I raised my voice at my kids the other day. Before 7AM. Here I am, the positive behavior lady, and I raised my voice at my small humans who really don’t deserve it.

So why am I confessing this to you? Why would I reveal such a thing? Gasp! Because it happens. To all of us. As moms, we lose our cool. We fly off the handle. We lose our temper.

Is that it, then? That’s the end of the road for us as moms? Am I know just a yelling mom? Are you just an angry mom?

NO! We are moms who get overwhelmed and exhausted just like everyone else. I’m sharing this story with you to show you how easy it can be to turn things positive. Even after yelling. Even first thing in the morning.

When you find yourself at the end of your patience with your kids, what can you do to salvage the day? How can you get your kids to quit acting out and start listening? Is it even possible?

Yes, it’s possible. We can totally turn things positive- even in the moment!- when we use positive behavior strategies.

Here’s what I did that morning. I told my family that I needed a few minutes and a cup of coffee to myself to help me calm down. I used the phrase “help me calm down” on purpose since that’s something we say for our girls when they are upset. Which is every day of course.

Then after I had a few minutes to breathe and sip a delicious coffee, I talked calmly to my kids. I reviewed the morning behavior expectations and talked to them about what they can earn for having a better day tomorrow- privileges such as screen time, extra time with a favorite toy, etc.

I then discussed with them our plan for the day- which included fun things- and talked about how their behavior affects that plan. So we reviewed behavior expectations for the day and agreed that we were all now ready to start the day. Re-do!

We had a great rest of the day. We practiced more of that morning behavior closer to bedtime and even used a little behavior skills training. The next morning the kids earned their reward. And we were back on track!

Steps for mom when we are super frustrated:

  1. Say it out loud that you need to pause.
  2. Stop and think about what you want your children to do instead.
  3. When all parties are calm, tell them what you want them to do instead.
  4. What can your child earn for doing this other thing instead?
  5. Follow through on whatever you promised.


You don’t have to teach them a lesson or handle things right there in that moment. In fact, that’s the worst time to be teaching anything at all.

Pause, mama. Take a breather. Remove yourself. Then address it with a clear head. Think of what amazing conflict resolution skills you are modeling for your kids! Think of how much better they will learn to regulate big emotions when they are upset if you show them how to pause and give yourself a break.

Give yourself a second chance. Tell your kids that this is the second chance for them. Call it a re-do, a do-over, whatever. You all get another shot at things.

I turned things positive the other morning and salvaged the day that started off poorly. It turned into a really great day with legit family memories made.

You can turn things positive, too.


Intentional Parenting Workbook & Video Series

Moms- identify your values, define your hopes for your kids, and set realistic goals for each family member for 2020. 

The goal planning workbook and video series will be sent to you via email beginning January 6, 2020.