It doesn’t matter if you have a newborn, toddler, small child, teen, or adult child, you will get annoyed at something they do. We’ll, newborns aren’t really that annoying…they are cute and don’t know what is going on, so nevermind them. But the rest of these kids? You better believe that they can get on our nerves, a lot. In this episode, we are going to share with you what to do when your child annoys you.
Let me describe a scenario that absolutely annoys me. See if you can relate. I have a pretty eventful date at work, calls, meetings, customers…I’m tired. I get home from work and walk toward my front door. I haven’t even gotten inside and at my front door is there is a bicycle that is supposed to go in the garage, muffin wrappers, and a pair of really muddy shoes. Now if I was a positive thinker I would look at that situation and say to myself, “wow look how good my kids are.” They came outside to eat instead of getting crumbs all over our entryway. They took their shoes off so they wouldn’t get mud in the house. They left the bike outside and didn’t bring it through the house.
But instead, I’m annoyed. I’m annoyed at my kids because they left a mess at the front door. I haven’t even gotten inside yet and I’m annoyed. We don’t need to go into detail about how this same mess is happening in other rooms. The important detail is that the house was cleaned yesterday. In less than 24 hours, these children have managed to cause havoc…and to annoy me.
So what do we do? Well, we YELL of course. “Get this bike out here. Clean up these wrappers, and hose off your shoes NOW!” That will teach them. This will never happen again….until tomorrow. Let’s get to the reason you are watching this video. You are saying to yourself “yep, my child is annoying” what can I do?
Here it goes, listen carefully: If your child annoys you, it is your problem. Let me repeat it because I that may not have been crystal clear: If your child annoys you, you are the one with the issue. This doesn’t mean your child doesn’t need to be taught what to do, what to say, or how to behave. It means we are responsible for our own feelings and how we react.
We actually get to decide how we feel. Two different people can walk up to that scenario I explained and have 2 completely different feelings. One can be totally annoyed, and the other can handle it calmly. How we react can also be determined by other unrelated interactions. Maybe you dealt with a difficult situation at work that day, maybe you received bad news about a friend. There are so many inputs that happen throughout the day. we have to be aware of how those inputs affect how we interact with our kids and could determine whether they annoy you or not. I’m making light of a very profound concept. It is easier than it sounds but I’m telling you if you can practice this and even just make a little progress, your life and how you interact with drastically improve.
How do we begin to make the choice? The choice that our child doesn’t annoy us. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Pause – Stop and notice that you are feeling or getting annoyed. Is your heart rate increasing, maybe you begin to breathe faster…notice the actual physical changes in your body
Breathe – Take an extra-long, deep breath. You just realized you are feeling annoyed so take a second with your pause and breathe.
Ask yourself; Why am I feeling this way? you may not have the exact answer right away but the answer can’t include your child. Meaning you can’t answer it with “Because my child made a mess”. In the example I gave about coming home to the stuff at the front door. I get annoyed because I like a clean house. I clean my things up and feel like others should too. I also have discussed this issue numerous times so there is a feeling of not being listened to.
Take responsibility for your feelings – Recognize it is your choice for feeling annoyed. Sure the house being a mess can be annoying but I don’t have to feel that way and let it ruin my evening. When you take responsibility for your feelings and just acknowledge them, you will be surprised at how often that negative feeling will just go away. I can’t tell you enough how powerful this concept is. You have complete control of how you feel and whether something annoys you or not. As I said, even if you can just do this some of the time, your life will improve. Being annoyed is not fun and people don’t want to be around you when you are annoyed. When you aren’t annoyed, you are better positioned to be a parent. You will be more effective in your parenting and ultimately be more loving toward your annoying little kids. 🙂
I would love to hear from you. What annoys you the most about your kids? Alan, if they have any comments or feedback, what should they do?