How can you deal with getting angry at your child?
It's normal for parents to sometimes get angry at their child. However, getting angry all the time isn't good for both you and your child.
It's normal for any parent to get angry at their child. Maybe your toddler disobeyed you, maybe they're refusing to eat their veggies, or perhaps they made a mess in the living room.
However, parents should know that most of the time, kids really aren't aware of what they're doing. Your toddler isn't trying to deliberately make you angry when they disobey you, or have a tantrum, or refuse to eat their food, that's just how kids are and that's normal behavior for them. You simply can't expect kids to behave like adults or older kids because they're still young and immature.
Anger isn't good for you or your child
Anger isn't something that should be a part of your parenting vocabulary. As a parent, it's important to make sure your child grows in an environment where they can feel loved, nurtured, and cared for.
As a parent, being angry is unavoidable and it's okay to feel angry. What's not okay is when you direct that anger towards your child. Children are very sensitive, especially when it comes to their parents.
How would you feel if the person who took care of you, clothed you, and cared for you suddenly got angry and shouted at you? Of course, you'll feel bad if it happened to you, and for kids, the feeling is much more intense since they look up to their parents for everything.
This can also affect them when they grow up since they will carry those feelings of hurt and sadness with them. They might even lash out at you once they grow older, simply because you took out your anger at them. They can learn from your angry outbursts and can be prone to bouts of anger themselves.
Managing your anger
It's not easy to manage your anger, but it's not an impossible task. The first thing to remember would be to not act upon those feelings of anger.
If you see your child drawing on the walls of your house, don't react by shouting at them or hitting their hand. Keep calm, take a few breaths and think about what you want to tell your child. Be firm, but don't shout at them. Don't call your child names, and don't make decisions such as punishments when you're angry.
Controlling your anger also shows your kids that you can calm down and control your emotions. It lets them know that anger is something within their control, and they shouldn't let it get the better of them.
Here are a few pointers to remember:
- Keep calm. This is always something that you should keep in mind whenever you feel that you're starting to get angry or frustrated.
- Take a moment to clear your thoughts. Sometimes, you need to just get away from the entire situation for a bit in order to clear your head. Go to your room, or even the bathroom and have 5 minutes to yourself so you can keep calm.
- Listen to your anger. Try to understand why you're getting angry, and don't simply act upon your anger.
- Getting angry at your child can make everything worse, so don't express your anger towards your child. Focus it on something productive.
- Wait before giving punishments. Giving your child a punishment while you're angry is a recipe for disaster. Wait until you're calm before deciding on what to do.
- Never ever hurt your child. Hurting your child is wrong, and should never be a part of your parenting.
- Don't make threats. Instead of threats, make sure to tell your child that you'll be thinking of a consequence of their actions. This helps you keep calm, and lets your child understand the severity of what they did.
- Seek counseling. Sometimes you really can't deal with your anger all by yourself and seeking help for your anger issues is important if you want to be a better parent.