Let’s talk about triggers.

I define triggers as “anything that makes it more likely that you’re going to lose your shit with your kids.”

These can include stressors, insecurities, big feelings, or distractions that make our buttons big, shiny, sensitive, and super-duper-pushable. (And we all know what kids do when they see a button, don’t we? PUSH PUSH PUSHITY PUSH.)

Getting a handle on our triggers is a necessary, if not sufficient, first step towards managing our tempers. It may be anxious thoughts, chronic pain, stress at work, or a difficult conversation with a friend or family member. These experiences set us on edge, which is definitely not the space we want to parent from.

Once we become aware of our triggers, we can either ditch them (if possible) or take steps to manage or reduce them. Each time we take care of ourselves in this way, we’re reducing our stress, increasing our patience and flexibility, and shutting down the power to our buttons, making them far less pushable.

If you’re having a hard time identifying your triggers, here are some of the most common ones:

  • Chronic exhaustion
  • Anxiety
  • Multitasking
  • Smartphones and social media
  • Major life changes

Many of us aren’t aware of the connection between these triggers and our parental shit-loss, but it is a powerful one. I dive deep into triggers, buttons, and how we can take care of ourselves in my new book, How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids. It hits shelves on August 20, and you can pre-order your copy now.

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