3 steps to calm your anger towards your kids.
Children can be very tough, especially when you have had a long and stressful day. Normally, you can deal with it, but at times the behavior is so severe, or you are just so tired and fed up that you feel you might “lose it.”
What to do?
1. Remove yourself from the situation. Lock yourself in a room and put yourself in a time out. Time out does not mean punishment, not for your child and not for yourself. It is a time to decompress and refocus. Remember, it is ok to leave children crying while you take a break. As long as your children are safe, it is ok to leave them in any room of the house, even if they need something or are crying. Your well being is just as important as theirs. If you feel so overwhelmed that you might break, you are really in no state to help someone else, not even your child.
2. Validate yourself. It is ok that you are feeling so upset and angry. Sometimes kids know exactly how to push our buttons. More importantly, we are human, we get tired, we get stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, fed up, you name it! You are not alone if you have ever felt so angry that you are scared of what you will say or do. People do not know that others have felt the same way because no one talks about those dark moments. We might feel embarrassed or alone in our feelings. However, many parents get to a point where they feel they will “lose it.” These feelings do not make you a bad parent. What differentiates one parent from the next is what we do with our feelings. How we behave during our most heightened anger is what counts, not the feeling.
3. Calm Down. Each person has a unique way of calming down. There is no universal way on bringing down the heightened emotion. There are suggestions, such as breathing relaxations, listening to music, self-talk, etc. Each person needs to find a method that works for them. This is a skill that each individual needs to learn.
Once you have regulated your emotions and used skills to calm down, you are in a better emotional state to address your child’s needs and behaviors. Think of airplane safety, first put an oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on a child. If you are not safe, you are in no place to help your child.