The freedom we now have to show our real colors, being that we are truly living the life that we have chosen for ourselves, shouldn’t be confused with behaving in ways that diminish other people’s personhoods. As parents of young children, there are a thousand times a day when we have really good reasons to lose it and to quit and to not care about doing a good job anymore. Kids are awesome, but they are tough! They wear us down and get on our nerves. If we wear our emotions on our sleeve, then we aren’t really teaching an effective way to handle feelings. This most likely is an area that we struggle in (emotions regulation), given that it’s been an ongoing challenge to maintain our preferred emotional equilibrium, but that doesn’t mean that it (our growing season of emotions regulation) has to get the best of us. A little awareness goes a long way, and a few seconds of deliberately-done slow thinking can be the difference between perpetrating unhealthy/unhelpful emotional cycles and putting into motion healthy/helpful emotional cycles. Put on a neutral (yet pleasant) face, use a neutral (yet warm) tone of voice, and stir in a good amount of patience (or as much of it as you can scrape up). This trying time with our kids won’t last forever because soon they will be on to another stage of growing up before we know it.