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Being a parent is a difficult but rewarding job. However, being a parent can test a person far more than anything else in the world, and in those moments in which you are about to lose your cool, it’s helpful to understand how to calm yourself.

We’ve all been there- we are stressed to the max, juggling chores, trying to get everything done, and our kids are acting crazy. Before we even realize it, we are about to snap. This is completely normal and happens to the best of us. Like I said, parenting is a hard job that can take you to your breaking point unlike anything else. With that in mind, here are 7 ways to remain calm.

1. Play it forward.

Think about what will happen if you snap. Imagine each next step, from you snapping, to your child’s reaction, then to yours and so on. It’s likely that you don’t want any of that to happen, so think before you act.

2. Take a time out.

Sometimes, when applicable, it’s best to walk away and clear your mind. Even if that means placing your child in their playpen or sending them to their room, so you can go into your room and calm down for 5 minutes, it can definitely help.

3. Think about which is more important- being happy or being right.

When caught up in the moment, and you have a tiny version of yourself arguing with you, it can be tempting to continue to assert your opinion onto them, to the point of anger. But, is that even worth it? Ask yourself, is it more important to maintain the peace, or be right?

4. Acknowledge your anger.

Say out loud, “This is making me upset. I am angry.” Acknowledging your emotions helps immensely when they become overpowering.

5. Ask yourself why you are so upset.

Take a moment, breathe in and out and then ask yourself “What is really making me upset?” Once you understand what it is that has triggered you, you can accept it and move forward.

6. Think snack, sleep, sick or snuggle?

Kids don’t act out for no reason. In most cases, they act out because they are hungry, sleep, don’t feel well, or want attention. Get to the bottom of that, and you will help alleviate the conflict before it gets out of hand.

7. Don’t expect too much from your child.

Ask yourself – “Am I expecting too much of my ____ year old?” Remember, kids brains aren’t fully developed until they are well into their 20’s, so expecting too much from them can result in feeling disappointed or frustrated in them.