Being A Calm Parent : Anger Management For Parents
The other day, post serving lunch to my twins, I went to attend a phone call. Fifteen minutes later, I came back to see the entire dining area turned into a war zone. They were having a ‘rice war’. There were rice on the table, on their heads, clothes, floor, etc. They were a mess, so was the room! Looking at them I totally lost it. My first reaction was an obvious one. Such messy situations are regular in my house. And trust me, they make me go crazy.
Parenting is tough. Let’s face it! There are times when we lose it completely. Say when we want to take a shower for more than five minutes without hearing that little voice screaming ‘mumma..’mumma’ from outside. Or when we just clean the house only to find the bottle of water spilled all over the floor. Or when we slog hard in the kitchen trying a new dish (with full love & dedication) and it gets rejected post one bite. It all gets incredibly frustrating (on occasions more than one). Right?
A lot of times our anger and frustration is expressed by shouting/screaming/scolding our kids. It gets so overwhelming and difficult to control that outburst.
Well, let me first tell you, that it’s ok and completely normal. We all are humans who feel all kinds of emotions and have our ways to express it.
But let me also remind you that we are also a little more mature humans who have the ability to self-control as compared to our little ones who have considerably less self-control. So the entire onus of controlling the situation, maintaining peace and acting responsibly lies just on us.
It’s easier to lose our cool on kids but does that really help in changing their behaviour? Not really! Infact ‘anger only attracts anger’. My shouting at them only makes them shout back. Also over a period of time kids tend become immune to such yelling or scolding and it further makes them stubborn or rebellious.
So what best can we do?
Learn to manage our anger find peaceful ways to deal with such situations, make consistent attempts to being a calm parent using mindful strategies.
Being A Calm Parent, Anger Management For Parents
Now everytime I am stuck in a situation where I am about to lose my cool. Here’s what I do –
1 Take a minute to reflect and assess the damage
Before reacting, I often ask myself these questions – did anyone get hurt, did something totally irreparable happen? If not, then IT’S OK. (‘Let it go, Charu, let it go! They are just kids’ – I literally chant this in my mind)
2. Give myself a timeout
Timeouts aren’t only for kids. We, adults, also need short breaks or timeouts to calm down. I give myself a few minutes, go out of the room, take deep breaths, and return only after my mind is calmer and in a better place to respond. Trust me, it works! a
3. Laugh Out
It may sound weird but humor is a good way to break the seriousness. So often when am not able to follow the point 2 (as mentioned above) I forcefully laugh and make kids laugh too. Kids are usually scared in such situations knowing they will get a scolding. A totally opposite reaction pacifies it- eases them, as well as, us out. n
4. Know my trigger points
I usually know my trigger points and be extra careful about how to respond to that. For example, mess is a trigger point for me. Not just coz of the wastage, but also coz of the clean-up involved. So I often turn it ‘cleaning up the mess’ into a game for kids. Cleaning sessions are like a family mission where mumma is the captain & they follow her.😉
5. Respond, Not React
I read it somewhere situations like these call us to ‘RESPOND, NOT REACT’. Take a pause, think & RESPOND. Reactions are always extreme. COUNSEL them LATER for the wrong-doing. That would probably create more impact than just scolding.
6. Cry It Out
When it gets totally impossible for me to control my anger, I cry it out. I find it better than shouting at the moment. And I think it’s okay!
Despite of all this, there are days when I do end up yelling too. I’m not perfect, you see! But such days are few now. Also just as they apologize, I do too & hug them tight.
Dealing with parenting anger is tough but not impossible. Infact anger management for parents is the key to calm parenting and happier kids. Next time you are in a situation when your blood boils and you are about to scream at your kids, Stop. Think twice, and try to solutions rather than giving in to our immediate impulse.
This post is part of the #BlogchatterA2Z challenge run by Blogchatter
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