8 Ways to Deal With Anger As a Parent

Anger is disruptive.

It doesn’t solve anything.

In fact, it amplifies the issues at hand. It gets the best of us in our weakest moments. We fly off the handle; and, in hindsight, we crawl inward to bully ourselves for behaving immaturely.

Our outbursts of anger damage our kids’ psychological and emotional makeup.

Although parenting is a daily challenge with regular, frustrating incidents, we don’t want our kids to come to expect our anger.

Since it’s vitally important that we model to our children expected behaviour, I have compiled 8 ways to deal with anger as a parent.

#1 Recognize anger is a natural feeling–just like joy

#2 Own your own anger

#3 Don’t take your child’s behaviour personally

#4 Put a cap on it! Don’t explode with anger at your child

#5 Always revert to a calm tone of voice

#6 Respond without reaction

#7 Let it go!

#8 Keep your stressors as low as possible

#1 Recognize anger is a natural feeling–just like joy

It’s completely natural for people to FEEL angry. It’s important that we don’t deny its existence when it arises, but we want to be careful not to feed it by venting. 

When someone provokes us, we feel angry. We can’t help what we feel; but we can control how we react to it. Anger becomes bad when we react uncontrollably. We need to always approach our anger open-mindedly to see if our response to it was healthy.

Anger is a feeling that signals to us that something is wrong under the surface. Use it as a guide to find out what’s triggering your anger internally.

#2 Own your own anger

It’s so important for us as parents to realize that our anger is not our child’s fault. Each of us is in charge of our own emotions.

Often though, our emotions are wounded from incidents in our childhood. It’s from those triggers that we so quickly act out when our children press our buttons. Recognizing that our strong emotions come from past pain helps us locate the right source of our anger rather than lashing out on our defiant children.

Take a moment to consider the underlying reasons for your outbursts.

Are you embarrassed?

Disappointed in your child’s behaviour?

Bothered by an unrelated incident?

Anger can be rooted in a wide range of causes. Perhaps you’re exhausted or your child has opposed you for the umpteenth time. Maybe your spouse fails to share the parenting responsibilities or work has deadlines creeping up on you.

Quite likely, fear is the deeper emotion.

The fear of failing as a mom or dad…

The fear of what other parents think of your parenting methods…

The fear of raising a child that’s socially unfit…

The fear of being rejected by your own child…

Anger is a defense mechanism to protect us from these and other fears

#3 Don’t take your child’s behaviour personally

Determining what’s the source of your anger helps to take the blame off your child. It gives you a confidence that your present situation doesn’t define who you are as a person.

It helps for you to see your child’s misbehaviour is neither directed at you nor is it an attack on you personally.

Your child may be at a stage in which his natural development is causing him to behave a certain way. A two-year-old is testing his own limits and abilities. It feel like he’s out to get you, but he’s trying out how far his boundaries go. He’s learning what works for you and what doesn’t.

Just like you’re in charge of your own anger, your child is in charge of his. You’re not the source of his tantrum. He might have a problem with the boundaries or consequences you’re enforcing–but not you. He probably doesn’t like you very much in the moment of discipline but that’s not definitive of his lasting feelings toward you.

Take your focus off how either of you feel and focus on addressing the misbehaviour at hand.

#4 Put a cap on it! Don’t explode with anger at your child

Take time out to breathe!

In the heat of the moment, you say things you regret later on. Nothing good is accomplished with an angry parent towering over a misbehaving child. Once you feel your anger is rising, tell your child that you’re going to take a time out to calm down. 

If you need to scream, scream away from earshot of your child. Screaming at your child will psychologically harm him, and it models bad coping methods.

Physically shake off the tension from your anger. Consciously relax your face muscles and clenched fists. Force a smile or hum. Doing this sends messages to your brain that it doesn’t need to be in fight-or-flight mode and allows your defenses to come down. You might want to keep a journal where you can pour out your thoughts without harming anyone.

Sometimes it’s not practical nor safe for you to remove yourself from the situation–like with a baby or toddler. In that case, breathe deeply as you sit beside your child. You can declare in your mind or even out loud that your situation is not an emergency and it will blow over.

Once you’ve calmed down, you can approach your child and explain to them the reason you became angry and address the behavioural issues rationally.

As you handle your anger in this way, you model for your child how to deal with his or her own anger issues. 

#5 Always revert to a calm tone of voice

Never act out with an immediate disciplinary action if you are angry. Calm down and think–then approach the issue with your child.

Speaking in a calm voice helps tone down the anger in your child.

Harsh words stir up anger. Never blame or shame your child. Your words can cut him deeply and make a lasting negative impression. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwlwSByGOWY)

Your child looks up to you! He depends on you for emotional, physical, and psychological security. When you take time to calm down before you respond to the misbehaviour, you’re allowing him to learn from his mistakes and your admonition.

The more you model calm coping mechanisms with your anger, the healthier his emotional strength will be. 

#6 Respond without reaction

Reacting naturally happens when an action reoccurs. Something in us is triggered to react defensively. We react without thinking when we feel danger or negativity. However, when it comes to anger, our reacting tempers are harmful to the people around us. Reacting in anger always discredits our words and our authority. 

We need to learn to control our reaction by dealing with our anger in response mode in order to rationally address any problem or situation at hand.

In response mode, we begin to think about what kind of example we want to set for our kids. We begin to ponder how we can teach our kids to handle provoking.

Instead of defensively living in fight-or-flight mode, we can reprogram our minds to interpret situations as teachable moments rather than negative problems. 

#7 Let it go!

Do you really want to hold whatever your child did against them?

Will this particular incident really matter weeks, months or years down the road?

Your child will remember how you treat them. Unfortunately, negative feelings stay to fester for years to come. So, think again!

Is it worth letting those little incidents leave you and your child wounded?

Let go of what’s making you angry. Hanging on to your anger robs you of the precious time you have with your kids. It weighs you down. 

Let go of the episodes of anger and confrontation you’ve recently had with your kids.

Let go of your past resentments and don’t let those dictate how you deal with your kids. Whatever you do, don’t let anger and resentment steal the joy and teachable moments from your day. 

#8 Keep your stressors as low as possible

Stress can trigger anger.

Exercise to release stress. Consider including your kids in your exercise activity, especially if it’s in the fresh air. 

Take time to relax and refresh either with a friend or a hobby. Breathe and take time away from all the demands.

Eat nutritious foods to give your body the fuel it needs to meet the demands of your daily family life.

Set realistic goals and clear expectations for your kids in order to limit misunderstanding.

Take charge of your emotions and be your child’s role model!

Always calm down before you address your anger. It helps dissipate the opposition.

Respond rather than react. Allow your body enough time for rest, exercise, and nutrition.

If you have a serious problem and you feel it’s damaging your child, consider seeing a professional therapist.

Taking charge of your anger today is the best thing you can do for your child’s tomorrow. It’s not too late to make a positive change in your home!

Have you enjoyed these 8 tips on how to deal with anger as a parent?

Be sure to click like and share this post with your friends.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *