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  • Writer's pictureJason Weening

WHAT’S YOUR “SNAP FACTOR?”


Huh? What’s that?


I came up with it when I was thinking about what makes me get angry at my kids or my dear wife. I’m not a particularly emotional guy. 


I’m not angry. Usually.


Are you? Not usually?


Wait for it...


So I came up with this idea of a “Snap Factor”. It’s a scale of “snapability”. That’s a thing. It is. 


Here’s how it works. When your “Snap factor” reaches 10 you snap. Maybe you yell at your kids. Or your dear wife. Or out the window. Or out the back door of your house into a hundred-acre field (true story).


You come home from work and it’s been a great day. Life is good. You’re maybe at a 1 out of 10. Far from snapping. But then…


Your 2-year-old son dumps out his milk all over the kitchen table. 2 out of 10.

Dinner’s over and your 4-year-old twin daughters are running around their beds instead of getting into their beds. 3 out of 10.


You get the point. If your evening ends there it’s sort of like you won. But you don’t get a prize. You just maintain your composure. 


A great night with the family. Well done Dad. 


But here’s where it starts to fall apart. You get home and you’re at an 8 out of 10. The installation you were on that day went poorly and you need to go back tomorrow. Or the sale you thought was a sure deal just backed out and now the commission cheque you were banking on for Christmas won’t happen. Or you’re an hour late because there was an accident and you were stuck in traffic. But then…


Your 6-year-old son refuses to eat his dinner and dumps his plate out on the table. 9 out of 10.


Your 11-year-old daughter is supposed to clear the table. Instead, an hour later you hear her watching videos on her Ipad in the bathroom. 10 out of 10. 


Snap!


Cue the Hulk. 


“What are you doing in there?!?! Get out here right now! If you don’t have this table cleared in 2 minutes you better watch out! When I was your age…” Or something more profane perhaps. 


That’s your “Snap factor”. That place where you simply…snap. You didn’t plan to. You didn’t expect to. But…you did. 


Now you’ve got to apologize to your daughter who’s crying in the bathroom now (Table still isn’t cleared by the way).


Dads, I get it. I’ve been in similar scenarios. I’ve apologized to my daughters.  I’ve apologized to cousins, brothers-in-law, you get the idea (more on apologizing HERE). 

I’m trying to apologize less by snapping less. Here’s 3 things that have helped me reduce my “Snap Factor”. 


1. Be Grateful for Your Kids


A few months ago I was having a pity party and, looking for some sympathy, I sent my mom a text. Nope. She reminded me to find some things I was grateful for. That would fix my attitude. 


I’m grateful that we have a vehicle to get our family around.

I’m grateful for my kids. They bring so much joy and energy and excitement to life. 

I’m grateful that my kids are healthy. We had 8 kids get chicken pox last Christmas. I’m grateful that Christmas is over.


It didn’t take long for me to actually feel different. If you feel like you’re getting close to your “Snap factor”, make a mental list of a few things you’re thankful for.


2. Remember Time Flies


You’ve heard this one before. It’s just a reminder that your kids won’t be small forever. They won’t ask you to play with Lego forever. They won’t ask you to play catch forever.

It’s something I need to be reminded of again and again. Let me remind you, Dad, that time flies. 


I’ve started giving my older kids driving lessons. Next year I’ll have another driver in the house. Someday they’ll drive away and only come back to visit. 


Think that day’s still far away? It’s coming soon. Before you know it, it will be here. 

Steven Curtis Chapman’s song, “Cinderella”, is the story of just that. Dancing with a little girl and all of a sudden you’re dancing with her on her wedding day. 


I know it sound cliché, Dad, but time flies. Make every moment count.


3. Remind Yourself it Won’t Get Easier…Right Away…but it Will...Eventually


I remember when our eighth child was born. He was a week old and my dear wife was taking care of him. My dear self was taking care of the other 7 kids, including a set of 2-year-old twins. One wanted me to push her on the swing. The other wanted to show me what she was looking at. My 4-year-old son wanted my attention. My 6-year-old son wanted something else. You get the picture. 


I was frustrated, confused. Didn’t know where to go first. Who to see first. Who to help where. So I phoned a friend. An older friend who has 9 or 10 adult kids. I needed to vent to someone and get some help. What was his advice?


“I won’t tell you it’s going to get easier soon. But it will someday. Hang in there. It may be a long time but just keep going. It will get easier…eventually.”


His advice gave me a new perspective. The frustration would pass. It wouldn’t last forever. It will get easier…eventually.


Dad, remind yourself that it won’t get easier right away. But it will…eventually.

If you get home from work tonight and your “Snap Factor” is at a 7 or 8, remind yourself of these 3 things. Be grateful. Time flies. It will get easier…eventually.


Hope that helps. You matter. You’ve got what it takes. 


Comment below, I’m curious what you do to keep your “Snap Factor” from getting to high?

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