Managing Your Anger and Helping Your Children Do the Same
We all get angry sometimes. You might be stuck in traffic, maybe
you miss a promotion at work, or your child misbehaves. It's natural for parents and children to get
stressed out, frustrated or just plain mad at someone or something from time to time...
...what really matters is how we choose to handle that anger!
1. Find out what triggers the anger.
The first step in handling anger is to understand why you or your child get angry in the first place. Pay attention to the causes of your anger.
Triggers for adults can include a child's misbehavior, frustrating events like a traffic jam, stress caused by work, finances or family, disappointment, jealousy or resentment, and sickness or fatigue.
Triggers for children are often similar and can include conflict with another child, not getting their way, rejection by peers, being bullied, being punished or scolded, and sickness or fatigue.
2. Calm Down Before Reacting.
Try one of these tips to calm down before immediately reacting to anger. Teach your children these tips and ask them to use one when they get angry:
- Take a time-out
- Count to 10
- Take 5 slow, deep breaths
- Get outside or take a walk
3. Express the anger in a healthy, calm way.
Anger is natural. If you try to ignore it, suppress it or cover it up, it can lead to more problems. There are ways to effectively express anger. AFTER you or your child calms down, try to:
Talk about the anger. Speak with another adult about your feelings. Help your child do the same by asking him questions.
Write or draw about the anger. This is sometimes easier than talking out loud, especially for children.
Exercise and get plenty of sleep. Be sure your children do the same. A healthy body is often able to better handle emotional stress.
PARENTS: Model Anger Management!
Once you work on your own anger management skills, take time to explain them (and show them!) to your children.
Parenting is a tough job that can cause stress and frustration from time to time, but you CAN learn to manage your anger, which will help your children develop the valuable ability to do the same.