Every parent has those moments they’re not proud of — the time when, for whatever reason, they just lost it. Maybe the kids tried to push their buttons and it worked. Maybe it was already a high-stress situation, and the little ones just toddled in at the wrong time. Or maybe something was building up for a while, and it finally reached a boiling point. While blowing your lid every once in a while comes with the territory of parenting and is something you can get past, it’s never fun when you fail to keep your cool.
Carla Naumburg, Ph.D. and author of the newly released and aptly titled How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids, wants parents to learn how to open the release valve on those tense moments. “Remember, your kids are probably not trying to antagonize you,” she says. “They’re just doing what kids do. It’s really our job as parents to get ourselves calm enough so we can react to our kids in helpful ways.” Here’s how.