Managing Anger While Parenting
Managing anger as a parent can seem challenging and frustrating. With the constant overwhelming feelings that often accompany parenthood, you’re bound to lose your temper towards your child at one point or another. Consistent anger directed at your child or children doesn’t create a healthy environment for anyone in the family, including you! Managing anger effectively may take time and patience with yourself. Once done, it can be a great tool to utilize in stressful family situations or just hard days in general.
Why Managing Anger is Important
Anger management is important for several different reasons. Although arguably the most pinnacle one is that it allows you to realize your triggers. Understanding what makes you mad and why can help you overcome your anger before it begins to escalate. It can also bring a better understanding to who you are in general. Learning to control heated feelings doesn’t happen overnight. The first step in the process is beginning to gain insight of what makes you tick. Is it previous trauma in your life? Stressful day at work? No outlet? All of these are potential reasons for outbursts of anger.
Further, feelings of anger and frustration shouldn’t be suppressed. Talking effectively about your feelings and communicating in a healthy manner about why you’re mad is perfectly fine. However, not communicating and simply yelling doesn’t foster an environment in which you can learn from one another. It also doesn’t encourage children to learn the value of emotional communication and intelligence early on.
Effective Anger Management Techniques
Learning the anger management technique that works for you is what will make it most effective. Some may find that walking away from a situation for a few moments while they calm down can help them. Others feel the opposite and this is normal! Understanding where the other person is coming from and their ways of managing their anger can help the situation stay under control. How exactly can you manage your anger though, and what are some techniques that can help you get there?
- Deep breaths: Taking calming, deep breaths during a tense situation allows our heart and mind to stop racing and provide more clarity.
- Enforce boundaries: Your child will test boundaries most of the time. Standing your ground and letting them know the limit will help you have more control over not only the situation but also your feelings.
- Noise cancellation: If you’re feeling overstimulated, having noise canceling headphones to reduce the noise can help your mind process things better and overall create more peace for you.
- Take a break outside: Though this may not always be possible, taking a small 5 minute break outside, in the bathroom, the pantry, or anywhere else can truly help diffuse tense feelings and situations.
- Positive self talk: Empower yourself! If negative thoughts are taking over your mind, you may find it harder to manage your anger. However, positivity can go a long way, especially in a conversation that may have high feelings.
- Determine the source of your anger: Sometimes, as a parent, you may get angry at your child for breaking a plate by accident. Although, are you mad at the child or mad at the fact that now you have broken glass/one less plate? Determining your source of anger can help direct you to an appropriate response.
- Reevaluate the situation: When feelings run high, especially with anger, it’s common to jump to conclusions or see things one sided. Taking a step back and reevaluating the situation can not only provide a different perspective but also give you a chance to communicate your thoughts at the time.
Anger is a natural feeling and you’re bound to get upset at your children or partner throughout the time you spend together. Understanding your triggers and where your anger is coming from can help improve communication with your family and yourself. By looking inwards to the why of an emotion, it can help give us a perspective that we can utilize to diffuse tense situations. At Eva Carlston, we teach our students a myriad of anger management techniques that allows them to find what works best for them. Doing something similar for yourself can help regulate your anger and give your children a chance to learn by example.
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