Now that's a loaded question, isn't it?
And one that I ask myself all the time.
So this morning I decided to answer it.
Why AM I so frustrated with my kids all the time?
Feeling frustrated almost always comes from believing that someone or something should be different than it is. "My kids should do what I ask them to do exactly when I ask them to do it" is what my brain was telling me. And believing that thought causes me to feel all sorts of frustrated. That word "should" is a tricky one. Watch your brain when it tries to convince you that someone or something should or shouldn't be a certain way.
So How do I stop feeling frustrated?
You just need to get your kids to start listening to you.
You just need to demand their respect.
Let me tell you why that won't work:
Because your kids will need to change in order for you to feel better.
And, if your experience with children has been anything like mine...
and I'm guessing it has been...
that doesn't usually happen.
And even if they did start doing exactly what you asked them to do
exactly when you asked them to do it---
your brain would find something else to be frustrated about.
It's very efficient like that.
The Only Thing that Needs to Change is Your Thinking
When I actually took the time to write out how I was feeling,
I laughed at that thought that was causing me so much frustration:
"They should do exactly what I ask them to do exactly when I ask them to do it."
It's kind of ridiculous, right?
I mean, should they do exactly what I ask them to do exactly when I ask them to do it?
I know one thing for sure--they don't.
What Can I Think Instead?
That's a good question.
I always like to turn thoughts like that (you know, ones that cause me to seethe in frustration) completely around.
"What if they SHOULDN'T? How is that true instead?
It's true because they don't.
So maybe just deciding that my kids SHOULD fail to do what I ask them to do
would release me from all the frustration I carry around.
What if, instead, I decided to think a different thought?
A thought like:
"Kids will be kids. And they won't always listen to their parents."
"I wonder why they aren't doing what I asked them to do? What is going on for them?"
"How could I find their lack of response to my request completely amusing?"
Humor will always feel better than frustration.
And of course, so will curiosity.
Give it a try.
I hope you have a frustration-free weekend, sister!