9 Best Tips When Your Kids Are Driving You Crazy!

by | Jul 11, 2021

Practical Ways To Help Moms Calm The Chaos In Their Homes

If your kids are driving you crazy and you need some tips to calm yourself, you’re not alone in your feelings.

It happens to all parents at one time or another. Just like your spouse or friend can drive you crazy, so too can your kids. That’s just how relationships go at times! 

I’d love to share some go-to tips if you’re finding yourself lacking patience or you’re feeling like locking yourself in the bathroom. 

Hopefully after you read these tips, you’ll feel a bit more relaxed and able to handle stressful moments with your sweet ones. 

You got this Mama! 

Pin This To Your Boards!

boy driving his mom crazy by being silly with spaghetti

What To Do When Your Kids Are Driving You Crazy!

Read The Room

If your kids are driving you crazy, my first tip is to read the room. 

By that I mean, survey the situation, and get a feel for exactly what is happening or causing the stress. 

You can ask these types of questions: 

  • What is happening here? 
  • Is there anything I could do to help the situation? 
  • Is the issue with me or is it my child? 
  • How might my child be feeling right now? 
  • Is my child acting out because they need something from me? 

Reading the room allows you to assess the situation before you might respond emotionally or say something hurtful. 

This is also something you do without speaking or having any interaction with your children. You do it on your own, in your head, with no words. 

Once you’ve read the room, then you can decide whether or not you need to say or do anything at all. 

This is a great tool! 

Listen Up!

Another tip for when your kids are pushing your buttons is to listen up! 

Listen to what’s going on in your home and with your kids. 

I’ve found that at times Addie will appear to “interrupt” what I’m doing only because she’s been trying to get my attention and I’m on my phone or busy with something else. 

She’s vying for my attention however she knows how. 

Sometimes the craziness can be avoided if we, as moms, would make a concerted effort to really listen to our kids. 

I’m not talking about fake listening where you’re scrolling through your phone or reading a magazine while saying, “Yeah, uh-huh, right” to your kids. 

Definitely not listening! 

I’m talking about active listening, making eye contact with your child, interacting with what they’re saying, and showing them that you care about what they’re saying. 

Many times kids will act out and be obnoxious simply because they are wanting your attention. 

Listen up to what they have to say and help calm the chaos.

Bathroom Break

I’ve confessed to doing this in a previous article, but a bathroom break is one of my favorite parenting hacks. 

Honestly, there are days when it feels like there is zero alone time for moms. Every minute is shared with our children. 

Mama needs a break! 

If things are chaotic and you need a hot minute, take a bathroom break. 

Say, “Mommy’s gotta use the bathroom. I’ll be out in a few minutes!”

Even if you don’t have to go, you can just sit in there and take a break. Sometimes I check Facebook (guilty) or use that time to respond to a few text messages. 

Whatever you do in there, enjoy those precious few minutes in a locked room. I’ve done this many times. 

This is a great thing to do once your husband comes home, as well as during family gatherings. 

Bathroom Break for the win! 

Change It Up

If you’re experiencing a day where you feel stuck in the monotony of parenting, do yourself a favor and change it up! 

Need some ideas? Visit the busytoddler site. Susie has amazing ideas that keep little ones busy, active, and having fun! Her activities are a great way to change things up! 

Here are some great ideas that require very little prep and are great hands-on activities for your kids! 

  • Car wash station (with toy cars)
  • Butcher paper art
  • Make a car track
  • Paint the toys
  • Sensory bins
  • Fun with ice cubes! 
  • Outdoor sticker line up
  • Rescue the pups

Most of these activities can be done with materials you have around your house: cardboard boxes, plastic bins, painters tape, art supplies, sponges, etc. Seriously there are so many fun ideas!

If your kids are engaged and having fun, they are less likely to drive you crazy. Better yet, you may enjoy the time with them! 

If Your Kids Are Driving You Crazy, Snag Some More Tools!

Power Play

I got this genius idea from my friend Morgan. 

Power play means 20-30 minutes of focused play with your kids. 

They choose the activity, and you engage with whatever that is for the allotted time. 

In a sense, you’re filling their bucket. Some may call it fueling their tank. 

It’s kind of like a trade-off. 

Here’s an example with Addie: 

Addie: “Mommy, will you play this game with me?”
Me: “Let’s see. How about we make a deal?”

Addie: “A deal?”

Me: “Yes. I’ll play a game with you for half an hour, then after that, you can read for 30 minutes and I’ll work on my blog for 30 minutes. How does that sound?”

Addie: “Sounds good, I’ll go get the game!”

Now if you have 2 and 3 year-olds, you obviously can’t expect them to read for 30 minutes. 

Power play is still effective with really little ones. 

Give them the gift of time. Even if it doesn’t get rid of all the craziness, you are making a lifelong investment in those relationships! 

Movie Break

Screen time is not completely evil in my opinion. 

Sometimes we could all benefit from stopping everything, and putting on a movie. 

If all chaos has broken loose, your kids keep fighting and bothering each other, just stop and put on a movie. 

Lay out some blankets in the living room, put the movie on, and hand out some snacks. 

Whether you’re completely engaged in the movie or not, enjoy this small break in the day with your kids. 

Screen time and movie breaks have been very helpful for me in bringing the stress level down some days. 

If Your Child Is Pushing You Over The Edge, What Else Can You Do?

Take It Outside

Have you ever been in one of those moments where you think I just need some fresh air?

Me too! 

Getting fresh air, being up and active, and letting your body move is so healthy for you both physically and mentally. 

It’s good for your kids too! 

If your kids are driving you crazy, here are some easy ways to take it outside: 

  • Play in the backyard
  • Set up the water table
  • Go to a park
  • Walk in the neighborhood
  • Play hopscotch
  • Ride bikes
  • Play with chalk
  • Sports

None of these activities are difficult to pull off, it’s just a matter of doing them with your kids

Fresh air and time outside (weather permitting) will benefit everyone, including you! 

Reframe The Situation

Another helpful tip for when your kids are driving you crazy is to attempt to be the adult and reframe the situation. 

Perspective is HUGE in life, and it can be one of our most powerful tools as parents!

Use these words or thoughts to help you see the glass more half-full and shift your perspective in a healthier way: 

  • Maybe he needs my attention, vs He just wants to annoy me!
  • I get to spend time with my children, vs I have to be with my children.
  • So much fun is being had right now, vs This place is a disaster!
  • This time will go by so fast I really want to enjoy it, vs I’m so ready for this phase of life to be over.
  • There’s always something new to learn in parenting vs I’m failing my kids all the time. 

A healthy perspective can help to channel your energy and emotions in the right way.

Take the time to shift your mindset and reframe the chaos, and hopefully it will help you with more patience and grace towards your kids. 

Deep Breaths

The last tip if you’re feeling super overwhelmed as a mom is to practice some deep breathing. 

You can start at 100 and count backwards to 1, taking focused, concentrated breaths as you go. 

I’ve even heard people advising to put one hand on your stomach or one hand on your head to help as you breathe. 

Close your eyes and count, recite Scripture in your mind, pray, or just focus on the counting and breathing. 

However you do it, take a few minutes to calm yourself down and hit the reset button. 

One time I was feeling super overwhelmed, and I felt the tears coming. 

I went downstairs to the laundry room, laid my head down on the washer, and took some time to breathe in and out. 

I attempted to reframe my thoughts, work through some yuck that was swirling around in my mind, and hit the reset button. 

You know what? 

My problems didn’t magically disappear, but I felt so much better mentally. 

I gave myself a break and it turned out to work in my favor. 

Sometimes that’s all it takes, a quick 2-3 minute mental reset. 

Whatever you need to do, take care of yourself. Hit the reset button with some deep breathing or prayer, and engage with your kids again, this time from a healthier mindset. 

Deep breathing for the win! 

Is It Normal To Get Angry At Your Child?

I think this is an important thing to address before concluding this article. 

It’s definitely normal to feel irritated, angry, or frustrated with your child. 

This tiny person that you’re parenting means the world to you, and you don’t even have enough words to describe how much you love them. 

In the same breath, there are things that can happen or behaviors they can display that can push you over the edge. 

Very polarizing feelings! 

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re irritated with your children. 

But don’t let yourself stay in that place. Deal with the irritation, apologize to your kids if necessary, and move on. 

Remember, parenting isn’t about perfection, it’s about progress. 

There are plenty of opportunities to make progress in your journey as a parent. Celebrate when you do! 

Now That’s A Wrap!

You made it all the way through, I’m so impressed! 

Your willingness to read through everything shows that you care about how to handle the stress of parenting in healthy ways. 

Remember to give yourself and your kids lots of grace. 

You may not cherish every moment with your children, but at least now you have some tools to better handle the chaos and craziness. 

Lots of love to each of you!

Lisa

Cover Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels

38 Comments

  1. Dulcinea

    I am my 13 month old granddaughter’s full-time caregiver. This post has very practical ideas. Loved it!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      That’s wonderful that you take care of your granddaughter! I’m so glad you loved the ideas. I hope they come in handy. =)

  2. Helen Story

    This is the site I wish I’d had when my family were younger. Especially as an army wife. Every move means establishing a new village and the time that takes can be lonely. That said, even though my kids are older now, some of these tips definitely still apply. Read the room is a good one, I always find having a small action to take can help me avoid an overly emotional reaction.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Helen! Those extra moments we take as parents to survey the situation can save us so much unneeded stress and drama.

  3. Mihaela | https://theworldisanoyster.com/

    I am really grateful for not having had many of these situations, but yep, parenting is no walk in the park, although the best job. Balance is everything, I guess.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Parenting is definitely challenging and rewarding at the same time…one of life’s greatest balancing acts!

  4. Linda

    We call it ‘yuck’ around here…sometimes we’re all in a state of yuck and getting on each other’s nerves. Adults included. It’s challenging and I have to remind myself all the time that when the kiddo is in yuck, he just needs me to be mom. It’s time to drop what I’m doing and focus on him.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      I like that descriptor, and I completely agree that adults are included as well. Sometimes our kids just need us to drop what we’re doing and be with them. =)

  5. Amber

    This is all such good advice. I am all for sending my kids outside when they are driving me crazy – thankful for a fenced in yard!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Amber! Hooray for fenced in yards…super helpful when the kids need to burn off some energy and give Mama a break!

  6. Carrie Pankratz

    These are such great tips. Thank you for sharing that having those days where your kids are driving you crazy is normal. I had so much mom guilt over that. As my kids get older, I have less and less of these days, but it is so helpful to have a list of ideas to make it through. Sometimes something as simple as a new activity or change of scenery can turn everything around. I always love your posts!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      You’re so encouraging Carrie! I’m sure you’re an awesome, crazy fun mom to your boys! =)

  7. Alisha

    These are such great tips! Lots of deep breaths and reframing our mindset can change so much about the day and our environment, it’s crazy. I’ve always heard the saying, “put them in water or take them outside” as a way to calm the chaos. It definitely works, too! Thanks for sharing these, I needed a reminder!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      You’re welcome Alisha! I totally agree that changing our mindset and shifting our perspective can pay off in dividends with how our day goes!

  8. SAra

    Great ideas, I especially love the Power Play one. Going to do this one to help my daughter stop being anti her quiet time (otherwise known as MY quiet time!!)

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Yes! My daughter’s quiet time is secretly supposed to be my quiet time too. I hope that Power Play works for you and your daughter!

  9. Alexis

    These are great tips. I’m not a mom yet but planning to be in the next few years, and I find myself already wondering about these things. I know I have some time but I will carry these tips with me into my motherhood journey.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Alexis! Best wishes on your journey to motherhood. It’s a crazy, rewarding, beautiful and chaotic adventure…but one I wouldn’t trade for anything!

  10. Katherine

    Thanks for sharing this! Kids are such wonderful challenging creatures! And just when you think you’ve got something figured out, they change the rules on you! Changing it up always does the trick at our house, but even that requires some changing it up as well. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      We can have all the plans we want, but sometimes our kids can change that plan on a dime. At least we had a plan, right? =)

  11. Kimberlie

    Thank you for suggesting Power Play. I have not tried that before, but can see where it could be very useful.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Yes! Power play for the win!

  12. Lady Chi

    Kids! Even the sweetest cutest one will try you sometime, and as you mentioned you really have to take a deep breath and think. I love the idea of playing with them and doing activities, they always appreciate that! I love these tips

    Reply
    • Lisa

      I’m glad you enjoyed these tips. Power play can be such a game changer with kids and their behaviors!

  13. Genesis

    These are great tips! I love how much you endorse the bathroom time- as an introvert, I’ve even used that strategy at social gatherings before and I’m definitely a big fan, myself. I also love that you started by recommending we aim to see the full picture, first. Sometimes the simple solution is right there but we are too overwhelmed to see it. Great post!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Genesis! I agree that sometimes taking a step back and seeing the whole situation before reacting, helps us to respond with more patience and grace…at least that’s the hope!

  14. Kelly Krebs

    I definitely needed to read this article today. I love all the tips and I’m going to use them the next time my kids are driving me crazy. I love the line about how parenting is about progress, not perfection. Such a perfect way to think of it!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Kelly! I’m glad this was a timely read for you. And yes, progress over perfection. The recipe for perfect parenting doesn’t exist! We have to walk in humility on a daily basis and keep trusting God for the daily grace we need.

  15. Hannah

    I’m not yet a mom but these are great tips to use even in a classroom

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Yes! These work in a classroom setting as well.

  16. Sarah

    Awesome post! I don’t have any kids personally, but I have some nephews and a niece that is pretty crazy so I’ll definitely be forwarding this along to my sister! LOL!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Sarah! I hope your sister appreciates the tips. =)

  17. Emily

    Great ideas here–thank you for sharing! I’ve found that a lot of the times when my kids are driving me crazy, it’s because of MY perspective. When I’m so focused on getting everything on my list done, I forget to take the time to stop and pay attention to them. But taking a step back and refocusing really makes a big difference!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Emily, yes! I 100% agree with that. So often it’s our own fault and we just need to refocus and shift our perspective.

  18. Leslie

    Love all the advice! I will be keeping this in mind for the next opportunity. ❤️😘

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks friend! I hope they come in handy with the twins!

  19. Marnie

    I don’t have kids but I used to teach – they’re adorable but sometimes they really know how to push your buttons!! Love these ideas to stay calm and find a solution. The hands-on activities you’ve got are great xx

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Marnie! I’m glad you found these ideas helpful. =)

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

for more great content, check out these articles…

join the recess crew! 

Want the latest time-saving hacks for teaching and raising great kids? Join the Recess Crew by subscribing to my newsletter and you'll get all the good stuff!

BONUS OFFER...if you join today, I'll send you my 25 hands-on activities for teaching reading...straight to your inbox! Don't miss out!

Want the latest tips and tricks for parenting and teaching? Become a subscriber and you'll get all the good stuff! BONUS OFFER...if you join today, I'll send you my 25 hands-on activities for teaching reading...straight to your inbox! Don't miss out!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This