No matter how much we try to be the perfect parent, when we see our children misbehaving for no apparent reason, we usually end up losing our cool. Now firstly we, as parents, need to understand that the concept of a perfect parent is a myth. Perfection is a utopian concept, it does not exist in real life. Life is full of imperfections and perfection in parenting, especially, is next to impossible.
Let us look at this scenario- You are running late for office when your eight-year old decides to act belligerent and refuses to finish her bowl of cereal on time. Despite your repeated requests, she refuses to budge and suddenly you hear an ominous sound and turn around to see milk and cereal all splattered across the floor. What will you do?
If your answer is “I’ll absolutely freak out and yell at her for being so difficult and irresponsible!” –well, you are not alone! I am sure this is exactly how most parents would respond to the situation. After all, you are really mad at that moment. And let me tell you, getting angry with one’s kids is perfectly okay, as long as one knows how to channel that anger positively.
In the above mentioned scenario, if the mother resorts to screaming and yelling, the child will get frightened and maybe start crying hysterically too. So now the mom has to clean up all that mess with the child’s relentless cries echoing in her ears and then, she has to calm her down too. No one ever said parenting is easy, but controlling its level of difficulty is definitely in our hands!
Now just imagine, instead of losing her temper, if the mother just takes some deep breaths to keep her anger in check, looks at the child sternly and asks her to help clean up the mess she created, what would be the outcome? In this case, the mess probably gets cleaned up in half the time, the child undoubtedly feels sorry for her poor behavior and the parent has imparted an important lesson—you have to clean up the mess you create!
In short, getting angry at your children is absolutely normal- it is what you choose to do with your anger that’s important.
6 useful tips to help you control your anger-
- Make a promise to yourself to not get angry. Identify situations that particularly make you mad- be it your children fighting with one another or refusing to eat their meals or arguing with you unnecessarily. Just ask yourself “is my attitude getting me closer to or further away from the relationship I want with my kids in the long run?” This question changes your outlook and puts a lot of things in perspective.
- Exercise your ability to step away and take a few calming breaths before you lose your temper. Learn to be aware of your body and identify signs that tell you you’re feeling more agitated than you ought to. This sets a great example for your children and teaches them not to speak out of anger or act out when emotions are running high. It’s also healthier for you, which is a huge benefit!
- One of the main reasons why we get upset with our kids is that they don’t do things we expect them to do. Most mothers complain that their kids don’t ‘listen’ to them. They worry that they don’t know how to get their children under control. The best solution to this problem is to just understand and accept the fact that kids, being immature and young, will act difficult at times. You just have to maintain your calm to guide them in the right direction.
- Be honest with your children. Let them know your frustrations and anger. Tell them how you feel when they disobey you. This will help them understand you better. If you’ve had a particularly rough day, let your children know so that they are careful not to stress you further.
- Focus on your own wellness. When was the last time you worked out? Drank enough water in a day? Slept for 8 hours at a stretch? I know we can’t always be so lucky, but if you notice you are particularly short tempered, you need to take action and make sure you are in an acceptable mental space. A physically and mentally relaxed person is less likely to be loose his/her cool.
- If your anger gets the better of you and you end up screaming and yelling, don’t hesitate in saying sorry to your kids. Let them know what they did that drove you up the wall so that they are careful not to push the wrong buttons the next time. Nobody is perfect, we are all constantly evolving and improving. Don’t let the negative emotions of yesterday linger and ruin today. Do your best to forgive your child and to forgive yourself.
The next time you feel you’re going to explode, just recall these tips and we’re sure you’ll be able to get a grip on your anger. Want to share some other useful parenting tips? Do let us know in the comments section below!