Have you ever had monster moments?
If you have, then the idea of managing your monster moments may sound pretty good. Even better? Preventing them.
The more time I’ve spent on the subject of anger (this is day 29 of 31 days, ahem) the more unattractive the whole anger thing is to me.
I did a Google image search for angry women. There is not a single image of someone looking all hot and sexy in her rage. They all look like monsters.
I scrolled through the photos of my adorable sweet children and spotted the photo evidence of temper tantrums gone by. It’s amazing how much their little faces would change from one photo to the next.
I got really brave and asked my husband to snap some photos of me the next time I was yelling.
This was probably the single worst idea I’ve ever had.
Imagine how I responded when, in the midst of a perfectly good rant, my husband whipped out his phone and started taking photos of me. You actually see the transformation from angry to angrier to… whatever it is you call it when the vein pops out of my forehead and my eyes turn funny.
My anger turned me into a monster.
The photos have been deleted. No one needs to see that kind of ugly.
But in the spirit of the thing, I decided to re-enact the photos for you.
I’ve been thinking.
You know I’ve been keeping a yelling journal over the past six weeks or so. About two weeks ago, I started jotting down some yelling victories as well. There started to be times when I recognized I would have previously been having a mommy tempter tantrum, but somehow managed not to.
I’m not talking about the victories where I chose to walk over to get my son’s attention rather than yell at him. Those are cool, but those aren’t monster moments.
I’m talking about the monster moments. The times where I could have easily morphed into something that resembles a halloween mask… but didn’t.
I spent some time looking at THOSE victories. I found a few things worth sharing.
3 Simple Ideas to Tame your Tantrum
The mommy time out thing works. Instead of screaming my head off the instant I discover the problem, taking two minutes to calm down and think things through works wonders. I realized that whatever was wrong had been wrong before I discovered it. Discipline or fixing or cleaning could wait until I stopped seeing red.
Walking away from my kids when they KNEW they had done wrong was powerful. It gave them time to think too. They used that time to start cleaning up the problem and figuring out what to appologize for. What started out a tension filled monster moment quickly turned into a positive learning experience for the whole family.
Yes, chocolate caramels work wonders. I’m not talking about the small stash of sea salt dark chocolate caramel supremes I keep hidden on the top shelf of the pantry (although I wish I was). Hiding in our pantry to grab a quick chocolate break does provide a mommy time out. What works even better are the chocolate caramels for the soul.
Prayer works. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Time after time, God hears my cry
Lord, help me! I don’t want to lose it. Shut my mouth and give me words.
When I’ve fed my soul with a few key scriptures then I’m much more likely to cry out for help when I need it most. The ones like Ecclesiastes 7:9 “Don’t become angry quickly, because getting angry is foolish” work well.
Think it out.
My friend’s four simple words keep coming back to me.
it’s not worth it.
Keep things in perspective. Consciously choose to value maintaining relationships over maintaing things. Prioritize people over property.
The key is to remember that whatever has me angry at that very second isn’t worth the long-term hurt that my monster moment will cause.
It’s your turn.
What works for you in those moments before the monster comes out? How do you tame your inner monster?