Reader Question Answered- Tiffany!

I received a lot of feedback from article “The Deception of Success”  That topic really seemed to connect with a lot of you.  One reader sent me a question and with her permission I thought I would answer it here, in case others had a similar question.

I invite you to send me questions.  I would love for us to open up a dialogue here!

She wrote:

Good morning, Susan!

I was curious…how did you redirect your feelings in that

moment without showing how you were truly feeling?  That would

be a powerful moment.  Thank you for sharing so specifically!

Great question!

Let me give you a little background.  I used to be an angry mommy.  I used to get in my children’s faces.  I would shout.  I would stare them down.  I had all kinds of ways to show them I was upset.  One day  I encountered the scripture- “The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” James 1:20.  God was showing me that no amount of anger would ever cause REAL change to happen in my children’s hearts.   I don’t even think that reaches it.  No amount of anger would cause a REAL godly change to happen in my children’s hearts.  Deep down that’s what I really wanted.  I just didn’t always know how to achieve it, so I would get angry.

I committed before God my desire to stop being an angry mom.

I knew my children deserved better.  And I wanted better for myself.  I didn’t want to scare and intimidate the very people I love and adore.  However those same sweet cherubs could push a button in me that I didn’t even know existed.  I would have never considered myself an angry person, but yet there I was again glaring at my kids.  Tiffany, I needed the Lord to help me!

Through lots of prayer.  Many failings. And advice from friends and mentors I have developed many strategies to cope.

10 ways to redirect your feelings

1. Openly acknowledge that you need help.  I don’t mean that in a philosophical way.  I mean right in the middle of the situation.  When the tension is building,  stop.  Bow your head.  And out loud,  ask for God’s help.


2. Ask your child to repeat back what they think you are saying.  In all their getting I encourage my children to get understanding.


3. Ask yourself what would serving look like in that moment.  We are usually quite clear on what success would look like, but service takes a whole new focus.


4. Take 5.  Go to a new place.  Go outside.  Take a short walk.  Get a drink of water, use the restroom, then come back.


5. If time allows, come back to it later.  Whatever is causing the friction, maybe it can be completed at a later time.  It’s okay to put it down and walk away.  “People first then things”– you will hear me say that a lot around my house.


6. Find something praise-worthy in my child in that moment.  Praise some character trait I see (or want to see more) in them.  “ I am so proud of your hard work, focus, attentiveness, creativity- as you work on this. “  {{{hug}}}


7. Remember that your frustration can last but a moment, but your reaction to your frustration could last a lifetime.


8. Physical touch.  Rub their back, hold their hand, sit them on your lap, while you continue to talk to them.  It is harder to be upset while rubbing someone’s back or rocking them on your lap.  Physical touch has a way of calming your emotions.


9. Ask for another perspective.  It is not uncommon for me to ask my husband or my other children for perspective.  If I am not seeing eye-to-eye with one child, I will ask for input from others.  The family has observed the way I interact.  Am I not speaking clearly?  Am I assuming too much? The key is I ASK for their input.  Caveat– My children are not free to analyze my parenting and share their opinions all wily-nilly.  I love them, but there’s only one mama in the house.  If they have concerns about my management style, I encourage them to pray to God first.  Then if it still needs to be addressed, come and talk to me.  I promise to listen, but that does not mean I will change my mind.


10. Don’t forget that conflict is going to happen again and again.  One key to successfully managing conflict is to get a plan together BEFORE the conflict happens.  For example, “ When I feel frustrated with my child,  I will 1. Stop talking. 2. Pray out loud. And 3 share something praise-worthy . “

Tiffany, I hope that gives you a deeper understanding of how to shift from a focus on success to a focus on service.  I champion and applaud you as you become the mom you always wanted to be and the mom your sweet Lacie deserves.

Anyone else?

Send a question.  I will answer it in a future newsletter

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