Common Parenting Triggers and How to Overcome Them

Before you were a parent, you probably never thought about parental triggers. You may have thought parenthood would be beautiful days at the park with your well-behaved children. Fast-forward and you are suddenly bribing your child with dessert in exchange for eating their vegetables while they’re threatening to throw food on the floor. Parenting triggers are not commonly discussed, but they are a challenging aspect of parenting that many people experience. Let’s discuss.

What Is a Parenting Trigger?

Parenting triggers are things our kids do or say that cause us to have an automatic negative response. In these moments, we tend to raise our voices, shut down, or cry, actions that are not our usual parenting style. And if we can be transparent, these moments rob us of feeling like we’re killing it at parenthood. The big kicker? These responses are usually the result of experiences from our own childhood.

Common Parenting Triggers

Parenting triggers are different for everyone, but here are some of the most common.

  • Kids experiencing big emotions
  • Talking back or whining
  • Messes and disorganization
  • Sibling arguments
  • Lack of privacy/personal space
  • All the noise

It’s vital to recognize these triggers to tackle them.

Tackling Triggers

Once you’ve identified your triggers, you can start overcoming them. It’s a process, but one you’ll be proud of.

Take a Minute

Now that you understand what triggers you, the next time you experience it, stop and take a moment to breathe. Regain your composure, then respond.

Understand How Much Stress Affects You

Stress affects how we process things, and when we’re under a lot of it, logic and self-control go out the window. As parents, we must manage stress for our own emotional health and well-being and that of our kids.

Use It as a Teaching Moment

Model “I” statements to express your feelings without blaming anyone. This is an excellent way to teach your kids how to process big feelings. You can say something like, “I feel overwhelmed when I hear a lot of noise.”

Practice Self-Compassion

It’s easy to feel mad at ourselves for acting a certain way, but it’s important to understand that your reactions are nothing more than a stress response. The goal is to learn, grow, and change from these experiences.

Seek Support

You have options when seeking support. Turn to your friends who are both parents and non-parents, or seek professional help – or both. Tap into whatever is a safe option that you can benefit from.

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