My kids are almost 2 and 5.

Both of them are going through a period of temper tantrums.

It’s annoying and frustrating. Especially when the elder one turns around and sets off the younger one, usually with a punch or a poke after being asked not to.

On my better days I stay calm and manage to get through the conflict.

But most days aren’t my better days.

Instead I can lose my cool and try to physically or vocally stop the conflict: It always increases it.

Doing the same negative behaviour

The irony is I’m often doing the exact thing I’m annoyed at my children for.

  • They act out because they are tired — I act out of tiredness
  • They shout at each other — I shout at them
  • They aren’t patient — I lose my patience.

I fail the same measure I evaluate them by.

On being the adult in the room

I realised this all about three months back.

My child was acting like a child (as should be expected) but I, the adult, was also acting like a child.

How did I expect my children to learn the values I wanted if I didn’t embody them myself as an adult?

So I made a change and used this mantra:

I am the adult in the room.

Any time I face these kinds of situations, I say those words to myself and force myself to respond like an adult.

I wish I could say this has been a magical panacea — it hasn’t — but it has helped. A lot.

I don’t know if this will help you, but as a parent, I know I could use all the help I can get.