Losing Control of Your Daily Life?

Posted January 6, 2016 by

Losing Control of Your Daily Life?

As a parent, are you frustrated that you’ve lost control and freedom in your day-to-day life? This is something a lot of people feel, but not many talk about.

Things that used to be easy – going to the grocery store, deciding what to watch on TV, visiting Grandma – can be challenging and sometimes just don’t happen.

A friend recently shared this story. She has a two-and-a-half-year-old and a six-month-old, and she had plans to meet a girlfriend at a nearby bakery. As she lifted her toddler into the stroller, he began to scream and arch his back. After several tries, and with a toddler howling in the driveway, she had to cancel her plans.

My friend described her reaction to me:

  • Adrenaline because her son’s screaming made her heart race.
  • Anger because she wanted him to behave.
  • Sadness because she wanted to leave the house.
  • Embarrassment because neighbors were outside and could see everything.

Sound familiar? A lot of parents have had experiences like this, both big and small. Whether it’s a trip to the bakery, a simple meal you wanted to eat together, or a family vacation you planned for months, you suddenly find that your best-laid plans are falling apart.

In these situations, it’s helpful to focus on the present moment and what will help you stay calm. This allows you to assess the situation and decide what to do next. Can you make your original plan go forward with a little more work? Is it time to find a compromise? Or do you need to completely retreat and talk to your child at a later, calmer time?

One of the most difficult things to accept as a parent is that you cannot control your children, only your own reaction. It’s okay (and normal) to have feelings of frustration and sadness when your plans are not going as you hoped. The goal is to take care of yourself so you can calmly think through next steps that are under your control. Hopefully you arrive at a solution that works for you.

This article is a great resource if you are working on calm parenting: How to Get Control When Your Child is Making You Angry.

In the end, my friend went inside and called her girlfriend. She brought coffee over and they all played outside. Not exactly what she wanted, but a good compromise.

Have you had an experience like this? You’re in good company here, share your story if you like!

Best wishes for your week,

Rebecca W., Empowering Parents Coach

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Rebecca Wolfenden is a loving Momma to her son and a dedicated 1-on-1 Coach. She earned her degree in Social Work from West Virginia University and has been with Empowering Parents since 2011. Rebecca has experience working with children and families in home settings and schools, and has extensive practice working with people of all ages who have survived significant emotional and physical trauma.

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  1. Baby Monitor Team Report

    Being a parent is exhausting. When you grow up, show respect to your parents while they are alive. They deserve it more than you think.

  2. penniemmi Report

    Been praying fervently to the good Lord,  seeking  guidance (as an older parent,  53), in rearing  my 13 (in 2 weeks) year old daughter with whom, and for all intents and purposes am raising alone. Not only has SHE been diagnosed with ODD(Oppositional Defiance Disorder), a learning disability, and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), and receives special ed @ school, but I, too suffer these same afflictions, as well, so u can only imagine the battles I face on a daily basis! Add to the mix my Bipolar Disorder and anxiety issues +now, her puberty/teen years, and BAM, we have a perfect recipe for disaster!!  I am at my wits end and want to thank/praise HIS name for sending me to this site!!!   Hope to find the support and feedback I so desperately need to handle/deal with these issues. I am absolutely dreading the next 6-7 years ahead and need to nip this in the bud, if that’s possible, and before it’s too late!  She has been on Riddlin for some months now with no significant results to speak of.  Both of our behaviors have gotten out of hand and I admit saying(yelling) some pretty awful things to her.. which I immediately ask forgiveness from God for.  Am I doing more damage than good? Most definitely!   PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Exacerbating the situation, is living in near poverty with government assistance and Section 8 housing.  I have acquired some physical limitations and having trouble finding a suitable work environment, Lord knows I am trying my best to become gainfully employed but to no avail. I am very depressed and lacking in self esteem at this point, and do not know where to turn next. Am open to all suggestions…

  3. Stasia Report

    Yes, I feel this way a lot. I understand that it has to do with my expectations, that when they are not met, I feel the same emotions described in the article. I have an 8 year old and 3 year old, both boys, and my youngest is so, ahem, spirited, that we constantly butt heads (we also happen to be a lot alike!). Understanding does not prevent my frustration but reading this reminds me that I should try to find a way to maintain control. Thank you.
    And for parents that never feel this way, I believe u must be wired differently and that’s ok. My problems may not be your problems but everyone has something. Don’t judge.

  4. Mr Goldy Report

    I need help I can’t get through to my sixteen year old son he’s agressive abusive and manipulative any advice or where to go would help

  5. Butterfly6927 Report

    Hi I have a 15yr old daughter and I divorced her father 10yrs ago , a year ago my ex decided she could have a boyfriend with out my consent and a few months after I found out she started to have sex I was so mad and sad , wen her father found out he got mad and broke the relationship now she depressed , not eating and just sad and keeping to her self… What can I do to make her overcome this obstacle it’s been 2months now.

    • Empowering Parents Coach drowden Report

      What a distressing situation. I can hear how worried and
      concerned you are for your daughter. Break-ups can be tough at this age.
       If you are concerned your daughter might be depressed, it may be
      beneficial to make an appointment with her doctor or primary care provider. Her
      doctor would be in the best position to determine if any evaluations would be necessary. We
      appreciate you writing in and wish you the best of luck moving forward. Take

  6. Donela Report

    Ridiculous. When did children start controlling adults behavior. Only thing learned here is parent will change plans in response to terrible behavior

  7. Daughter of Yahweh Report

    zlThis article is sent from God to me right now. I have a two and a half year old who drives me absolutely insane. Add to that and one and a half year old who is not as wild, but still has her challenges. I have realize that I do need to remain calm in these situations. It is a challenge but it is something I am improving on. It does help me to back out of the situation and calm my nerves. Instead of having that hopeless helpless feeling I am learning to remove myself from the situation go calm down and then come back and reevaluate. I love this site and I am so grateful I signed up for it The advice is sound advice And it would greatly benefit anyone who needs help and rearing their children.

  8. Firefly Report

    I have a 15 year old step daughter who lives with me alone because her mother doesn’t want her and her father whom I’m married to works 5 hours away, so he is never around. I caught her having sex in my bed with this 17 year old guy that’s not her bf. She steals my personal belongings, I had to put a lock on my bedroom door. She swears, she doesn’t clean up after herself. She parties and drinks, gone all weekend without hearing from her. I don’t know what to do anymore, I’m at the point that I want her back at her moms, but her mom doesn’t want the responsibility.

  9. Bob and Norma Eubanks Report

    Our 15 year old son is failing in 2 classes in 9th grade and was suspended for two days for leaving campus without permission with two other boys. He won’t listen.

    • Melissa Report

      I’ve been dealing with a similar situation with my 15 year old daughter. A good friend reminded need that I’m not the one who will have to go to summer school or repeat 9th grade, and to drop the rope on the tug of war. I now ask her once to do homework, and if she refuses, I remind her that I’m not the one that will have to do those things, so it’s her choice. Making failure a “choice” has made a huge difference for us. I don’t help her out of trouble at school when she breaks a rule. I back up the rule book instead of her excuses. No more struggle, and grades have improved.



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