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Lately, parenting has been a struggle. Perhaps it’s the anxiety of having a seriously ill grandmother, or maybe it’s the end of the year burn-out or the excitement of the holidays. Regardless, I’ve had epic battles with my children, and I haven’t handled myself well.

I’ve yelled.

I’ve been sarcastic.

I’ve disciplined rather than guided.

I’ve put myself before my children.

When I screw up and blow it with my kids, I feel awful. The guilt and burden of my less than ideal approach are suffocating.

Perhaps it’s because of my screw-ups that I’ve learned these strategies to make amends. Regardless, I want to share these tips with you because no matter what you do… you will screw up and we need to know how to recover.

Check out these 5 things you should do after you've blown it with your kids. #parenting Click To Tweet

1. Cool down.

Whenever there’s a major blow up, everyone, including myself, needs to cool down. Having some time away from one another is critical. The time away helps to calm nerves and reflect on how to proceed.

I like to cool down by putting on my headphones and listening to a worship song, or I may read my Bible while riding the exercise bike or I may simply cry and pray.

Take a few minutes away and nourish your body, mind, and soul.

2. Apologize.

One of the essential steps in parenting is letting our kids know that we’re flawed. Being honest and transparent with our children, lets them know that we are human, we screw up, we’re not perfect, and that we don’t expect them to be perfect.

Get down on your knees and tell your child you messed up.

Whether you yelled, insulted them, punished them over a trivial issue, whatever it is… tell them you are sorry for your behaviour.

However, I want to clarify something. If your child has done something wrong, apologizing for your reaction does not let your child off the hook for their disobedience. This action lets your child know that you feel grieved at the way you responded to their behaviour. It lets them know that you will take responsibility for your behaviour, the same way that you want them to take responsibility for their behaviour.

3. Tell them you love them.

It’s essential our children know that we love them no matter what they do. You don’t want your child to live a life thinking that they will be hated if they screwed up and loved if they do right. No one wants to live that way! Tell them you love them no matter what and…

4. Show them you love them.

Whether it’s a hug, a cuddle, reading a book or spending time together… let them know that you value them by spending time with them.

5. Forgive yourself.

This is a tough one for me. I often hold myself accountable for too long. The grief I feel then compounds, and I end up feeling worse. When I feel worse, I lash out, and I continue to mishandle situations. It’s a vicious circle, and it needs to be broken.

You are going to screw up. If you choose to live in guilt and frustration with yourself, you’ll never see a breakthrough. Forgive yourself and move on.

Looking forward.

I never feel good after I lose my cool with my kids, but these strategies help put me on the right track.

My #1 way to avoid blow ups and let downs is to pour love on my children. When they have done something upsetting, these are the moments that I try to move in close and offer a snuggle or a hug. Physical contact does something to my brain… it reminds me that I love this little person exceedingly more than the walls they coloured, the tantrum they threw, or the words they used. That one pause and embrace calms me and helps me proceed with grace.

While I still have moments when I blow it, my fuse isn’t as short when I’m loving and connected to my children.

How do you handle things when you lose it with your kids? Is there something you do that I haven’t mentioned? I invite you to take a few moments and share your thoughts.



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Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly
Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, creator of The Deliberate Mom, and Deliberate Homeschooling. Jennifer writes about parenting, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care.

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