How I Stopped Being an Angry Homeschool Mom
Are you an angry homeschool mom?
Have you said or done things in your homeschool that you’d be ashamed to share with your friends (or even your spouse)?
Do you hate how easily homeschooling can trigger your anger and frustration?
Let me tell you, Homeschool Mama, you are not alone!
I am going into my 4th year of homeschooling, and I have never met another homeschool mom who has not struggled with anger as a homeschooling parent.
It is sooooooooo common!
As a matter of fact….
I Used To Be an Angry Homeschool Mom
I am ashamed to admit it, but yes I have made my daughter cry in our homeschool.
I have yelled.
I have snapped at my kids.
I have rolled my eyes.
I have sighed.
I have crossed my arms and thrown a hip out while telling my kid to repeat an assignment.
I have thrown my hands up in frustration and anger when I don’t get the reaction I want from my kids.
I have been there, and I completely understand.
Why Do Homeschool Moms Get Angry?
We decided to homeschool our kids – so obviously we love them and want what’s best for them!
The last thing we want is to create tension in our home and relationships with our kids.
When we started this homeschooling journey, we thought it would be full of educational discovery and excitement…how did it turn into power struggles and slammed doors?
Well, there are a lot of reasons for this. You probably already know all of them by heart, but I still want to list them.
I want you to see and take into account the things you are carrying…every…day.
Homeschool moms are more prone to anger because:
We are with our kids all day long, so we rarely get time to ourselves for a break.
There is no daycare to watch our little ones.
We have no lunch lady to prep the meals.
There are no substitute teachers to step in when we have an appointment.
No janitor to pick up the house at night.
No principal to send the disruptive kids.
Our greatest moments of triumph are rarely witnessed or celebrated by anybody. The day just goes on and it’s time to make dinner or drive to an extracurricular.
We sometimes feel like our non-homeschooling friends and relatives are waiting for us to fail.
We have tabled our careers and future so that we can educate our children. It doesn’t make us feel like our sacrifice is very appreciated when our kids crumple to the floor in a whiny tantrum when asked to do their schoolwork.
Why Homeschool Moms HAVE to Get Their Anger Under Control
Just because all of the above things (and many more) are true, does not mean we can be free to have a reign of anger in our homeschool.
Left unchecked, our anger can destroy the very thing we are trying to build.
All of the time, sacrifice, money, and effort will be thrown out the window if the person running the homeschool continues to operate in a consistent pattern of anger.
Not to mention, we are teaching our children every day how they should handle their anger and other emotions.
One of the very first homeschool parents I ever met was in the process of putting her young daughter back in school because homeschooling was “ruining their relationship.”
I talked to another parent last year who took six months off of homeschooling because they could not control their anger during lessons.
So what are we supposed to do?
Is their hope?
Yes! You can stop being an angry homeschool mom. I did it and you can too.
I am not a psychologist or other such expert, but I can share with you my experience and what has worked for me over the years.
Below are the 6 strategies that I used to stop being angry and start being the homeschool mom I want to be.
How I Stopped Being an Angry Homeschool Mom
1. Learn to Recognize Your Early Signs of Anger
When I get angry, I feel my jaw and chest tighten. I also start to feel physically hot as frustration and anger start to boil inside of me.
When these feelings well up in me during school hours (or really anytime) – I have learned that I need to do something immediately.
Nothing I have said or done when I felt like that has ever turned out positive.
I need to pause for a little bit of time in order to make adult decisions that I’m proud of.
***I’ll talk more in the below tips about what to do with that pause.
What are your anger signals?
Are there warning signs that tell you that you need to take an adult time out?
Do you feel a physical reaction as your anger starts to mount?
Do you have anger triggers that “get you every time?”
Learn to identify the warning signs of anger and pause – and you’ll be well on your way to being a more peaceful homeschool mama!
2. Identify Patterns that Make You Angry and Change Them
Once you hone in on your early anger signals, start looking for a pattern or cycle (no, not that cycle) to your anger rearing its ugly head.
I began to realize that my fuse was really short in the morning.
My kids would get up, I’d put breakfast on the table, hang out for a little bit with them, and then go get ready for the school day.
Like clockwork, my kids would start arguing with each other, getting into trouble, coming into my room when I needed a moment of privacy, and other such disruptive and irritating behaviors.
I would get snappy, the kids would be grumpy, and our day was off to a rough start.
I began to notice this pattern and I decided to change my behavior. I either have to wake up earlier or get ready later in the day.
When I did that, our day went MUCH better.
Do you find you’re getting angry in patterns?
Is it a certain time of day?
After or before a certain event?
When something does or doesn’t happen?
Maybe you need to do schoolwork during a different time of day.
Maybe you need to turn off your phone until school is over.
Maybe you need to plan more snack breaks so people don’t get hangry.
Maybe you need to start a daily quiet time in your homeschool routine.
Maybe you need to find pockets of alone time in your homeschool day to rest and recharge.
Whatever it is, try to trace the pattern and see what you can do to avoid the anger before it begins…again.
3. What Would You Expect a Teacher to Do?
Think about a time where your kid was really pushing your buttons during school.
Now imagine them doing the same thing in a traditional school setting.
How do you think a school teacher should handle it?
How would you feel if you could see the teacher acting towards your child the way that YOU do in those situations?
Imagine she rolled her eyes, sighed heavily, snapped, made a dismissive comment, yelled, or did any other similar behavior towards your child.
You’d probably be pretty angry at her for treating your kid that way. You might even report her inappropriate behavior and try to get your child moved from his/her classroom.
So why is it okay if you treat your child that way in your home?
Hint: It’s not!
Once you have identified your anger signs and learned to pause – take a moment to pretend you are a teacher in a traditional classroom.
How would you act differently with someone else’s kid?
How would your face be different?
How would your tone change?
Pretend you are that woman and handle your kid the way you would expect any other authority figure to handle them.
4. Imagine a Camera Crew Following You
For some of us, it would be our worst nightmare to have a video published of us “parenting” one of our kids.
We don’t want people to see our angry moments because we KNOW they are wrong and embarrassing. We want people to think we are happy, controlled, and peaceful – especially in the homeschool setting – even if that’s not entirely the truth.
Right or wrong, that describes most of us…and your Facebook posts prove it.
When I am feeling my patience tested, I pause and then imagine a camera crew is standing behind me just waiting to upload my “parenting” video to Youtube for the entire world to see.
Do I want to look like the impatient, frustrated, angry, erupting monster that I feel like?
Or do I want to look like a loving, self-controlled mom who is patient, understanding, and good at listening?
I take a moment to think about what I would want this video to show the world.
What kind of parent would you like to show the world?
Who are you really?
What kind of parent do you wish you were?
Show your kids the same parent, whether you’re in front of the world or behind closed doors.
5. Take a Total Break
In my days in the army, we would have called this “break contact.”
If you feel that your anger is too out of control to continue with your lessons, I recommend using that pause to initiate a short break from your kids.
Nothing you’re going to say in that time period will be helpful or fruitful anyways.
What does this look like when you’re all stuck in the same house?
In an intentionally calm and normal voice tell your kids, “Mom is feeling angry and I don’t want to feel this way. Let’s take a break and all go to our rooms for a few moments to calm down.”
Or you might say, “I am having a lot of feelings right now and I want to handle them the best way I can. I need you to go to your room, and I’ll come talk to you in a few moments.” If you can, I would even hug your kid before they go to their room.
I find that just taking 5-10 minutes helps me to defuse my anger significantly.
I am able to control my face and voice so much better when I give myself some time to get perspective.
6. Teach Anger Management to Your Kids – By Example
I do not claim to be a homeschooling Dr. Phill over here, but I have found this strategy to be tremendously effective in keeping calm as a homeschool parent.
I decided to be very intentional to teach my kids about anger – and I do that by showing them my example.
We are together constantly, so there are a lot of opportunities!
When I get angry, I tell them in a calm voice what I am feeling.
I’ll say to them in a normal voice with soft eyes, “I’m starting to feel angry. I need to take some time to myself and then I want to come back and talk.”
When we talk, I usually lead the discussion about communication (which is typically what causes the anger in the first place).
I’ll say something like, “This is what I saw/felt/heard today…..what did you see/feel/hear today?”
While talking we usually unravel the problem and fix it with minimal tears or hurt feelings.
As homeschool parents, we take on the responsibility of teaching math, reading, and writing – why not anger management?
Isn’t that something that can make or break their careers? Friendships? Marriages? And other relationships?
By being intentional with teaching how to deal with anger appropriately, it keeps me accountable for my actions and words.
How can I talk about how they handle themselves…if I am having adult tantrums of raised voices, rapid speech, and crazy eyes??
Recap How to Stop Being an Angry Homeschool Mom
Do I still get angry?
Not being an angry homeschool mom does not mean you never get angry.
We are humans, and anger is just an emotion that all of us have to deal with.
I have just figured out a way to handle anger so that it doesn’t turn me into a monster, scare my kids, or destroy my homeschool day.
How you deal with anger is something that will make a tremendous difference in your homeschool.
Did I miss anything?
Please share in the comments what you use to keep your head during a chaotic homeschool day!
We’d all love to hear it!
Want to tuck this away for later? Totally get it. Just pin this to your favorite Pinterest board and share it with your homeschool friends and followers!
Fantastically true, honest and just what I needed to hear today! Thank you.
I too really needed to read this today. I’m homeschooling my son and have been feeling like I may have made the wrong choice, because I get so frustrated when I feel like he’s not meeting his potential or trying his hardest. I then get angry and he gets upset and I can tell he feels bad and wants to shut down, then I feel bad for being too hard on him. I’ve prayed for God to help me find patience, and to guide me to be the example I wish to be. I can see the way I get frustrated manifesting in the way my son expresses his feelings and I tell him no tantrums. I see now, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing myself! Thank you for taking the time to write this so other homeschool mamas can come across this on a hard day!
Thanks for this post-Lauren, it really hit home for me. My son and I renamed December, “Deep Breath December”. We take brain breaks, or when we truly feel frustration, we walk to the stop sign. Once we get to the stop sign, about 2 blocks down, we both smack it. Once we head back home, all is forgotten, no dwelling… we move forward. I like the image of being recorded, or how you would feel if a teacher treated your child less than professional. Its taken me alot of work to find my chill center, but without hard work, what else is there??!!
Kelli, thank you for sharing! It sounds like you could teach your own anger management class. Your son and your homeschool will benefit so much from all that hard work! 🙂
Thank you so much. You have such good tips and advice.
I read this article yesterday and implemented it immediately. Yesterday was SO different. My youngest even said, “thank you for homeschooling me.” Thank you for being so honest, and helping the rest of us be the parent/teacher our kids deserve.
I’ve read a lot of blogs about how to deal with anger as a mom, but this one is my favorite!! Can’t wait to try these tomorrow so I can feel less like a monster and more like a teacher being filmed by Dr. Phil. Thank you!
Really needed to read this today, thank you for such wonderful tips and suggestions. Blessings!
thank you so much. an answered prayer! im not doing homeschooling now but because of Pandemic Im back in teaching my kids. Im a preschool teacher but Im really different with my own kids. so thank you so much for this.
This is such a great piece to read! Thank you for this post, encouragement, and tips for improvement! I make sure to let my Littles know that parents makes mistakes, too! God works on me daily🙌🏻
Brandy, I’m so glad the post was helpful to you! Yes, we all need Jesus to help us make wise choices – especially parents! 🙂
I really needed this today!!! Thank you so much. I prayed and asked God to just calm me today. I felt like a total failure as a mom.
Here you come with this post today, God is awesome.
Thank you once again.☺
Karin, That is so great to hear! God is awesome and you are so welcome!