Expert Parenting Advice
Practical parenting tips and advice from experts around the world

When your kids are irritating

The main reason your kids are irritating you.

My kids were so irritating this morning.

Super loud. Yelling and running around shouting at each other. Not coming when I call them, and then jumping all over me when I tell them to go away.

After finally getting them to school, I was very worked up. So I sat down with a big cup of coffee and thought about why I found them so irritating this morning.

That's when I realized...they were acting the same way they act every morning.

The only thing that was different...was me. I went to bed late last night, woke up late this morning, didn't go to gym, and didn't do my morning meditation.

I realized that my kids weren't irritating. Rather, I was irritated.

Often we parents focus our attention on our kids and what they are doing wrong. But the fact is that kids will act like kids. They will shout and fight and yell and play. We can't do anything about that.

What we can do something about is ensuring that we take care of ourselves.

Dr. Rosina McAlpine, CEO of Win Win Parenting, told me this when I interviewed her for our book How To Get Kids To Listen:

One of the things that I think is the most important for parents is self-care. And the reason why I say that is, the more joy, the more happiness, the more health a parent has, the kinder, more empathic, the more loving, the more patient the parent is.

We’ve got to get rid of this notion that self-care is selfish. Because in fact, when I take care of myself, I am the best version of myself, for me, for my family, for my community, for my partner, if I have one, for my workplace.

So, the two-step process only works if the parent is in a good way and managing emotions as well.

I would say, take care of yourself, so that you can be at your best and regulating your emotions, because we know that when we lose it, when we’re angry, when we’re frustrated, when we’re unkind, when we’re not empathic, that’s when everything goes pear shaped

So, if you ever feel bad about taking care of your own needs first, remember this: taking care of your own needs is taking care of your kids.

Take care of yourself is not selfish. In fact, it is the opposite of selfish, because by taking care of yourself, you are taking care of your kids and your family.

In the interview with Dr. Rosina, she shares a simple two-step process that you can teach your kids to manage their emotions and solve their problems.

She also shares how you can use this process to for yourself, to help you stay in control and deal with everything your kids can throw at you.