Yesterday afternoon I started to feel irritated, for various reasons. I began to micromanage my son as he did his assigned chore, demanding that he re-do it three times until I considered it “perfect.” Already ornery, I walked upstairs and learned that my daughter had not begun her math assignment–which meant I soundly berated her for wasting her time. Annoyed at the smaller children for having made a mess in the master bedroom, I refused to help when they asked for my assistance. I could feel my anger growing and knew that this bad mood was threatening to suffocate the life out of my afternoon.
Thankfully, I did something about it! Remembering the little I’ve read about cognitive behavioral processes, I decided to try to consciously alter my mood. The strategy I chose for myself was: “Do something productive!” (Which perfectionist doesn’t love that?!). I headed straight for my den, looking for a “project.” I saw one waiting for me when I got there: a newspaper article I had been intending to scan and email to my family. I set to work, accomplished my little feat, and was almost instantly in a better mood! I apologized to my kids at dinner for having been such a jerk, and then gave them some personal time with me before bed.
Three cheers for mood management!
Thankfully, I get angry at my kids much less often than I used to. I’ll post the story of “why that is” soon.