Kids are a handful. If you’re a single mom, you know that all too well. While my son and I have a very close relationship, there are times when he makes me want to rip my hair out. He’s four, that happens sometimes, it’s in their nature to misbehave and test their boundaries here and there. I have found myself saying, “Logan you are making Mommy really frustrated right now!” However, I realized just how wrong I really was. Yes, I am extremely frustrated with his behavior, but ultimately I am the one choosing to feel frustrated. He can’t “make” me feel that way. It’s ok to get frustrated with your kids, it inevitably will happen from time to time, but keep in mind that you are in charge of your own feelings. Instead say, “I need a little break right now because I am getting really frustrated.” This let’s your child know what you are feeling, without placing the blame on them for “making” you feel that way.
When you take ownership in your feelings you in turn teach your children to take ownership of theirs. No one can make them feel sad, it is something they have chosen to feel based on something that has happened. Teach them that it is ok to feel those feelings, but gently remind them that they can choose however they want to feel.
As single parents this can be a difficult concept. I can’t count the times I’ve gone crying to my friends telling them how angry my ex-husband has made me; or the times I’ve chosen to let people’s harsh judgments hurt my feelings. It is in our nature to feel certain ways when things happen. We feel grief when we’ve lost someone, we feel slighted when justice never seems to come, we feel guilt when we’ve done something wrong. However, if you really want to change the way you are feeling, you have the power to do so. No one can make you feel anything without your permission. You simply have to make the choice one way or the other. What are you going to feel today?