10 Simple Anger Management Steps for Parents

Do you often find yourself losing your cool at your child just because he wouldn’t listen to you? See anger is a fairly natural and normal emotion, but things can get seriously out of hand when you don’t use your anger positively. If you let your anger go out of control, it has the potential to take a toll on your relationships as well as your health.

As a parent, there may be times when you end up saying things that you later wish you hadn’t. When all your child draws on the wall with their crayons or shoes continue to disappear randomly, it’s fairly normal for you to get angry with them. Being a parent, you may have ‘bad days,’ but you need to learn to control your anger so it doesn’t become a chronic problem. Now if you frequently find yourself shrieking at your kids and regretting it later, here’s a bit of advice for you:

10 Think before you speak

It’s fairly natural for you to end up saying something that you regret later. If anything, doing so is just what you have to avoid. For this reason you ought to take a few moments to collect your thoughts and refrain from saying anything at all during this time.

While you’re at it, give your child the same space to collect themselves, this way you avoid hurting others or being hurt by something said in the heat of the moment.

No matter what you’re angry about, it’s necessary for you to listen to yourself and check what you say in front of your children. This is the sort of example you wish to set for your little ones. Listen to what you’re saying – if this isn’t the sort of thing you want others to say to you, refrain from saying it completely.

9 What’s the anger all about?

As an emotion, anger is neither good nor bad. The fact of the matter is that feeling angry can prove to be normal and at times even healthy when you’ve been mistreated or wronged. It isn’t the ‘feeling’ that is the problem here – it’s the consequences of this feeling and the ways in which it’s expressed that can become problematic.

If you let your anger harm you or those around you, that’s when you know you need help.

It’s extremely important for you to control your anger – far more important than you may think. You can learn how to express your anger without hurting yourself and others around you. When you learn why you’re angry, your needs will be met and eventually you’ll feel better. This means you need to master the art of anger management, and the more you practice, the easier it’s going to become for you in the long run.

8 Is there a payoff? Of course there is!

In order to keep yourself motivated towards controlling your anger, just keep reminding yourself of the payoff you’ll receive for doing it. Honestly, the rewards of anger management can go a long way in helping you achieve your goals in life, build better relationships and lead the healthiest, most satisfying life possible.

Feel better yet?

7 Not in front of the kids

Adults tend to think children are naïve and say anything they want in front of them. However, you should understand that kids can hear loud and clear what you’re saying. Apart from that, kids also happen to be extremely receptive to what they hear, which means that your words can affect them without you even knowing it.

With that in mind, there are obviously quite a few things that you should totally avoid saying in front of your children. This includes swearing (you DON’T want your child to start swearing at you) and complaining about day-to-day activities to people like your partner and friends etc.

6 What’s triggering you?

If you find it hard to control your anger, then you seriously need to figure out why you have this much pent up anger. In most cases, anger issues typically stem from the things people learn in their childhood. So basically, as a child if you saw your parents scream at each other, fight like maniacs, and throw things at each other, there’s a good chance that you do those things when you’re expressing anger.

Apart from that, having high levels of stress or being surrounded by traumatic events will make you more susceptible to anger. You need to figure out what’s triggering your anger management issues and then try to resolve them. If needed, you should not hesitate from seeking professional help.

5 Stay in touch with your feelings

When you truly want to express your anger in an appropriate manner and get your needs met, it’s necessary for you to remain in touch with your feelings. Is it really anger or are you masking other feelings like hurt, shame, insecurity or embarrassment with your anger?

If your response to most situations is sheer anger, there’s a good chance that you’re exhibiting aggression in order to cover up your true emotions, needs and feelings. This is particularly true if you grew up in a family where any expression of feelings was discouraged.

In case you feel disconnected or find anger is your knee jerk response to everything, then you desperately need to get back in touch with your feelings. You need to be aware of your emotions, which is the key to self-understanding and success in life.

4 Timeouts are important for parents too

As a parent, you should take a timeout too. What you need to do is to give yourself short breaks during the day when you find things getting a bit stressful. As you take a few moments of quiet time to yourself, you’ll find yourself being better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting angry or irritated.

Also, if you’re angry at your child, just move away from them physically to avoid doing something violent. Just tell your child you’re too mad to talk right now and you’re going to calm down by taking a timeout. This way, you’ll be able to better explain how serious the situation is and most importantly, you’re modelling self-control too.

3 Be mindful of how you express your anger

You should consider how you go about expressing your anger. For instance, if you’re angry over something your child did, do you start getting over critical or do you just hold it inside till you finally explode in sheer rage? Do you aggressively try to dominate others around you? As a parent, it’s necessary for you to bear in mind that your child learns by imitation and when they get angry, your children are going to copy you.

At times you might get angry with your child because you misinterpret or misunderstand their needs or the situation. Although your child only wants to make you happy, they have short attention spans and their agendas aren’t the same as yours. 

For instance, when you dress him up to go out and then start getting ready yourself, he may go out in the garden and climb a tree. When you find him dirty, you’ll be angry because you think he’s done it just to annoy you, although he did it because he got bored. He didn’t know his actions would anger you and he just wanted to pass the time as you got ready.

2 Using physical force is never right

Never use physical force on your child, and this includes spanking as well. A number of research studies have shown how spanking can have a negative affect children’s development – and it may last all through his life. For this reason alone you should refrain from getting physically abusive towards your child no matter how angry you are.

No matter what it takes, it’s necessary for you to control yourself when you’re angry. Leave the room if you have to, but don’t let yourself get physical with anyone, particularly your child. Just in case you lose it and hit your child, say sorry to him right away and tell him that what you did was wrong.

1 Threatening your kids isn’t going to help

You need to bear in mind that threats are only effective when you follow through on them. If that is not the case, empty threats will only undermine your authority and make it less likely that your kids will follow the rules in times to come.

Also, research suggests that the more calmly you speak, the calmer you will feel and the more calmly others will respond to you. For this reason, no matter how angry you are, it's recommended you speak as calmly as possible. Along with that, don't use swear words with your children, because these tend to make the listener more upset, which in turn escalates the situation.

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