guilty when they happen and I need to work on making sure they don’t happen in the first place. Thank you again.

  38. Well said!
    As a mother of 4 and grandmother of 4, my mantra is to communicate and teach your child as you would like to be treated. Use the same respect and thoughtful word choices you would use to yourself, if you were the child. It is wise to briefly describe the situation and how you feel about it. It can be helpful to ask the child their opinion on what the consequences should be or what they have learned for future reference. It’s good to cool down and have a followup conversation (not lecture) before a decision is made on consequences. As the child is growing in maturity, so too is the parent growing in maturity. Partner with other parents to give yourself a break in the routines. The kids can enjoy playing together while parents take turns having some child-free time. Kids look to parents for a calm, secure refuge. You do not want them to fear you or worry about adult melt-downs. Take care of your own needs in order to be able to care for them. Ultimately, they may forget details of what you said and did, but they will remember how you made them feel.

  39. Boy, you really hit the nail on the head! It was just 6 months ago, that I asked for the church to pray for me for this very thing. Only with me it is my Grandkids. And do you know what? God has been dealing with me ever since. I have had to repent and ask for forgiveness and that in itself is very humbling. I love my Grandkids with all my heart and want no part of damaging them in anyway. Before God took the blinders off my eyes, I would blame my fits of anger on my past and my up-bringing. The truth is as you pointed out, I was just being lazy and selfish. I praise and thank God that He was able to help me with this in a loving way instead of with ANGER. I would not want to be on the receiving end of His wrath. That is what opened my eyes. God told me to put myself in my Grandkids shoes. So I did. Not good! I immediately repented and have had no outbursts since. Getting enough rest and taking breaks are great ideas, but in the real world, that rarely happens. So when I feel myself starting to turn red, I do as you said and try to think of some foolish things God has forgiven me for. It works every time. He has been so merciful to me. Who am I to deny mercy to them?

  40. Oh, as I was reading your post, it was like reading about myself. I so struggle in this area…I would say you have no idea, but you do. How many times I have winced inwardly, as even in the moment of my yelling, I have known that it was not right. And yet, it’s almost like I can’t stop myself. I hate to admit it, but there has been more than one occasion, where I have gone “over the top” with yelling, and have had to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with one or more of my kids and apologize to them and explain why I was so angry and yelled so much. There is one part of me that allows myself to believe that even though I was wrong to over-react, that the act of apologizing shows the human-ness of parents in a real way, and that they will understand that I don’t always think I’m right. However, I am ashamed at the fact that I have done this more than once. And I sometimes find it difficult in church as we have our worship time, and we sing a song perhaps of second chances. I am humbled and ashamed, as I feel I have failed so many times as a parent, and know that God forgives me, and that my kids forgive me. But like you, I worry about permanent damage being done to them. Thank you for sharing so candidly about your own experiences. There is some reassurance in it. And of course I feel conviction in reading your exhortations to not let this continue. I appreciate your attention to this and having done it in a non-judgmental way to your readers. As you may be working on your own improvements, if you think of it, I would certainly appreciate your prayers as I try to do better myself. Thank you again for sharing!

  41. I feel like I wrote this whole blog! From the struggles, to the conviction, to the way you feel etc- that’s me! I have 3 kids 4 and under (I had 3 under 3) so it’s extra crazy Without God’s grace, strength, and guidance I’d be doomed

  42. I am a mother of a boy, who grew into an amazing man, who picked a beautiful wife and they gave my husband and I, four wonderful grandchildren. I never struck a child, nor was I struck as a child. However, more pain can be inflicted with a parents’ harsh words than any corporal punishment.

    Something I learned, that was and is very hard for me, is remember to take a deep breath before unleashing your tongue. I try to stick to, “Give it to God,” or “Let it go.” Very hard to do in the blink of an eye.

    Always re-evaluate your schedule. God may have been in that tidal pool with His own lessons for the children and adults. I love educational lectures, but I’ve learned that when it feels right to choose to stay at something currently happening, then stay. Listen to your inner child and feel the bond you are making with yourself. It’s O.K. to be an adult and feel like a child having fun.

    I am 61 and I have learned that I could get too worried as a young mother. Yes, we must watch out for danger for our children, but it’s O.K. to change your plans to accomandate the fantastic world that God created because He loves us all. I am still learning to relax and be flexible because He taught me that staying, to have an unexpected learning experience, with my child/grandchildren, would turn into a heart, full of loving memories for all of us.

  43. Hi Monica, it is apt that I’m reading your sharing just as I’m taking a 4-day break from my boys (hubby and 2 preschoolers) by travelling alone. I want to say that every word you’ve written applies to me too. I lose my words and temper at my 2 boys almost every day and am constantly struggling to hold my emotions and my tongue, while spending more effort to understand them instead.

    I agree on your 3 points, and my 4th trigger is actually when they do exactly something which I’ve told them not to, and/or doing something incorrect repeatedly (not learning from past experiences). I wonder if you have any comments on how to deal with this?

    As to admitting the mistake of losing control of frustrations after the incidents, I tend to be very guilty and afraid that it will become a ‘habit’ and impression for my kids to think that mummy loses it, and after that she apologises so they could do that too. Which is exactly what I reprimand them for, ie. If you say sorry and it happens again, then you probably weren’t sorry or weren’t learning from that experience. Do you feel this way at all?

    I’m still trying to pray on this aspect of my life with the boys but I’m just so glad to have articles like yours for encouragement and reflection. Thank you and God bless.

    grace

    1. Grace, I very much feel like you; it is very much a struggle in maintaining my patience when they repeat the behaviours we don’t want. And I also do not want my kids to learn the lesson of “blowing it” and then apologizing. I don’t have any words of wisdom or advice to share…just know that you’re not alone, and that, at the very least, if we are concerned about it, it means we love our kids and we are at least trying to do better, even if we haven’t perfected it yet.

  44. I 3 boys, 6years old, 4 and 2…..I am a stay at home mom and don’t get breaks often 🙂 I have BIG anger issues too….I yell a lot! I was saved 3 years ago. After I was saved, God immediately began working on me….especially in the area of how I treated my husband and children. I would treat my family like my punching bag (not literally)…but if I had a bad day, I could come home and take it out on my family…because they would take it (although it wasn’t a happy home). I was being ugly and mean to my husband and children,…YET, kind and nice to everyone outside of my home. God called me on this….He showed me that I needed to be AUTHENTIC and be the same loving person in my home too. If i’m angry or upset….I immediately begin praying…God understands and will help set things right….and my kids see that I need Jesus too. It’s been years of growing and changing….but, I am so glad that God is in our lives, growing us and bringing our family peace and joy.

  45. NEVER has a parenting article resonated more with me. Thank you for making me feel not so alone- and also for tools to catch myself before I launch into a tirade. We love our children so very much and sometimes feel that the only things our kids will remember are the ones we did wrong. I don’t usually comment on things- I needed to today. Thank you again, and may God continue to work through your words.

    1. Thank you Teresa! I am honored that you took time to comment, and thank you for the encouraging words. No–you are not alone! Press on Momma, and hope you’ll stick around as I do talk on parenting issues quite a bit here. 😉 aloha-

  46. I’m so grateful for your honesty. I do the exact same thing to my children and constantly struggle with balancing self-control with parenting. Thank you again for being so open and sharing, you’ve helped me to identify areas that previously hid in my blind spot.

  47. Thank you for your honesty!! Also for sharing the wisdom you have learned. This is a weak point for me. 🙁 Those three triggers are mine too. Thank you for a very helpful and encouraging post. 🙂

  48. Valerie Elyse says:

    I definitely have a lot to work on as far as not crossing the line. One thing that I have started doing when I can feel the “explosion” nearing is put myself on time out. I put my child on one too. I tell them “You are being obnoxious and I am about to lose it, so you go sit on the couch and I’m going to go sit at my desk so we can both calm down.” At first they were confused about putting myself on a timeout and I explained that a time-out isn’t a punishment. That it’s a time to sit, think, and relax so you can handle a situation better or move forward with your day with a different outlook. In those moments, “time-outs” have definitely been mine, and my children’s, friend.

    1. You are a wise, wise woman Valerie! 🙂 That is a great way to handle things, and I’m so glad you shared. Much aloha–

  49. I feel like you just wrote my story. No you definitely aren’t alone. In fact I’m exactly where you’re at. It’s come to a point where my 10 year old told me “I’m starting not to believe you’re sorry because you always say that and you just keep doing the same thing. ” I cried when you said you saw the pain on your son’s face in the rear view mirror. I just had the same experience. I have a real problem with impulse control when I’m angry. I sometimes don’t pause or can’t it seems. But I will say it has gotten better. And I believe it will continue to get better. Hang in there. Reach out. Get support. And keep digging deep.

    1. I am tired of feeling guilty for everything…Of course you should have yelled at him…I do this same thing…I explode sometimes, it’s a build up…And sure sometimes I go crazy…But they actually deserved it…All you moms stop trying to bury your emotions and create more guilt…Let loose and release and feel better and then move on…If you think you have an anger issue then deal with it slowly but don’t keep beating yourself up about it…Kids are resilient…So I guess maybe I am the only commenter here that disagrees…I just think it’s really unhealthy to try and tamp your emotions down…

      1. Thank you for commenting Beth. 🙂 I think I understand where you’re coming from, but I suppose what most of us (me and other commenters,) are saying is there has to be a better way to release our emotions…So often they are a build up of so many things, and not just our kid’s fault, so it isn’t fair to unload burdens on them that they aren’t really meant to carry.
        Yes, we can get carried away with the guilt–and I’ve also worked on receiving grace for myself. But I still think just continuing something that I know in my heart is not healthy would be completely wrong.
        (I’ve never been one to bury emotions–I’m all for being honest and dealign with emotions in positive ways–Through prayer, and exercise and rest and so on…) And one more note: Yelling/venting at my kids has NEVER made me feel better, that is for sure. 🙂

  50. This spoke directly into my spirit tonight. I have been working on myself and seeking God’s counsel and wisdom for this matter. My beautiful almost 4 year old has a heart of gold, and as a stay at home mom, I know I have a huge influence over her. I struggle when I am tired and over whelmed, trying to put too much into our day. This was an encouragement to me, that I’m not a bad mom, and can keep being a better mom. Thank you.

  51. You are a great mom for recognizing your faults and working on them. I saw this on Facebook and wanted to read it. I don’t get really mad to the point of explosion with my kids but I can get pretty frustrated at times and just say mommy needs a time out for a minute. I do pray in those times and at times it works and other times it may be a lesson I need to face. Another amazing tool I can’t express enough on is Serinity an essential oil by doterra. Within a minute it can calm the situation and help everyone feel a little better. I put it on the kids or myself. I even diffuse it. If u want to learn more on uses of oils for you family just email me. It’s been a life saver on many way (health, stresses and sanity) 🙂

  52. Thank you for this. I have a 27 month old little girl and a five week old. Ever since the baby was born my oldest daughter has been extra disobedient and acting out. She LOVES her sister, but I know that her age and this sudden transition have been difficult for her. However, even knowing this does not help when I’ve reached my limit and in my exhaustion I lose patience and self control and say things to her that I regret. I feel like I’ve been living in guilt ever since the baby was born. Guilt for not being able to spend time with my oldest like I used to (and I really really want to! We had so much fun together!), and guilt for letting my sin get the better of me and reacting towards my daughter out of my frustration, anger, and exhaustion. I know my words hurt her. She on,y wants my love and attention. Thank you for reminding me to take a breathe and go to the Lord. I have never needed Him more than I do now. Though I apologize to my daughter often, I really need my heart to change and that will not happen unless I run to the Lord in these tough moments. Again, thank you for sharing…

  53. thank you so much for this article, i really needed it. you are speaking directly to ME! i am a mom of 5 (ages 12,11,9,6,3) and some days are better than others, but you know how crazy it can get.
    i have too much to say about this to put it into words right now, so i’ll just leave it at this and say thank you. 🙂

  54. wow. Thank you for sharing these truths and your heart so vulnerably. I am right there with you. And in fact just today. Thank you for challenging me, reminding me, and standing with me.

  55. My almost four year old son told me today, ” I love you even when you don’t talk nice to me.” Can we say… Broken??? This came at just the right time!!! Thank you!!!

    1. Oh, my! I’ve had my kids say the same thing to me. And it breaks my heart! I MUST do better at this. Reading other’s comments have been so encouraging to know that there are other mothers out there trying hard like I am to raise my kids with love and discipline, but without going overboard as I have on so many occasions with harsh words or yelling. Hugs to you!

  56. I’m a grandmother so my kids are grown….I wish I could have read this when my children were young. But I have a question if you were in such a hurry to get to church why did you give your son permission to play 5 minutes? Especially having to go down beach to his friends…that was the ridiculous part. It seems you were wanting a confrontation.

    1. Thank you Janice. I know, I think us moms often make the mistake of pushing our time limits w/out thinking things through. We had five minutes to spare easily, even fifteen would have been fine. But when it hit the thirty minute mark, it was just too much. I should have left some margin and not let him go at all, but of course that is looking back. 🙂

      1. I could see myself doing this (giving some time as a treat) and then it would become part of my big ball of anger because I would feel taken advantage of. Then, I would lecture my son on how ungrateful and selfish he is instead of just keeping to the issue at hand.

  57. Cheryl Minardi says:

    A friend posted your blog on FB, so I clicked over and read this post. Thank you! Just this week as I drove my 19 year old daughter to work, I let loose on her about her dirty bathroom. I had asked for it to be cleaned three days before and repeated this request every day after. But no results. I let resentment fester in my heart and then I unleashed my anger on her.
    It wasn’t just the bathroom, but many weeks of messes around the house. This daughter of mine is bipolar. Most of the time, I am supportive and loving and helpful toward her as she battles this mental illness. But once in a while, I loose my focus and get into the anger-lecture mode. And of course I feel so stupid afterward.
    This week, after reading another FB post from a friend about the recent suicide of a friend’s daughter who also was bipolar, I was stopped dead in my tracts. I cried, repented and had a long heart to heart with my own daughter. A bathroom mess is such a small issue in light of this most difficult struggle she has to face every day. She isn’t winning the battle either. She confessed to not wanting to live again this week. Her illness is getting to her and she is tired.
    (I just noticed how long winded I have become on a strangers blog….I must need an anonymous place to be real)
    Anyway, thank you for your blog post. It helped me!
    Cheryl

    1. Thank youCheryl–I am glad you can be real here. We all need to be real I think! Thanks for sharing your story, and I am sure you deal with so many emotions and carry a heavy burden. Bless you for the heart behind all you do!

  58. Thanks so much for this. Glad to know it’s not just me sitting fuming in the church pew feeling like a massive hypocrite! Sometimes I just have to go upstairs and lie down for 10 minutes rather than lose my cool. I’m into mindfulness right now trying Head Space app really helps get perspective and make space for God too

  59. I just had a conversation with my
    Kiddos this afternoon about my anger-lectures . I have realizedy trigger is disobedience in front is other people. I acknowledged it to them and I will work on this.

  60. I struggle with this too. I have learned to stop for a half second and ask myself: who do I want to be right now? And to picture my child’s face and say, he (she) is more important to me than whatever is happening right now. Our relationship is more important than this thing now. It helps, but it’s not easy.

  61. This 69-year-old grandmother of three boys–almost 6, 3 and 1.5–can identify with your experience when it comes to watching my grandsons for more than a couple hours, which I do while their dad is in class and mom is working 2 days a week. Reading about your experience touched a nerve deep in me and gave me a course of action for when I keep them from early tomorrow a.m. through Sunday afternoon while their mom and dad are out of town.

    I like what you said: “But what hit me the most, was the realization that I have taken advantage of both my boys’ forgiveness, and God’s grace. I have allowed myself the freedom to let the mouth speak too many words, because I know I can get by with it. And that is really, really wrong. I have spoken hurtful words to the people I love most without first filtering them…praying through them, and handling them with wisdom. And that is not okay.”

    So true. I hate it when I lose my cool and speak harshly to them. Even though it’s not that often, the effect on all of us is hurtful and not easily forgotten. The last time I did it, my oldest grandson said “I love you, Nanny” which was SO convicting. Thank you so much for being transparent, Monica. God used your honesty before many to do a work in me.

    Sara

  62. I have spent my children’s entire childhoods behaving in the manner you described. I am so overwhelmed with that guilt that, even though I know God will forgive me, I go right back to that same guilt. It doesn’t help that two of the five like to remind me of my failures.

  63. This is so me, and I’m ashamed… Thank you for this

  64. This is me, unfortunately! I wish I could say it doesn’t happen but it does. I feel awful after the fact like most everyone else. I agree with all the triggers and would add Hangry as we say at our house. Here’s to getting better hopefully sooner than later. I feel like the worst parent in the world when this happens. I feel like I have already completely ruined my kids because of this! Hope for better days! Thank you for your honesty and transparency.

  65. This is by far the best , most helpful post that I have read on anger/self control!! Thank you so much for sharing!!! I am determined not to pass down the destructive cycle that was passed down to my husband and I. This is such a help!!!!

  66. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this, as bad as it is to admit I do lose my cool and yell at the kids, the whole hands shaking,heart bounding is exactly what happenes to me right before I start yelling! After yelling at them and rambling on I feel horrible! And seriously think about how I acted all day! Our biggest fight is over there car seats! My boys are 3 and 6 and will not stay in there car seats, it’s a fight everywhere we go, I put them in they get out, I used to pull over every time it happened, but now I just yell until they get back in there seats, and buckle up! The other fight we have is a Them screaming, fighting, talking to me while I’m on the phone! Drives me crazy! I can’t even talk to friends on the phone or pay a bill, the automated ones are the worst! If my boys make a peep it says” what? I didn’t understand you! ” ugh so I go outside and they follow me! I don’t want to be that mom that yells at her kids…. I love them and want to work on this, so glad to see I’m not the only mom that does this, I’m going to follow the 3 rules and not do this anymore. Thank you for sharing!

  67. You have no idea how mich this struck a chord with me– and not just because of my own struggle raising 3 boys (& working with some 750 students as a school librarian!): my own mother did irrevocable damage to my siblings and I in anger. I was called a selfish b-, an f’n (whatever), the reason she was going to leave, etc. I am now 41 and struggling to maintain some kind of relationship with her, while she quotes scripture about “honor your mother” yet never acknowledging past hurts or present manipulation. My sister has cut off all ties, while my brother says that we need to understand that we deserved to be yelled at when in trouble. This is SO much a family “curse” that we are trying to end in our own families.

    1. KT, this is my worst fear (doing irrevocable damage). Do you think the damage would have been lessened if your mom would have asked for forgiveness and acknowledged the damage done? My mom didn’t lash out in anger as often, but she did a lot of manipulative and dishonest things to control me and I have a lot of anger that she has never acknowledged and apologized. I always ask for forgiveness but don’t want to keep taking grace for granted.

  68. Thank you so much for writing about this. I’m a mom of 2 boys…so far. I never knew I had such a capacity for anger and honestly it’s been so ugly some days. The ones I love the most have been subject to my absolute worst. About a month ago I realized I really needed freedom from this. My son was acting towards his younger brother the way I treated him. It made me sick to know that’s what I look like in those moments. I’m so thankful for freedom and grace and forgiveness and Gods amazing power to help us. With His grace, day by day I’m walking in much more joy and patience with my boys. It helps to know I’m not alone in this journey.
    Blessings to you and your family!
    Much Aloha from Kona.

  69. Thank you so much for sharing! What really spoke to me is #3. I definitely let things build up and then pretty much explode. ( Sorry to admit) But you really opened my eyes to the fact that my problem is that I don’t discipline in the small areas, and then something bigger happens and I just lose it! I really hate confrontation. Lol. My son is 16 and he is my last one- sometimes I just accept his laziness and make excuses instead of realizing I still need to disciple him! 🙁 which means I am lazy in my parenting!! Ugh! Well God’s grace is sufficient and today is a new day!! Again thank you for your blog 🙂 God bless you.

  70. self.identified. 🙁
    My Dad was the same way…we still talk about the 5 hour lecture about spontaneous combustion (aka you can’t let blankets fall on the electric heaters) which included a dictionary and had we not been in the midst of moving, the encyclopedias would have been out I am sure!
    I have seen my son shiver at my angry words, at which point he may as well have stabbed me in the heart!
    Thank you for your honesty!

  71. Thank you for being so honest. The Lord brought me to your confessions at a time when I needed to be supported, encouraged, and reminded-reminded of His love and of the way in which I am called to love my sweet blessings. Thank you for being a real mom!

  72. This article was posted on FB The MOB Society Page. I want to thank you for your honesty. I struggle with this often, and like you have tried to be more aware of my anger issues and try to control myself in situations. I often go through the whole cycle you explained, but now instead of hanging my head low in shame, I give myself a break (because I am an imperfect creation of God) and immediately ask for forgiveness from God and my sons or husband. What hurts my heart the most from these anger episodes is that I compare myself to my Mom, who continues to do the same thing to me except with no responsibility for her actions or apology . I have tried to look back and learn from my Mom’s past mistakes and grow from them, trying desperately to be aware of my flaws. I think as Mother’s we carry guilt around like an accessory, much like a purse or handbag. I am tired of feeling guilty about Mothering my sons, I am human, I am not perfect and I try my best daily. I know that God knows my heart and I try daily to let my sons and my husband know my heart, too. I think the best we can do is to be aware of our own actions and know that we are NOT in control, God is.

  73. Hi this totally hit home for me today! I think one more factor I have to add for my anger management is too much coffee. I often compensate for the lack of sleep, and constant companionship of my kids with extra cups of coffee. I am learning to switch to non-caffeinated beverages during the day to avoid the high-strung feelings that caffeine will add to my anger. Thanks for your honesty to share your heart and desire for godly parenting. At the end of the day we all want our kids to KNOW they are loved beyond measure.

  74. Wow! I can’t decide which sentence you wrote that described me the most. That I verbalize 99% of my thoughts and unload to feel better, that I repeat even my husband’s words, or that I pile on from stuff the kid’s did before. Unfortunately, I yell/lecture in the mornings and it’s right before school or sitter. Then I feel guilty that they go to school with a burden of guilt so I try to make it up by letting other things slide or being lenient and that just undermines myself as a parent!! It is such a bad cycle! Thanks for shedding light on it!! Good luck to all of us in our journey to correct it!!

  75. Yes! To all of this!!! We have six kiddos, and some days I say/yell way more than I ever thought possible! The ages of my kids are 19, 10, 6, 4, 3, and 1 1/2. They are wonderful! And we are a busy, fun loving, stubborn group! Not one of us is a follower…how does that happen???? A house full of 8 people that all want to lead!?!?!? Lol! One of my biggest triggers is “expectations”. Know what I mean? Like, when you plan a family outing and envision a wonderful, fun filled afternoon, and then everybody is bored, and hates the activity, and spills their ice cream? I am much better about not expecting anything after years of experience, and just let myself go with the flow of our adventures. It is still hard, though. Another trigger is time. Time is a fun stealer, a love stealer, and the bane of my existence. I am a late person, even before I had kids I was late! No excuses, just late. However, I do try to be on time, and trying with our gaggle of kids is just….it is exactly like what you would imagine it would be. There is always at least one missing shoe, somebody always poops in a diaper after I have gotten them ready, and somebody from the backseat always has to pee after I have loaded them into the van! I have also taken advantage of the gift of grace. God is so great in forgiving, and so are our children. We are so blessed to get another chance, every time. I feel your struggle!!! Thank you for your words. I will pray for you in your journey battling this, pray for me, too!!!

  76. Yes!!! Thank you for this post. I struggle with yelling and unloading the verbal vomit. I also realized for me another trigger is time management! When I don’t plan accordingly I feel harried and expect them to hustle (ha ha ha they have no concept of hurrying) When I have planned accordingly I can address each issue calmly. Been praying about this and definitely need to add the words self control to my prayer. Thank you again for sharing your heart!

  77. Christina says:

    It’s as if I wrote this. Thank you for all your words. I desperately need to change this!! Starting TODAY!! God bless.

  78. Thank you so much for being brave enough to share this! It really spoke to me and encouraged me to be better and do better because I know better!

  79. Thank you so much for writing this. I am struggling so bad in this, and too came to the realization a few weeks ago that I need to parent better and stop yelling. So, I REALLY needed this. It is nice to feel your not alone in such a personal situation.

  80. I love this and am a (slowly) recovering mom who uses way too many words when disciplining. I have often felt that build up of anger and go off on a verbal tirade or an endless argument. I like to be ‘right’ and always assume (although it has never happened) that if I mix the appropriate words, the kid in question will finally see the light. Ha…funny, right. I am learning to speak in a more calm way, to use less words, to walk away and to pray to myself in the middle of these episodes. There is SLOW progress. Thank you for sharing this. It is never easy to admit our shortcomings in our parenting journey. Peace to you on yours.

  81. UGH & Sigh . . . . Thank you for this well thought out, well-communicated & superbly timed article. This is something Iam guilty of & sadly/admittedly in the past few days. I’m a single Mom to 2 who try’s to keep a balance between time to myself either with a MNO (generally once a month) however I recently decided to test the dating waters again & at first had been keeping that on the down low especially from my highly sensitive 8 yo daughter. But as I began to invest more time in one gentlemen imparticular the challenge/pressure to began to increase for everyone. As he is mindful of the whole “package deal” scenario & welcomes it , it has been increasingly difficult moving forward towards more solid ground while we “the adults” sort out our overall plan. Anyhoo, my daughter recently expressed how she doesn’t like when I go out (this is nothing new) . Even before I re-entered the dating world she disapproved of any activity w/out her. Ugh, frustrating RIGHT? Well I reached a point where I wanted her to finally get it once & for ALL & allow me the much needed & well deserved GUILT FREE few hours a month be it a MNO or date night ( *sidenote I make every effort to do lots of family activities during the day to the point of burnout & the man I’m dating & I even make a conscious effort to be together w/my kids) Anyhoo, so I like you lecture unloaded on her & watched as she shrank in silence! Fantastic 🙁 nope. I let myself run away with the emotions of guilt mixed with utter frustration in the moment. Hugh sigh of parental disappointment. It wasn’t so much the content of my lecture as much as it was the tone, emotion & delivery that was so damning. Again, SIGH! I did however manage to follow-up & engage her in a less frustrated tone & make sure she understood where I was coming from. I gave her some extra hugs & I love you’s & injected some silly humor & I believe or at least choose to believe all is/was forgiven. Parenting is such a mixed bag of challenges vs. rewarding ! At the end of the day we can make a conscious effort not to be so hard on ourselves or our kids & we are all human & should in turn treat each other as such. I am truly grateful for your blog and will most certainly take a lot away from it. Have a great day!

    H – In Atlanta

  82. Wow I could have written this word for word!! Thank you for having the courage to write it, it blessed me greatly.

  83. You’re NOT alone! Thank you for this wisdom, God has been working on me, about this, for a long time. I am just so thankful for His forgiveness and mercy! I am trying to pour that out onto my children. They need discipline from a ” reasonable and wise mother”. Thank you.

  84. Sadly, I completely relate and struggle with the topic of this article. I am sad, but hopeful, that I can still make changes that will benefit my children and I.
    I agree with the 3 tips (proper sleep, take breaks, and discipline early) and will prayerfully incorporate those into my daily routine.
    I feel that I try to start off calmly asking my children to do things then as they proceed and continue to ignore what I’ve asked of them, I go from calm to pissed (excuse the term but I’m being real) in under 2 seconds, nothing angers me more! I will work on taking that time away to spend with God and pray that I don’t allow my words to hurt the ones I love the most.
    Thank you for your honesty.

  85. My older son is 4 1/2 going on 18 and is a brainiac. Not only do I have 1) two rambunctious energetic boys, 2) a genius of a child that never.stops.asking in depth questions, and 3) a deep-rooted traditional desire to raise Godly men and be purposeful in every (most) moment, but I am type A aaaaaaand a perfectionist. Grounds for adult temper tantrums for sure. I am an introvert but I lecture a bit too much, especially when I’m angry. When I’m not angry, my teacher-training kicks in and I handle situations with awareness of the bigger picture and make age-appropriate comments and keep things short and simple. When I get angry, totally different picture and I’m afraid all of the over talking leads to shaming, guilt trips, and low self-esteem. I pray it’s not too late and all the other good moments I have outweigh these. I hate losing my cool, and I’m so glad you reminded me that there are triggers (hunger, need for quiet, and need for space are mine). I do NOT want to squash my son’s natural ability to learn and grasp understanding of big concepts nor do I want him to grow up thinking “Mom’ll get super mad if I…” Then he learns to hide things from me in fear of my wrath. It’s a good reminder to keep my self under control and BREATHE and take the time to pray before speaking (or scream into a pillow?)

    Thank you.

  86. Sadly, I completely relate and struggle witin the topic of this article. I am sad, but hopeful, that I can still make changes that will benefit children and I.
    I agree with the 3 tips (proper sleep, take breaks, and discipline early) and will prayerfully incorporate those into my daily routine.
    I feel that I try to start off calmly asking my children to do things then as they proceed and continue to ignore what I’ve asked of them, I go from calm to pissed (excuse the term but I’m being real) in under 2 second, nothing angers me more! I will work on taking that time away to spend with God and pray do that I don’t allow my words to hurt the ones I love the most.
    Thank you for your honesty.

  87. Well. That’s me. I am grateful and thankful for your honesty. It is me. I am this. I am changing. With you.

    1. Yes. thank you Deb! 🙂 I believe in you already– xo

  88. Valerie T says:

    Monica, This is me. I started reading your blogs because they gave me insight on how to be calmer, more present (amongst others), but your words echo my feelings and what I truly strive to work on. I thank you for your ability to share your worst moments to help others. This is so helpful and I can’t thank you enough. My stressors also include when I have a lot of work on my plate (I am a Realtor and often can “work from home” which really means juggling kids while trying to be professional and on top of it ALL the time)! But I need to know hen to take a deep breath or tai e a moment and gather thoughts. I live my children SO SO SO much and hate that I do this. I AM going to change.
    Lots of love to you.

    1. Thank you Valerie! I relate to that–even just my writing (which I’m sure the stress cannot compare to being a realtor!) can add that stress level that makes me lose my cool so much faster. Hang in there and thank you for the encouraging words!

  89. kristina davey says:

    Thank you so much for your raw honesty in sharing this. I have been working on this exact characteristic for SO LONG and posts like this are invaluable to the path I am trying so hard to get on Thank you for your insight, realizations and strategies. This is EXACTLY what I needed and have been asking for, for at least the last couple of months. Please continue to write.

    Best wishes to you and your family.

  90. Gosh I know how you feel you are not alone. This is something I am working on myself. I always feel awful after yelling at my daughter

  91. Thank you for sharing this!!! I struggle with anger and self control, too. One of my go to books when I feel I’m out of control is “Don’t make me count to three!” It reminds me that my job is to discipline and instruct and the child job is to respond to that. I cannot control them. I can only do my part and pray that God works in their heart!

  92. Your not alone! I am glad I have found support to know I’m not alone. I am trying to get better at patience with my children. We are a blended family I have been in their lives for 6years, and now we now have a 14 nth old together. I g

  93. I feel as if you have been a fly on my wall. Unfortunately I am right there with you in this battle and working hard to remember to breathe and take it to God first before I explode. Thank you for 1. Reassurances that I’m not the only one. 2. Advice that is very applicable I too find those categories of stressors very real. I struggle with some chronic health issues and sleep and/or fatigue and pain associated with that is probably my number one that leads to a waterfall effect from there. 3. The disciplining the small things that is one I hadn’t put my finger on yet but is so true I think I let somethings slide and yet days later I realize as I’m unloading that I really didn’t let the other things go. If they are going to stay then dealing with them when it is a small issue is so much easier to keep my cool about.

    Thank you for keeping it real and pointing us back to God for the answers!

  94. Dear Monica…Thank you so much for sharing this. You are definitely not alone. Being a Mom is the single most challenging job, but the most rewarding. I have been in this situation at times and the one thing I always consistently do at some point after is apologize and make sure things end on a good note and that my boys know I love them more than anything. You’re right, you feel awful when you get on a rant and bring up stuff that has built up. It catches them off guard, may seem to come out of nowhere, and the thing that set you off may have been so simple (just having fun in the waves) that it appears to them as if we are crazy. I feel awful after…just as you so beautifully said. I feel if you can apologize and explain yourself, it not only teaches them that we are human, but it teaches them the value of a heartfelt apology. Again, thank you for your perspective on things and thank you for bringing up the good, the bad, and the uncomfortable. Very grateful for you!

  95. Monica, I’ve read my fair share of parenting books, but I’m so grateful for your blog! I do re-read your posts for the trinkets of wisdom!! Keep up your honest and amazing perspective! I loved this post!!! Aloha!

    1. Btw- to me a trinket is a little jewel that you keep with you! I thought it was funny I posted that word without really thinking it through!! 🙂

  96. Thanks so much, Monica, for willing to be transparent and open about this very sensitive subject.

    I can relate to much of what you shared. But the interesting thing is that I was more patient and calm with my son when he was younger…all the way till he was probably around 10 or 11. He is 14 now and the last 3 or 4 years have been most challenging.

    I find that when I’m exhausted and not feeling good is when my patience seems to evaporate and I snap. And like you, I just feel horrible afterward and apologize. But I also usually try to point out to him that when he is obedient the first time, then this becomes a non-issue and my patience wouldn’t be tried at all.

    I used to count to ten, quietly to myself, sometimes with gritted teeth, to allow myself to pause and gather myself before reacting. I need to start doing that again. And I think taking a break to go to another room to decompress and pray before talking to our kids about their infraction is a great idea too.

    I agree with your tips of getting enough rest (trying to at least), getting regular breaks from the kids to allow time to refresh and rejuvenate and not letting things build up, .taking care of those small infractions as they happen, is so important. I will add to that: making sure we are eating healthy and regularly and keeping ourselves hydrated, because when our blood sugar starts to dip because we’ve skipped a meal or we are dehydrated from not drinking enough water, and when our body doesn’t have the nutrients it needs to function well, it is definitely going to affect our mood and patience in a detrimental way.

    And I know it is even more difficult when juggling three or more kids. In addition to my fourteen year old son, I have three grown kids (young adults) who were very close in age, and I remember how much more my patience was tried when they were growing up.

    But as adults, I agree that we want to set a good example for our kids of how to handle stress and upsets with Grace instead of anger. And while I have been able to do that sometimes, more often than not, I am losing my temper which just hurts both me and my son. I am also dealing with the effects of Lyme disease so it makes this issue all the more challenging, unfortunately.

    Oh Monica, I can so relate to the gritted teeth angry lecture! And I hate it! With God’s help, we can overcome this unhealthy way of dealing with our kids’ disobedience. Thanks so much for your honesty and for sharing!

  97. Oh I am so so guilty of this and constantly working to make it better. I too am quick to apologize to my children and find that the biggest trigger is stress (and running late). If i am overwhelmed by other things in life I am quicker to anger with my boys. I am working to separate outside things from the parenting issue at hand. But I am most definitely a work in progress. No words of wisdom here just know you are NOT alone in the angry lecture dept!

  98. OH! How many hours of the day it seems I am in this boat! So good to know I am not the only one who struggles so with anger and yelling and impatience! I have 5 boys at home, 14, 11, 10, 8, 4 who are consistently getting this side of me, I HATE IT! Not as much as they I am certain. Thank you for communicating TRUTH and reality to those of us who float this life alongside you. I too am a “fabulous” communicator!! God is using alot of things in my life right now to get my attention on my behavior so that I can be a calmer Mom. Thanx for sharing!

  99. Thank you for being honest with your struggles.
    The holy spirit is truly doing a work in me. During one of my angry files rants the holy spirit whispered in my ear. “Are you going to like it when your boys talk to your grandbabies like this” The filter I use for parenting comes from a very broken and dysfunctional childhood. I have broken so many past chains and am raising three amazing boys. Who I want to raise thier children with out the hurts from thier past.
    Thank you again for your honesty about your struggles.

  100. Are you sure you haven’t been following me?? Lol. But seriously this has been my life lately and it was so nice to hear that someone else struggles here too!!! Our triggers seem to be the same and I am so thankful you addressed them. I am bookmarking this so I can be reminded that someone else knows my stuggles and is working through them too!!!

  101. We’ve all been there…take heart they have forgiving souls. There’s a Hawaiian word,
    “ho’o’ ponopono,” which means forgiveness. We must learn to forgive ourselves when we fail in our parenting skills, we must learn to forgive our children when they may act up, and in turn God will forgive us for our short comings.
    Not sure if these photos below will show up, but they’re sweet, and shows motherhood in the wild.
    Love, P

    Penny E. Nakamura
    The Bend Bulletin
    AT HOME section reporter
    541.788.5134 (c)
    [email protected]

    1. Thank you Penny–Those are good and helpful words! 🙂 So sorry photos do not work in comments, :(–thanks for trying! Much aloha-

  102. You are not alone. This is me- my mouth runs ahead of me- ahead of me thinking clearly or rationally or even being Ableto think.
    And then I am consumed with regret self hatred And there’s nothing like seeing the pain in my babies eyes…
    Cryin out to God day after day to help me change and then I see no change.
    But you say it perfectly- yes will practise self control.
    They are too important not to do everything in my power to stop the vicious cycle.

    1. Thank you Becca– Yes, we can do this. 🙂 Much love to you and keep pressing on! aloha-

  103. This has really helped me. I have a 14 year old son who has been rebelling and finding every way to push my buttons. We’ve tried everything. I have just now realized that I too do the angry lecture. Hopefully now that I’m aware of this, I can work on it. I love this kid and don’t know what else to do. Thanks for your honesty!!

  104. I struggle with this more than anything else in my parenting. Though I do ask for my boys to forgive me once I’ve had some time to realize how out of line I’ve been, I never thought about how I’m taking advantage of THEIR forgiveness. I’ve often thought (and prayed about) how I abuse the fact that God’s grace is endless but never even considered I’m doing the same thing to my boys. Thank you so much for this perspective. You gave me so much to think about, but also the opportunity to talk to my boys – completely out of the blue, not out of the (repeated) need for forgiveness RIGHT NOW. I think they appreciated the fact that this is something I think about even when I haven’t just gone off on a tirade they didn’t deserve. I truly want to show them respect and to be better about keeping my temper. I asked my oldest to remind me with a wink and a smile (if he can still smile at me!) when he feels like I need to cool it for a minute before we talk about the situation. He was delighted that I gave him the opportunity to “speak up” for himself without being disrespectful. I told him that I need help to break the habit of letting my mouth run away and he was so eager to help his mom in any way he can. (My boys are amazing, by the way. God is so good with His gifts.) Thank you, again and again, for such a powerful message delivered with such gentle words.

    1. Thank you Becka…I love your heart and I so appreciate you sharing with me! Your boys are blessed! Much aloha to you!

  105. Thank you so much for this post. I love your willingness to share what many people are not brave enough to do. Thank you for keeping it real in your post. I really enjoy your blog.

  106. Sheena Carnie says:

    My younger son and I often bash heads and I often fly off the handle yelling at him – especially when I’m tired or have had a long day at work which, co-incidentally, seems to be the time he pushes me the most. Now he’s 12 and is more resilient (and I try a lot to show more self-control) but when he was younger a sure indication that the decibels had risen too high or I had been going on for too long, was when he would stand there listening to the lecture and shake his head vigorously from side to side. Mostly I’ve got myself under better control nowadays, but there are still many days when I lose it. I was quite proud of myself recently, though, because we had an argument about something at the shops and my son was cheeky to me which I won’t tolerate. I started to say something mean and then instead told him to go straight to his room when we got home because I didn’t want to have to deal with him like this. When we got home he went to his room and I sat down with the newspaper and a cup of tea (rare occurrence) and took some deep breaths. An hour later he presented me with a bowl of cut up strawberries sprinkled with sugar and decorated with mint leaves, and a little jug of cream. No actual words of apology, but I decided the strawberries would do. We both got over the irritation a lot quicker than we do on the days when I really let rip. Thanks again for all your encouragement to us moms. It’s great to know that all over the world we share the same challenges!

    1. Beautiful story, thank you so much for sharing!! bless you and keep up the awesome efforts. aloha!

  107. Convicted! At my wits’ end most days with my teenage son & I know that I have not been the steady voice of reason that I should be when dealing with his angst. Thank you Lord, that your mercies never end and that each day is a blank slate. Great is Your faithfulness! Thank you for sharing yourself, Monica and for encouraging those of us in the trenches 🙂

  108. Thank you so much for your honesty. I could have written this. It’s my story and God is doing a work in my heart too. This isn’t who I want to be. Thanks for the encouragement!!

  109. I feel like when things like that happen (and they will happen, since we are human), it is wise to use it as a way to acknowledge that we make mistakes and need forgiveness too. I tell my children that I am sorry I lost my temper, that they did not deserve my yelling and impatience and I ask for forgiveness and that it be over. I also ask them to understand why I became so upset and if there are ways we can avoid being in that situation again. It is less than ideal to have a grown-up temper tantrum, but if it happens, use it as a teaching moment and try again….the most important part is to forgive yourself and not let your mistakes define you as a person or a parent.

  110. I want to say much more than I will, but I have been at the dentist all day, which has been followed by some meds due to dentist! ( we should also be careful when in pain!!)

    This is an amazing read! This has been me and still is at times! So thankful for God’s transformation!

  111. What a great article! All I can say is Thank You for this post!

  112. Colleen van Schubert-Woodcock says:

    I have realized that when I feel that way, about to snap, it is because I made the offence about me. I have internalized it and made it a direct attack on me, and I need to realize its not about me but about my children learning to follow Christ. So instead of making it about me, I can make it a teachable moment for my children and direct their attention to Christ, and how he has put me in authority over them and if they choose to not listen to me they have chosen to not listen to their father up above. We need to stop internalizing things and making them personal, when it is sin that is the root of the issue, their sin in disobeying their parents authority and God’s authority. If our children will not listen to their parents authority right way when asked, they will not listen to God RIGHT AWAY when asked. We must make them listen and obey the first time or we have just delayed their disobedience, and when we delay our obedience to Christ sometimes we end up getting hurt, I want my children to obey right away for it is in their best interest to do so. You should listen to Voddie Baucham on the subject of parenting he has some great advice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HLK8nTCODQ I love this man for his dedication to the family and teaching what true family is all about, he loves his family and it shows.

  113. I wrote a pretty similar post myself, so I guess the moral of the story is, show me a parent that hasn’t been angry with their kids and I’ll show you a Stepford Wife! We have all been there and done it, and being able to acknowledge it and try to change is incredibly important. Equally, is the acknowledgement that parenting isn’t easy, and that ‘perfect parents’ just don’t exist. Great blog- really pleased to have found it!

  114. Thank you so much for this post. Thank you for being open and honest, I too struggle with anger and this was such a blessing to read. My husband, myself and our two boys just moved back from Kailua to Denver. We were helping a church out for a few months. I was reading your blog post about not loving it in the beginning but then it becoming home and that’s what happened for me. I left my heart there. Such a great place to raise boys. Thank you for your blog!

    1. Thank you Sarah! Yes, this is a special place–though I’ve heard nothing but awesome things about Denver as well! 🙂
      So glad you commented, and I hope you’ll keep in touch. Much aloha!

  115. Monica,

    I have a 14 yr old son (my oldest) who knows exactly how to “push my buttons” and I found myself laughing out loud while reading this post because of the similarities in your and my personalities.

    I’ve realized (through prayer and reflection) that most of my outbursts really originate from a deeper fear of losing control over my son’s life.

    Up until now, I was able to make him pretty much do whatever I wanted by saying 4 simple words: Because I Said So. But as my kids mature I am seeing them grow more independent of me and my ability to make decisions for them. I think this is one of the main factors in my personal battle with losing my temper. I began losing my trust in God and found myself fighting on my own terms.

    I loved your line “Thankfully, God’s forgiveness is not in short supply. His love is enduring, and His grace is enough.” It reminded me that not only is he faithful to forgive me, but that His love is stronger for my children than my own (sometimes still hard to believe) and His grace covers all the mess-ups that my kids are going to make, even when I’m no longer in control.

    Motherhood is such a gift, but it does come at a price. I’ve never found any other life endeavor to be as sacrificial and humbling as becoming a parent. Thank you for all your insight, it’s like precious jewels!

  116. I love this post. But before I go there, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is jennifer acker. I live in New York City. I am the proud mom of two boys, 13 and 14.
    I stumbled upon you when I read something posted on Facebook, it was a list of parenting rules. I loved it so much, I subscribed right then and there to your site. Can you tell me where I can find that list again? I found it so helpful as I am preparing to have a chat with my 14 year old who is about to start his first year of high school.
    As for the anger blog. I can totally relate. I used to lose it much more in the younger years but a couple of things helped me to do better. One was I heard somewhere that when I behaved that way, all I was doing was teaching my sons that it was their job to make sure I don’t get that way. I never want to put that on them. I also started to force myself to sit in the shame I would feel post verbal vomit as feeling how disgusted I was with myself would help me to think twice the next time. I’d be lying if I said I was perfect at it now. But I’m a lot better. And I share this with other moms too like you, because know you are not alone is really important. So thank you.

    1. Jennifer–Thank you so much! I am glad you stumbled upon my site and I hope you’ll stick around! 🙂 I am guessing you’re talking about the teenage boy/Mom post, and there is a link to it right in my side bar of my blog…BUT, here is the direct link so you have it now: https://monicaswanson.com/what-a-teenage-boy-needs-most-from-his-mom/

      i love what you said about the anger issue. I literally stopped and re-read what you shared about “it was their job to make sure I don’t get this way” a few times over. OUCH!! Such a powerful thing to consider, and I am sure it is so true. Awesome job, and thanks for sharing!! Much aloha

  117. I can so identify with everything you said in this piece. Lack of sleep is the most frequent trigger for me. Not taking time for myself and not making time for the things that are important to me is another. I am fortunate in that I have a very outgoing little 9 year old who, to my embarrassment will sometimes say to me (after I have been going on…and on…and on..)…..”That is enough now, Mom. We get your point….” He may even add a little “You are now just being mean.” How humiliating to have your 9 year old to tell you that you need to get some perspective – but I appreciate his ability to see when I have lost all reason and need to be stopped. So grateful for my two beautiful children and I will continue to work towards being a better parent every day.

  118. The article about lecturing and anger was great. I find myself losing it all too often out of sheer exhaustion. I’m a single mom of 3 boys, work a full time job, have a horrible ex that battles me at every turn, and I find myself feeling overwhelmed and so quick to snap at my boys. That being said, I also know their patterns and three boys laughing and playing so quickly turns into a bloody lip, punching and fighting. I find that I jump the gun to reprimand and scream at them to stop and they get so frustrated with me that they are just playing around having a good time and why do I have to ruin it. UGH It’s like one person posted above, anticipating the future. I need to live in the moment and not the future. Hard to do when you are a mom, especially a single mom trying to keep a schedule and have a routine and keep us running like a well oiled machine. I feel like I need to plan the future, see the future, anticipate the future to be prepared for it. I guess I do that too often with my sons. So many things to think about here and such great advice. One that definitely grabbed me was the I need to take some time and think about what the consequence will be for your actions. I will definitely keep that one in mind next time I need to discipline one of my sons. So glad I found this site!

  119. It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one who has ugly meltdowns at my kids. I know, even if the middle of them that I’m being childish, but I am so angry I keep going. I’m going to make a commitment to try harder to control myself. As you pointed out, I would NEVER speak to any other human being the way I sometimes do to my kids, because it’s unforgivable – except our kids are so forgiving – at this age, anyway.
    When I think of those poor parents who have lost children, I am so grateful for my 2 imperfect angels.

  120. Jennifer Adair says:

    I happened upon your blog today, and I don’t believe by accident. On facebook VOLUNTEERSPOT had your link about how to talk to your teenage son. Then I found this article. Thanks for posting, and thanks for letting us moms know we aren’t alone in this parenting gig! I’m a mom to 3 boys-15, 10, & 5 Lord knows I need all the knowledge I can get!

  121. I’m new here. I saw your post from a friend on facebook yesterday. Your viral teenage post to be exact and I’m hooked. I needed to read more and so here I am.
    Thank you so much for sharing this. It really hit home to me. I am quick to lash out. I’m a reactor and I need to stop. I have the same trigger points as you do and your insight on how to handle that is appreciated. I have two boys age 9 and age 8. Being 14 months apart has been good but can have its challenges as well. My boys are always so quick to forgive and tell me its okay. But its not and I need to slow my reactions down. I need to pray more…pray for self control. I need to not lose sight of my faith. God listens, loves, forgives and will guide me through. Thank you again for sharing 🙂

    1. Thank you Angela. That post was tough to write and your words bless me. Keep up the good work, and God is listening…I’m so glad!! 🙂 aloha

  122. Oh, I almost cried reading this – your honesty and humility are beautiful. I love how your son is able to learn that we will always have areas to improve upon – even as an adult. <3

  123. Christine says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I can so relate with you and thank you for the tips.

    xo

  124. Never been here before, Monica – got here through another of your posts linked on FB and saw this link on the sidebar.

    This is life-giving. Really. “I am putting my need to vent above my kids’ need for a reasonable, wise mother” was a kick in the pants – an appropriate one. 🙂 I’m getting ready to head downstairs for our second day of school when I only got about 3 hours of sleep and one of my children can sometimes choose to be difficult (imagine) and I sometimes choose to take the bait. So this sentence will, I hope, be ringing in my mind all morning long. It’s time to protect them from me, as I try to protect them from and give them strength for so much else.

    Anyway, thanks.

  125. Just stumbled on your blog today and got to this post and loved it. I’m with you on it, but I’ve really been working on it and can see the change slowly creeping in!! I’ve had too many ugly outbursts at my kids that were uncalled for and completely un-Biblical! Ugh! But, I’ve been working on the yelling thing (it was my bad habit to get rid of a in a 6 week challenge that I was determined to win) but whatever my motivation, it helped and my daughter said “That’s not even a bad habit anymore mom, you’ve got that kicked!” I have slipped up since but what really helped me is, I can’t imagine my husband yelling at me the way I yell at them….ouch! It would be hard to go back to that relationship and have it be the same way, and I don’t want distance sneaking in between me and my kids because I yelled. Thanks for the great thoughts on how to change!

    1. Thank you Kelly Jo. I am constantly working on this too. Bless your heart. 😉
      Aloha

  126. In AA they have an acronym: H.A.L.T. Whenever you find yourself Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, you need to HALT. Take care of your HUNGER, ANGER, LONELINESS and TIREDness, then will be better able to help others/remain sober/be a better worker, parent, or fill-in-the-blank. I find I must ‘HALT’ alot at first, but now that I regularly check in it becomes habit. Not getting something to eat(No surprise!) is my biggest trigger. I have no patience cant do anything until I eat. sounds silly, but my sister is the same way. My husband is baffled by this, thought I was diebetic or something(I’m not) Its just that happens to be my biggest trigger to get short with others and lose any ‘buffer’ I would normally have to seemingly trivial annoyances. Once that basic need of hunger is met, Im able to deal! how many times as a mother do you put off eating a nourishing meal because of one more thing you have to do first? Or not getting enough sleep. Our basic needs must be met, which we too often overlook in the day to day of things. we’re human, we will lose it when basic needs arent met, day after day. what to do? do some self care. H.A.L.T. Amen

    1. SUPER good points, Kristen! I’m gonna use that! H.A.L.T! (and hangry is my current favorite words anyways, haha.) Thanks for the great words!

  127. My mom would do this…the hour long screaming lectures that broke my heart. And I said I would never do this…but I did.

    I was ok with my first but when my second came around and my first was in the terrible twos while I was experiencing the terrible 2 o-clock wake up calls, and I started having frequent really bad outbursts of rage where I would yell at my kids, especially my older child.

    My oldest’s first full sentence was in response to a yelling fit over him taking out the eggs and breaking them on the floor. He said “I sorry, mommy. Please stop talking.” I was so proud of him and so ashamed of myself. It broke my heart. And it just seemed so impossible to ever change, though I tried so hard. Really tested my faith…thought as a Christian I should be able to have more self-control….some spiritual reserve that would make this easier.

    But I’ve been working on it. And it has gotten easier, though I still loose it sometimes in a very bad way (thankfully not as often). It’s gotten better though. Some of it is just not being in that horrible tired place, but I did work through an Anger Management Workbook (I’m sharing the link below), and it helped some.

    (Really, I’m not selling anything….just found this really helpful).
    https://www.abebooks.com/Anger-Control-Workbook-Mckay-Mathew-Matthew/13035933475/bd )

    I’ve made some compromises. If I’m particularly tired or just…in that mood where I know something, I will sometimes just let everything go (forget the chores, let the kids keep watching TV, lock myself in my room and watch a show on the Iphone until I feel human again. Couldn’t do that when the kids were little…but if it’s between the kids having too much screen time or the kids getting too much SCREAM time from me, I’ll go with the first.)

    One of my triggers is trying to do “that one more thing.” Like if it’s close to bedtime and I’m really tired and just want to get the kids to bed early and crash but the little one asks to do that science experiment I tried to get him interested in earlier but he didn’t want to do….it’s that time where I can think, I really should try to fit this one more thing in, but when I should really just say “no” and let the one more thing go. Because nine times out of ten if I do the “one more thing” when I’m beat I’ll end up screaming by the end of it. Maybe not at the child who asked to do the “one more thing” but at the other child who came in and interrupted the “one more thing” or whatever. So, again, it’s a comprimise between what I would like to accomplish as a parent and what I actually have the emotional reserves to accomplish., If I try doing “one more thing” when I’m running on empty, it rarely ends well.

    Oh, and tell me if you can relate to this…you blow up over something that REALLY IS something that your kid is doing wrong and needs to be corrected on, but BECAUSE you lost your cool the whole thing becomes you appologizing for loosing your cool and the message you so wanted them to get is actually, totally lost. This actually happens more with my spouse than my kids…cause my kids still have to listen, but if I loose it with my spouse, everything I say gets lost in the yelling, cause he (rightly) won’t respond to that. SO FRUSTRATING. I wish that I could remember this more often before I blow so I could say things calmly so the people I want to hear, can really hear.

    Thanks for letting me rant/share. Thanks for sharing yourself too!

  128. Excellent. Thank you for sharing.

  129. You are not alone. I was especially convicted by your following reflection: “If I am not disciplining for the small stuff, then I tend to carry all of those things over into the bigger issue, and make turn it into something it really isn’t.” I think sometimes I keep talking because I think my boys don’t get it and don’t feel bad about their choice. I realize now that they don’t get it… they don’t get freaked out mommy. Usually, if I ask questions and don’t lecture, my boys do realize when they’ve made a bad choice and do feel bad about it and do want to rectify the situation. Of course, I can’t lecture them on self-control when I’m not in control myself! Thank you for sharing honestly about your experiences as a mother , about your triggers, and your focus on positive change.

  130. Thank you for your article. I am so guilty of this same thing and have the same triggers. I feel awful about it, which in turn gives me a shorter fuse. It kills me to hear my children raising their voices because I hear myself through them. I pray for forgiveness & hope I haven’t damaged their hearts. I do well for a while but then fall back into old habits. My 4 yr old actually tells me I am being mean. That is heartbreaking. I need to be more consistent with consequences rather than letting things build up. I am praying for more peace and self control.

    1. You and me both, Donna. 🙂 I think the fact that you are very aware is a huge key…I hate to even consider those who yell and it doesn’t even bother them.
      Your kids also learn from your repentance. Keep pressing on! 🙂 Aloha

  131. Hi, grommom! I wound up over here via your “What aTeenage Boys Need Most from His Mom” article… both articles very well put, by the way! I’m a mom of three boys (men, actually –ages 17, 19, 26) and one daughter (24), and being on this downhill side of raising them, it’s great that you’ve caught on to these truths early! Anger is a tough one–kids push buttons you never knew you had. If parenting came with a rule book, it might be a little easier! Ahhh, but it does! There is much to be said about parenting in the Bible, but sometimes it’s hard to sift it all out, and we tend to act on our emotions at the time. That is “our” lesson to learn–gaining control of ourselves before we engage in an emotional struggle, which usually ends with poor actions or decisions. Understanding your triggers is key! I used to have to fully disengage by saying “I need to think about your consequence.” That meant that I had to leave the situation and let my own boiling blood simmer down so I could think more clearly and rationally. It also gave the child time to stew in anticipation–sometimes worse than the punishment itself! I also used to yell, but I found it much better to discipline without a raised voice. It made it more of a result the child brought on (which it is) rather than a reaction I had out of anger. And of course, COMMUNICATION. You have that very right, too. There were times I reacted out of anger and had to go back to my child to ask forgiveness–not for the infraction, but for the inappropriate way I went about it.

    FINALLY, I have a question… in your picture above where your son is on the beach with his surf board, is that a fin I see in the water????

  132. This post spoke to my heart in such a big way. I just can’t even explain. Thank you for sharing this message, your experiences, and the truth of God’s grace.

    1. Wow…Thank you August so much for telling me. That means a lot! Bless you. 🙂 With Aloha

  133. Thank you. I needed to read this so bad. Tha is one of if not my biggest struggle right now. And my triggers are the exact same. This post truly blessed me tonight. Thank God His mercies are new every morning.

  134. Thank you for sharing this. It is so helpful to hear these words and know I am not the only one who struggles with this. It seems that many of the parents I know fall into one of two areas: They don’t yell but in my eyes seem a bit too permissive. Or they yell and have no problem with yelling and think that it’s okay. Losing my temper with my children is a sin that I have to battle. I will say that by God’s grace alone, I am MUCH better than I used to be. I have prayed about this struggle A LOT and as we are Catholic, talked about it with my priest in Confession. While it is still difficult, I don’t struggle as much as I used to. We have four children, our youngest seven months old. With our fourth child, it felt as though I was given an extra shot of grace in my heart. Suddenly, I had more patience. This was not done by my will, but simply God’s answer to my prayers. Thank goodness. That being said, I just lost my patience and had a yelling lecture on the morning of Good Friday. On Good Friday! The day we are supposed to be thankful for Jesus saving us from our sins, I was sinning by 9 am in the morning! Thank goodness for the risen Christ! Happy Easter!

    1. Rebecca, thank you so much for sharing. I love hearing that you have had extra grace w/ your fourth…I sometimes feel that way too. Then I worry that I’m too permissive w/ the fourth and wonder how he’ll turn out, haha! 🙂 God is so good, I know He is in control and I can trust Him as I just do my best…and do it w/ out anger!
      Bless you for your heart, and even on Good Friday–His grace is enough!! aloha

  135. BlessedMamaof5 says:

    I could have written this entire post (minus the solution). It is a huge battle I have right now. THE thorn I my side right now, and as I have desperately reached out to close women around me, no one seems to grasp the severity of it. I have found it so difficult to put into words, but you did that so elegantly for me. Now, I just need someone to help me figure out how to change it!!!!!

    Thank you for writing this.

    1. Oh Blessed Mama! Thank you for sharing honestly, and I will be praying for you. I hope you have joined the Brand New Facebook group w/ the MOB society. I know I look forward to gaining insight and inspiration there! Hang in there and don’t give up!!

  136. Unfortunately I go through this a lot with my kids… 15-13-11-9… I go on and on ranting and raving like a stark crazed lunatic mom! All the while on the inside I see the monster in me and think how can I do this to my kids! I want to stop but then I really don’t know how to stop… I see the tears in my kids eyes the hurt deep in their hearts, and the guilt rises up in me.. I know it all too well… I pray to be better mom with better self control… How is it that we unload like this when they are the love of our lives! God help us to be in better control of our mouths !

  137. As my children were growing up I always reminded myself to discipline my children out of love and not out of anger. Being angry didn’t help me and it certainly did nothing for them. So I always reminded myself that whatever I did for my children it was to be from love because that’s why God lent them to me – because He loved me.

  138. Change the scenery, the names…this could have been written by me, every little detail. Thank you, THANK YOU for your courage and vulnerability, for sharing your heart and for reminding me to take this to heart. I do, but I feel so alone in it. Thank you and God bless your walk with Him!

  139. Oh, thank you. A dear friend directed me here, knowing how I’ve been struggling as of late with my 3 littles 3 & under. I am so tired of being angry Mama during the day and guilty Mama at night. It’s not every day, but it’s far too often. My triggers are definitely the same. I am grateful for your honesty and encouragement to pray for help (the fruit of the Spirit given by the Holy Spirit, our helper- there is no way I can do it on my own!).

  140. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone. I feel as if I could have wrote this. I too am a very verbal person. I have to get my thoughts out to make sense of them. But when I’m angry or have lost my patience watch out!! I actually had this happen tone today. Helping my son with his home work and he has a tendency to interrupt when he thinks he understand. After having this happen 3-4 times I lost my patience. I yelled “fine if you don’t want to shut up long enough to listen to me then I don’t wanna help you any more”. As soon as the words left my mouth I felt the guilt sink in. I had to walk away. That look of hurt on his face is the worst. I too apologized later and asked his forgives which he always gives me (thank you God). But your right. It’s not ok to ask forgiveness then next time do it again. I try hard to teach my kids that apologies mean you won’t do that hurtful thing again. Yet mom loses her patience time an time again. I am a work in progress. Thank you again for this post!!!

  141. Wish I had read this BEFORE last Wed.! My meltdown that day was epic! It went on for about an hr and I still fumed about things until I went to sleep that night. I completely agree with the triggers!! Thank you for writing this!!

  142. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you so much for posting your truth and the truth for many others. I needed to read this today, as I to deal with this ugly truth and this morning was one of them. I know I need to stop and pray and take a deep breath when to ugly starts to poke it way into my head and hart! Know your not alone and others deal with this too. We just need to be praying not only for our truth but for our kids and the others that deal with this and the with God grace we can work on change this!

  143. Most of the time I read stuff like this, the writer doesn’t really seem relatable. I think “man, she doesn’t even know what it means to rant and rave.” Your honest confession/admittance to your sin was a huge blessing to me. I have had all of those realizations before, and it was so wonderful to see a blogpost representing them. The reminder of how I abuse my children’s and God’s grace and forgiveness is especially humbling. The thing that amazes me about God is how He even uses those weak moments to teach us and our kids more about Himself. Anyhow, I felt compelled to leave a comment because I so appreciate honest, open living. I believe it is what the church is meant to look like. Living life like that glorifies God– yes, I am a wretch, but how good and gracious our Father is!

  144. Jennifer Rogers says:

    Oh my goodness. So much truth! I have a 7, 5 and 3 year old, and I struggle with this on a daily basis!
    I know the culprits. Not enough sleep, not being consistent with discipline (i.e., letting things go too long and then I “lose it”). When my husband and I are at odds about something, or I am stressed, I take it out on them.
    The thing I am noticing now is that my kids, especially my daughter who wants to be just like mom, are yelling at each other. And every time I hear them yell I cringe, because I know they learned it from me!
    This is something I am constantly trying to change. Thank you for your honesty. You are not alone!

    1. This is exactly what triggers me. Most of the time I explode at bedtime because it is the end of a long day, my kids are not following directions and I am most of all frustrated that my husband is not helping me. I have also seen my daughter copy my behavior and it scares me. I am also trying daily to keep my cool. Prayer and knowing what my triggers are definitely helps. Communicating to my husband that I need help (in a calm way) is also important. Thanks for the great post! It is nice to feel like I am not alone in this and get some great ideas.

  145. Oh sister,
    You wrote this FOR ME. Thank you!!! Thank you for your transparency. I’ve struggled with this for a while now, but lately I’ve found myself in a very similar situation with my daughter. I totally identify with seeing the hurt in her eyes (in the rear view mirror) as I ranted and raved and said things that hurt her. Ugh. I feel nauseous just thinking about it. And you’re right, why couldn’t I have just stopped?? Why did I think another angry point or disappointment pointed out was going to fix anything?? We got home, my daughter (13) got out of the car (I wanted to throw up for being the very worst mom ever) …my son (14) said with tears in his eyes and in a very respectful way,”it didn’t have to be that way…(crying)…yes, what she did was wrong, (crying)…but it doesn’t define her.” UGH. The next hour I spent tear-filled in my daughter’s room apologizing profusely, trying to repair the damage I had caused, and ended praying for her and ME. The triggers… They’re RIGHT ON. Add to that: HANGRY. Oh I have so far to go…

    1. Julianne…Oh you sweet thing. My heart breaks for you and with you. I am praying for you now, and I know that God is pulling for you. Your daughter and son will be ok…they’ll see your genuine desire to do it right, and all of the good you do absolutely does stick– I promise. God bless you. Thank you so much for sharing.

  146. I am sooooooo glad that I found this. I erupted at my daughter this morning or not getting ready fast enough and being late for tutoring and work. It happens often, but each time, I feel “about as worthless as tits on a bull hog.” LOL! (as my papa always said) But it’s true there. By the time I calmed down, I was nearly in tears when I called my husband and told him the whole sad story. So needless to say, no ma’am, you are not the only one going through this. Thank you for sharing this. This post was my blessing and answered prayers. Thank you, thank you, thank you! =)

  147. Oh my word, Monica. It’s like you got in my head! Just blew it big time with my oldest. And would you believe his name is Luke? 😉 This is my struggle. And the thing that Satan uses to whispers in my ear “You’re a horrible parent.” And the crappiest thing if all is I’m a therapist! I so know better! Thanks for your honesty. You are definitely not alone. Thanks for reiterating the things I know to be true. Getting on my face before my Father tonight and having a heart to heart.

  148. Thank you! Thank you for being human and making me realize im not alone in these moments! I needed this story today so badly and i have saved this to read over and over again to help me! Thank you and good luck to you!

    1. Thank you so much Michelle! I’m so glad the timing was right. Bless you. and aloha! 🙂

  149. Totally hear you! Mom of three boys here…Parenting is so hard,and sometimes it can bring me to tears of frustration (and yelling too!). My husband and I have shed tears together after some of our EPIC fails. Sometimes it seems like the harder you try to get it right, the bigger we mess up as parents. There are so many conflicting attitudes and advise out there about how we should discipline our children, I find that in the moment, I doubt myself, or my “strategy”, and revert to yelling because I have NO IDEA what I should do. It makes me feel like a bratty 16-year-old sister instead of “the 42-year-old Mom”. So embarrassing. I just thank God that we get a new chance every day, and hope that the good parenting we do outweighs the really bad parenting moments. Loved your (very) relate-able words – thank you for your honesty.

    1. Oh and that part in your post about just keeping on with the lecture because you don’t know how to end it, and you start realizing how awful the whole thing is, so you just keep going and going….yep…been there too. And to Amber…It makes my gut hurt too Amber! I totally understand. I always tell my kids that that is God making that feeling in their tummies…that it’s his good work being done on the inside. But it feels awful doesn’t it??

  150. Monica,
    Thank you so much for sharing! My temper has been an issue for me for as long as I remember, and it wasn’t until years into my marriage (and many huge fights with my husband, who isn’t as passive/submissive as kids are during a rant) before God began to heal my heart in this area. Of course, I still struggle at times and with certain triggers, but it’s amazing the miracles God is still capable of b/c I’ve come a LONG way in 10 yrs. It’s so refreshing to hear your struggles b/c they sound so much like mine. And you ARE good at communicating, so I hear you saying exactly how I’ve felt and I know what humility it takes to admit your struggles so clearly and in so much detail. Thank you. Loving you even though I don’t “know” you.

    1. Oh Lynell!! I love you too! And I believe in you–and that any of us turning this struggle to the Lord will be overcomers. I always say my kids are making ME grow up, and I am so thankful for the refining fire, as much as I can’t stand it at the moment. 🙂
      XO

  151. Amber Matthews says:

    Thank you for the not so gentle punch to the gut and the realization that I need to do better but im not alone.

    Truly appreciative,
    Amber

    1. oh dear, a punch in the gut…Yes, I suppose that can be needed, and NO you are not alone!! thanks so much.

  152. Thanks for your honesty. Yes, I’ve definitely been there! Boys would prefer that we keep our words back to them short and sweet… but it’s so easy to go on and on… And our kids sure do know how to push our buttons, don’t they?!?

    When I’m in the heat of the moment, I try to ask myself if my words are inspiring my boys… or if they are demoralizing them. Ouch!

    1. Michelle–What a great question to ask yourself…Now I just work on slowing down enough to ASK MYSELF the questions! 🙂 Bless you, thank you!

  153. Great post! I love this on so many levels and it really is never too soon to start implementing good parenting habits. Even with a baby (ok, almost-a-toddler) I find myself having those hard days where I know that he’s a sponge and even if he can’t use words yet to communicate, he understands when I’m upset. Thank you for sharing your experience with this (being vulnerable, too) and giving us encouraging words.
    xo

  154. I have a hungry breast fed 4 week old and a 2.5 year old who is coming to terms with his change in circumstances while simultaneously going through the terrible 2s and pushing our buttons at every turn. Today we went out for what I thought would be a real treat for the family (daddy took the day off specially). The sun was shining and we were headed to a local farm for a tractor tour for big boy and daddy while I chilled with a coffee and sleeping newborn…sadly this is not how it turned out! Big boy didn’t want to sit nicely and have breakfast before they set out on their adventure and after less than 3 hours sleep last night I wasn’t in any mood to be argued with. I tried to reason with him but too soon lost my rag and we both ended up in floods of tears on the way home without our breakfast,my coffee or his tractor ride. If I hadn’t been tired,lacking in me time recently and let things build up it would all have been so different. Your post made me feel so much better (I’m not alone) and made me think about how I react in these situations. Love your blog,thank you x

    1. Oh Dee…I completely feel for you. I’m not sure how many days I’ve had like that when you count up all four of my boys, but I know I’ve had a lot of them. Thank you for sharing your story. Bless you for trying so hard. It sounded like a great plan. Sometimes I think we can’t see the forest for the trees, and those little moments when we get stuck…well, all we can do is grow from them!
      Much aloha-

    2. Oh Dee,
      Keep trying and keep giving yourself grace. I know this is such a hard time. I’m currently 22 wks pregnant and have a 27mo old, so I’m getting ready to head into your shoes, but I remember the exhaustion and haze that life had in those early months – BEFORE I had a toddler who needed help learning to navigate life. Praying for strength and clarity in those moments. Much love!

  155. Oh Monica, the guilt I feel when I do the angry lecture circle with my sons ( 4 and 6) was captured by your words in such a way that made me feel so understood. Like you, I pride myself in clear communication and in my positive parenting style. But, when I snap-I snap. For some reason, my eldest son gets the worst of it. And, you are right, they are a captive audience and are too scared or respectful to stop my rants.
    I have a dear friend that I was sharing this struggle with -ok, more like spilling my heart through a steady stream sobs. Anyhow, she has seen me in action with my children many, many times. She has seen me shine and storm as a parent. My friend wisely pointed out that I parent for the future too often and sometimes miss the here and now. For example,she explained that when I start in on how my son makes me late shows disrespect for my authority, my job, my hard work , all the blessings in our life,etc., I am acting out of fear that my son will grow into a disrespectful adult. Or, when my children are unkind to each other and I launch into the blessings of family and how God chose them to grow up together, I am acting out of fear that my children do not appreciate our blessings. She challenged me to deal with the poor choice at hand, not the possible character flaw it might develop in my child as an adult. Probably a very good idea.

    I continue to struggle in this area. In fact, if I could make one change in my life, it wouldn’t be a tidier home or a smaller dress size; it would be more control over the rants I hurl at my children. I would NEVER talk to my husband, friends or co-workers in this way. Why do I act this way to my sons? The very most important blessings in my life…

    As my boys turn 5 and 7 this month I am worried I have missed some of the fun of little kids, lecturing and trying to make my point. In hindsight, a simple loss of privilege, softly spoken has a greater impact. I will continue to try to follow my own advice. And, thank you for giving this behavior a name and identifying the triggers. To your list of triggers, I add a feeling of being overwhelmed or over scheduled.
    Much appreciation!

    1. Shannon!!! Amen to every single word you wrote. God bless your friend–I will be meditating on that advice now too.
      Beautifully said, and so understandable…Your heart is gold. 🙂 The overwhelmed/overscheduled trigger is so true too. Thank you thank you.
      Aloha!

    2. Oh, what awesome advice from your friend! I recognize this fear of the future in my own heart when I read it put that way. Thanks for sharing!

    3. Just yesterday I was experiencing many of the emotions and fears presented in this article and your e-mail responses. The insecurities of good parenting can sometimes be discussed with a spouse or friend but I am a single mother. I never get to hand over the reins and sometimes I feel very alone. I sometimes get so fearful that my son will grow up to be disrespectful OR that I’m being too strict! My lectures become a bore to myself. I think later-did that make sense to an eight year old? I second guess myself and wonder if I over react. Parenting is difficult. I tell myself that if I come down hard on my son’s behavior= I’ll save him from making future mistakes- or mistakes that I myself made. But I know each experience he goes through is a learning experience. and I am relearning life through him as well. The fact that we reflect upon our actions proves as parents we are doing the best we can and we are trying to improve ourselves. I really appreciate knowing there are other parents out there who consciously struggle like me. It was a comfort to read your posts, I don’t feel so alone!

  156. Great post! I struggle in this area. I even remembering shooting you a message on FB about it awhile back. I love my son more than anything but I do not have a lot of patience… And when I’m stressed and the one that gets him up and ready for daycare, picks him up and takes him to swim, cook dinner, play, bath, and bed and on repeat everyday I get exhausted and have very little help. I do think it’s important to get away and have an outlet bc when I’m tired stressed and just burned out is when I break down and lose it over the small things. I have had to apologize a lot and each time I pray that I will have better self control and patience (be careful what you pray for) bc trials come again and my self control and patience are tested. Some days are better and I’m able to step back and realizing I’m upset over other things and taking it out on him when he slips up… I’m still learning a lot but knowing I tend to have little patience I try to prepare ahead and realize if I feel like I’m reaching my boiling point I’ll step back or just send him to his room. This is a huge topic but one that it’s good to be real about and know what to do to try and change. My little one has a short temper and gets frustrated easily something he learned from me. I’ve realized that the oy way to change him is to change how I react and handle things.

    1. Thank you Katie! Yes, I remember the FB message, and bless your heart for being such a full-on involved, loving mother…So glad you have been learning when to “step back,” i need to revisit that one myself. 😉 I also see myself in my littlest son, and it sometimes scares me! 🙂 haha…God’s grace is huge!!

  157. Monica, Monica, Monica… I hoped you would share your post and you did. I appreciate your willingness to put it out there. Those three times you mentioned are EXACTLY when I snap, too! One thing I have learned, and leaned to clue my children in as well, is that I actually tell them: “I have asked more than once and if this continues, I’m going to snap”. Once I say that, they know beyond a shadow of a doubt I am not asking anymore and usually it stops. My other worst time is at the end of the weekend and it’s almost bedtime. We may have had a great weekend, but then I see all the little things that I “thought” I asked to be taken care of but were not. My husband and I talk to our children daily about what it means to be Christ-like in our actions. Those Sunday nights… I don’t feel very Christ-like. My children are learning how to bring it to my attention (MUCH later and WAY after the fact…) and we discuss it. The more we talk about it, the more we see each other’s side…

    Thanks again for your willingness to share! It helps to know I’m not “the only one”.

    1. Holly–Yes! I absolutely get it about the “Sunday Nights!” Isn’t that wild? I have done that so many times.
      But I do like your ability to give a warning…I have done that a few times as well, and it seems to really help. Especially as they get older. I find that when my stress is building, my oldest son starts cleaning up the house (Ha!) He totally wants to avoid the drama! Thank YOU for your willingness to share!! Aloha

  158. Oh man I know the feeling of losing it all too well! It’s such a horrible embarrassing feeling when us…the mature adults…lose it on our most precious and immature little people. People that we are supposed to be guiding and modeling good behavior to! I can’t offer advice on how to change because I’m still battling my selfish sinful temper…but I do know the importance of saying sorry and asking forgiveness when I’ve messed up. Kids forgive so openly and easily. Oh how I wish I had their hearts!! God bless you Monica…you are doing a great job!!!

    1. Thank you so much Kelsey. Your words are super encouraging, and you obviously have perspective. Keep up the great work. God bless!

    2. Monica !!!!!! I am a stay-at-home mom of twin boys that are going to be three in May and one little boy that will be two in August! So I guess you could say stress in my life is very adamant! Sometimes yes I do look for a way out. I am here within 24 hours a day seven days a week! I totally agree about getting a break from your kids! The only problem is no I want to do my job! No one can handle my job! My husband works and sometimes stayes all week out of town! So yes I have a very stressful motherhood but I know someday it will be worth it because when I read a story to my boys and they willingly want to pray afterwards ( because that’s what we do every night before bedtime ) it blesses my soul! Thanks for sharing! It’s nice to know I’m not alone! I really feel like I have a chance trying to control my anger because my boys are so young! God is good all the time! I’m so glad we serve a living, breathing, and forgiving God! He blessed me with all these children and it’s my job to try to raise three modern-day Knights! My Husbad and me have been telling ourselves it’s our job to try to get these children back to the Lord! Right now they are just on lend! So I really appreciate your article And you for sharing! Be blessed and know your not alone;)

  159. Gale Moore says:

    Well said sweetheart. There has never been a young mother who has not felt exactly this way. Thankyou for sharing. Thankyou for your insight and honesty. Bless you.
    From a Gran of four boys… 🙂

    1. Awww…a gran of four boys!!! So awesome. Thank you so much for stopping in to comment! It means a lot to hear encouraging words from someone who has been in my shoes before! 🙂 ALOHA to you!

  160. Melissa K says:

    I love you……

    Even on your “worst” days you are still better than most parents out there! I would say that most parents have similar melt downs with their kids but most of them don’t pray, apologize and then ask for forgiveness. You ARE a fantastic mom and your kids will respect you for admitting your failures while holding them accountable for theirs.

    XOXO

    1. Hi,

      I honestly have not read a blog that I can relate to as much as yours. Thank you SO much, for admitting your wrong doing with your children – that takes some guts. The last few years I’ve realized what damage I have been doing- due to my own impatience, high stress and aniexty. I only have one son, which I constantly remind myself… this SHOULD be easy. Look at everyone else, happy Mother’s, managing the household chores, full time jobs, cooking meals, etc and doing just fine with 4 children… and I only have one. And mine suffers because of my own stress and aniexty. I have been exactly where you are, apologizing , but then having long lasting guilt… everyday. People tell me I’m a good mom but I don’t feel like it. I don’t know what I am, honestly. I’ve always had a distorted view of myself… low self esteem, never thought highly of myself .. and rarely do I think highly of myself now. I am very hard on myself constantly noticing my faults. But loosing it on my kid I am 100% sure it is wrong and I feel so so guilty every time. I get “ personal” and mean with it sometimes. I criticize him, and what he has done. I cried reading your article about your son apologizing quickly to get you to stop- my boy is the exact same. Last year he was saying “I don’t like myself. I am a bad kid” and I literally felt like the worst parent in the world- literally like a piece of shit. I am same as you- I Always speak my mind- I talk soooo much. And I recognized awhile ago that my lectures are selfish, not helpful… only worsening the situation… making their aniexty worse, actually clouding the actual issue by bringing up other issues or talking for wayyyy too long. My son is 7 and I’ve been doing this since he was 4- POINTLESS! Why can’t I stop myself ? I am very aware how I am. But I can’t seem to completely correct the behaviour. My son is very forgetful, is “lazy” about things that aren’t important to him, and I say well you just don’t care and you don’t think or use your brain. SOOO MEAN. It’s his personality and I shouldn’t criticize him. Thank you so much for your blog.