It’s ok to be angry.
As a parent, you are allowed to be angry.
In fact , it’s probably good for your kids to see you get angry from time to time.
It’s how you behave when you are angry that matters.
Ranting and raving and screeching is probably not the best way to express your anger, so we need to find a better way.
It’s not easy, but I’m trying to be better at being angry.
Dealing With Anger as a Parent.
Be angry at the right thing.
Think about what is really making you cranky.
Would the child who is slow to put his shoes on bother you so much if you were not stressed about being on time for an appointment?
Would the constant questions and requests drive you quite so bonkers if you weren’t already trying to do a hundred things at once?
Is it your child you are frustrated with, or the situation?
I often fall into this trap, but when I recognise what is actually making me angry I can address it directly, and I can stop my kids from getting in the firing line by being honest and asking for help – “I’m feeling super stressed about getting to this appointment on time so I might be a little cranky, can you help me by getting ready quickly?”
And while we are thinking about it, if you are constantly feeling stressed and angry, it might be time to take stock of things, to look at your triggers and look for ways you can ease up on yourself and those around you.
Be angry in the right way
We all have our moments when we lose it and yell and scream and rant and rave, but If you are like me, you know as soon as you start down that slippery slope that it really doesn’t help, and often it just makes things worse. But it also doesn’t help to supress your anger and pretend it’s not an issue, we need to find appropriate ways to express our frustration.
That good old “I message” works a treat for this – “I feel angry when…”
Or try giving yourself some time out, taking a walk, going outside to yell at the sky, or angrily hanging the washing (what? I can’t be the only one who does that?), whatever helps you release the anger and frustration without directing it at someone else.
Again, talk to your kids, especially if they are old, but even if they are little – “I’m really close to loosing it right now, I need to take a break, please give me five minutes peace.” Sometimes just saying it out loud, acknowledging your feelings, is enough to help you find calm.
It’s what you do after you are angry that matters.
Ok so you’ve lost it, it happens to the best of us, but now it’s time to make it right.
Own your feelings and acknowledge them. Be real and upfront with your kids – we all get angry from time to time, that doesn’t make you a bad person. You are not your emotions.
Say sorry if you need to, explain if you need to, and ask for help to do better, then take a breath and move on, don’t dwell in the land of guilt and frustration.
And, um, in case you haven’t noticed, all these tips about dealing better with anger as a parent, are the same things we teach our kids to help them deal with anger and frustration too, and one of the best ways we can teach our kids is to be a good role model!
How do you deal with anger as a parent?
Please tell me I am not the only one who takes her frustrations out on an innocent basket of washing? Or sometimes on a poor plant that may, or may not have needed a slight trim but who got a total hacking as a way for me to let out that stress and tension.
Leave a comment and let me know how you manage anger and frustration in more positive ways.