Good Parenting: Learn Ways To Cope With Your Family’s Bad Moods

Sometimes holidays can be challenging. The Passover holiday was fun. Our family spent a lot of time together. I would like to tell you that it we all behaved and it was an idyll, serene time. However, I would be lying. We had lots of good times but quite often conflict reared its head. We all took turns being irritable and whiny (yes, even the adults), short tempered and peevish.

I used to get very upset when things were not always running smoothly and everyone was not on their best behavior. I finally came to the realization that family life is unpredictable. The instances where everyone is levelheaded and satisfied should be cherished as a gift. Bad moods, which usually occur at some point everyday, or at least once a week, need to be navigated with respect, empathy and acceptance.

This is easier said then done. Here are 2 great tips to help you manage those tough moments when you and your family members are in a bad mood:

1. Learn how to talk respectfully:

Families need to learn healthy communication and coping skills. It is imperative that parents learn ways to deal with the frustrations of everyday life with kids so they can act as role models. Yelling and lashing out at kids sends the wrong message. Children learn best by observing their parent’s behavior. Children will have an easier time getting along with their siblings, peers and others if they see their parents resolve conflicts appropriately.

In my classes I teach parents to use one of the most helpful, productive and effective communications tools, the “I” statement. Every member of the family can use this handy skill.

Instead of saying:

“You guys are acting like brats. Stop fighting right now!”

You can say:

“I am getting frustrated with all this fighting.”

“I am having trouble holding onto my patience with all the loud fighting going on around me.”

Children can also be taught to use “I” statements:

Instead of saying:

“You are so stupid!”

You can teach children to say:

“I get upset when you tease me about my questions.”

“I don’t like it when you touch my stuff without my permission!”

2. Take a breather:

When parent’s emotions are running high they should give themselves a break from their family. Parents can say, “Whoa, I am in a bad mood. I feel like yelling. Let me go into the other room and see if I can pull myself together.”

Parents can also teach this technique to kids and they can gently encourage each person in the family to find a quiet place to recharge.

Parents can say:

“Looks like you are getting really upset with your brother. Sometimes it helps to just move away and find a place to calm down.”

Family life is not always easy. Finding ways to get along and cope can ease the tensions that arise in every normal home and when your brood is spending a lot of extra time together.

To learn more ways to help you and your kids get along, Join us for our Parenting Simply workshop: “How To Manage Sibling Rivalry Without Losing Your Mind.” Visit us at for more information.

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