Okay. I'm a monster three-days before my period. I've said it before and I'm admitting it again. It's awful! I hate it because I feel like a different person and my blood boils almost immediately - there is no chill-out time. Talk about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. So, as I'm in the throws of my alter-pre-menstrual ego, one morning at breakfast Preston says to me, "I'm thinking I don't have much of a relationship with you anymore." Dagger to the heart. And URGH to my PMS non-tongue-biting impulse that I know was the underlying cause of this comment! I told him that he was certainly entitled to his feelings but I needed to know why he felt like that. He didn't have an answer for me but I knew from the moment he said it where the issue was stemming from - off-the-cuff blow-up's.
Kids are not motivated by anger nor do they see through it as to why you are angry. I may be angry when the kids break one of my glass bowls because they were throwing a ball in the house which is against house rules (because ironically, stuff breaks. Crazy, I know); but they only hear that you don't like them. Have you ever had your kid storm off in their own fit - after you throw yours- and say, "You just hate me!" In fact, I totally have a memory of doing that to my Dad. Anger decreases your influence and your influence is all you have. This is why popular parenting techniques have you remove the child from the situation, (or yourself) and stop the bad behavior by timing them out (1-2-3 Magic) or use empathy with a natural consequence (Love and Logic). Both of which allow for time for you to cool off before you say something really stupid which then warrants some damage control. My son has been seeing my lack of a patience as less love for him and therefore, a weakening relationship. On the up-side, what a wonderful reminder that I'm the adult and that I do have control of me. And now I get to have some one-on-one game time with my little guy to fit in some positives and a little fun.