I always thought I am a patient person, until I became a mother. I then realized that one of the most difficult emotions to deal as a parent, is ‘anger’.
Imagine how would I react in situations like these-
1. I clean the toys, roll the clothes back in the cupboard, tidy the room that seems like a ‘war-zone’ and leave to take a bath. I return and all I see is the same mess created again, this time worse than before.
2. I prepare a healthy snack after spending hours in the kitchen. With great enthusiasm I give it to my kids to munch and all they do is take a bite and chuck away the rest, mostly spilling it all on the floor.
3. Feeling frustrated, I react and scold my kids for their mischief. But what do I see? They’re are all the more amused, giggling and chuckling at my antics, as if I am one unique clown ready to entertain them.
Sounds familiar? Situations like these and many more are an inevitable part of a mother’s life. And as much as the situations are unavoidable, reacting to them with fury is natural too. But does that always work?
Anger does more harm than good, especially in the case of kids. We as parents cannot suppress this emotion but we can surely avoid expressing it. More so because our kids are watching us. Their every emotion and behavior is based on our reaction. They simply learn by the examples we set for them.
So, next time if you face a similar situation and cannot stop being angry, try doing this-
1. Walk out of the situation
Whenever you are infuriated, simply walk out of the room and let the kids do what they want. Giving some time-out to oneself really helps in controlling the situation. I, usually, go in another room to distract myself and return only when I feel a little more settled and calm.
2. Distract the kids
When kids are in no mood to listen and continue to do the task that’s infuriating, try distracting them. Divert their mind to another interesting task which demands them to leave the situation. So the trick is if you cannot walk out to another room, let the kids go.
3. Cry, Sing, Eat Chocolate
Sounds weird? But this works! When I can’t express my anger, I cry! With a few tears, my frustration also rolls down the cheeks. If that doesn’t make me feel better, I try to sing aloud. Yes, as loud as I can. And when even that fails, I grab my favorite chocolate and munch it with full force. And trust me, with each bite I feel better. So the idea is to do what makes you feel better. Be it a cup of coffee or a warm bath- find what works to helps you relieve the stress.
4. Ask for help
Do not hesitate in asking for help when you need it. Better yet, ask before you need it. If that requires your husband or someone else to manage the kids while you try to be at peace with yourself, then so be it.
This is one technique that relaxes the mind and helps combat the negative emotions. Sit back, pause, close your eyes and mediate. Even a 5 minutes of meditation can soothe your mind and help to create a peaceful mood.
6. Practice Mindfulness
Make a conscious effort to practice staying calm. Everytime you find yourself in such a situation, think and reflect whether you are reacting or responding. Reaction could be impulsive and extreme, response is always well-thought out, calm and non-threatening. A little mindfulness in this regard helps to deal with any situation in a more positive way.
I have tried many ways to deal with anger and these six have worked the best so far. And while I feel happy that I could successfully devise some strategies to soothe my anger, the fact that all this is triggered by mere one-year olds doesn’t fail to surprise me.
What’s your trick to soothe anger? Do share with us what works for you.
You may also like to read Dealing With A Clingy Baby: My Learnings And Experiences