Anger and frustration are universal human emotions, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a victim of negative feelings. As adults, we have an obligation to our family and ourselves to avoid allowing our emotions to get the best of us. It’s a well-known fact that parenting is challenging. It can be incredibly frustrating when you want to go to the bathroom by yourself or take a shower without hearing little footsteps outside the curtain. Or when you’ve told your child for the 100th time to turn off the light when they leave a room, it can stress you out.
One way that many parents express their anger and frustration is by yelling at their children. It’s not because they want to necessarily, but sometimes they get so overwhelmed that they lose control. Other times, it may just be easier to yell than learn strategies to become a calmer parent. Studies show that yelling makes children more aggressive, physically and verbally. As a parent, raising your voice to the point of screaming scares children and makes them feel insecure. It can cause long-term effects, like low self-esteem, anxiety, and increased aggression.
A calm parent is reassuring, making children feel loved and accepted despite naughty behavior. You can choose many responses when faced with a situation that makes your blood boil. These are some strategies that can help you become a calmer parent.
Consider the Negative Consequences of Your Anger
It’s tempting to run with your exasperation in the short term, but giving in to rage can cause even more challenges. Before lashing out at your kids or taking what you think are appropriate actions, consider how things will be when you calm down. It would also be best to consider what you’re teaching your kids when you lash out in anger. Instead of teaching them how to deal with their emotions, you’re showing them that it’s okay to yell when you’re mad. Kids watch everything you do, so consider what you want to teach them.
Give Yourself a Timeout
Parents usually use timeouts to punish their children, but timeouts aren’t just for young kids. Adults also need timeouts or short breaks to calm down. Using your timeout to take deep breaths and giving yourself a few minutes to allow a level of reason to come back to your mind can help you become a calmer parent. You’ll be in a better place to make an appropriate parenting decision. After you calm down, you might change your perspective and see the issue from a new viewpoint.
Decide What’s More Important
Many arguments result from the desire to be right or win the fight. It’s important to know that you won’t be right all the time, even as a parent. If you choose to be happy over winning every heated discussion with your kids, your life will be more enjoyable, and you’ll be a relaxed parent. This method will also help you show your children what they should know about healthy disagreements. It’s not always about being right; instead, it’s about coming to a common goal.
Let Your Family Members Be Wrong
When you’re raising children, you’ll have a lot of outside influencers, especially family members. It’s not your job to prove that someone is wrong. Instead, allow them to be mistaken. If you have a strong desire to show your family that they’re wrong, that’s your ego calling. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to teach your children the difference between right and wrong. You don’t control the choices they make, and ultimately, they’ll have to learn from the consequences when they experience errors in judgment. When they make mistakes, support them and let them know that you still love them. Also, keep in mind that everyone parents differently. What works for your family member’s children may not work for your child. As long as you’re doing your best, that’s all that matters.
Take a Minute to Notice Your Anger
It can be easy to get caught up in your anger and not realize what you’re feeling. Instead of mindlessly reacting to your frustration, it would be best to take a moment to examine it. Pretend that you’re an outsider witnessing your irritation and annoyance. What does it feel like to you? By disengaging from your anger, you can gain a different perspective and weaken your negative emotions. Separating yourself from your anger can also allow you to see how your anger affects your child. You may not realize it while you’re angry, but your anger may make your child scared of you.
Focus on the Big Picture
Anger and frustration are emotions that we feel in the moment, but once the moment passes, we realize that being angry isn’t worth it. Imagine that you know the world will end next week. Would you be upset if your child didn’t hang their backup? Focusing on the bigger picture helps you realize that life is short, and we shouldn’t harp on the small things. Instead, we should enjoy the time we have on earth and our time with our loved ones.
Look For Solutions
Acting in anger is about making yourself feel better. Rather than yelling at your kids, work with them to find a solution to the issue. The outcome will be much better and worth your time. Looking for answers instead of acting in anger also shows your children that acting out in rage shows them that you value their opinions and may increase their confidence.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
The more relaxed you are regularly as a parent, the less likely you are to become angry. Relaxation techniques can also be helpful after the fact. Learn how to self-soothe. It’s a skill that you can learn and won’t waste.
Parenting is a hard job. There will be moments that you’ll let your anger get the best of you, and that’s okay. Anger is a normal human emotion. However, being a calm parent is better for your children because they’ll feel loved and assured enough to share things with you. The worst feeling is that your children are scared to talk to you as a parent. You can become a calmer parent by practicing relaxation techniques, and your children will benefit from it.