Do you ever find yourself getting really angry at your child for something they said or did? Or, didn’t say or didn’t do? Today we are going to Anger Management School to find some ways we can reduce our anger and act more effectively as parents.
Understand that our brains are trained to pick up hints of threats, perceived or real. Our fight or flight mode kicks in and is not helpful. Think about how your brain reacts to a perceived threat and then you can change your frame of mind. Tell yourself that you have this under control and can deal with the situation. Anger is often a secondary emotion, after frustration. If we reduce our frustration level, then we are less likely to be angry. Here are some hints to reduce our chances of being angry.
- Take care of yourself. The best gift you can give your child is a fully functioning parent. Eat a balanced diet, with the right kinds of food. Exercise, not only for your body, but for your brain. Get the sleep you need. I know this isn’t easy, but limit some activities to make sure you are rested. Along with that, take care of your team.
- You might feel you are doing everything alone, but you aren’t. You have lots of people on your team, ready to help you, your pediatrician or maybe a nurse. There are educators, neighbors, friends, spouse, partner, family, even me, Dr. Paul. Build a team that will be there for you, then ask for help.
- Practice saying to yourself, things are exactly as they should be. Developmentally, that may be true. If you don’t know much about child development get the information. Parents can get angry because they think their child is not behaving as they should, but how do you know? Switch positions and tell yourself things are exactly as they should be. Does it feel like you are lying to yourself? What if telling yourself that things are not the way they should be is the lie? You don’t know, so pick a position that serves you well and then you won’t feel the anger and rage that life isn’t the way it is supposed to be. Things may not be the way you want them to be, and that is o.k., we can use that discontent to create something different, but we can’t use anger to raise children.
- Enjoy the journey. Yeah, at times it can be hard and frustrating, but there is also joy, look for the joy. Whatever stage your child is at will not last. What are you grateful for about the stage your child is in?
- Maintain perspective. Remember that we are raising children. They make messes and break things. If we keep the perspective that we are raising children and they are what is important, then having a spotless house or no weeds in the yard won’t be as important as spending time with that child and enjoying who they are, in this minute. This helps to bring our anger level down.
- Remember that our kids are people. They are our children because we got here on earth before they did. Their identity is not to stay a 4-year old. They are to grow and develop to adulthood, just like we did.
- Your number one job as a parent is to love your kids, no matter what and even if. No matter if they make a mess or even if they don’t take out the garbage.
- Remember who you are. You are important and special.
I appreciate you, showing up for your kids every day, through thick and thin, fun and challenging. You got this, you can parent your child without anger, consequences yes, but not anger. Practice these eight ideas and you can graduate from angry parenting to positive parenting.
By Dr. Paul Jenkins
Dr. Paul is an author, speaker, personal coach and positivity expert with 20+ years of experience as a Professional Psychologist. His book Pathological Positivity and its pocket-sized companion, Portable Positivity, illuminate powerful principles, that when applied can make an immediate difference in your life. Dr. Paul's channel, Live On Purpose TV is available on YouTube and has a parenting playlist with a wide variety of subjects to help parents create positivity in their parenting. You can contact Dr. Paul at www.drpauljenkins.com.