How to Handle Your Anger at Your Child

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Children are wonderful, and they bring so much joy to a family. You might think that children become easier to handle as they grow up. But the truth is, as children grow they begin to understand and want more of your time and attention. They will be fussy and demanding most of the time. These demands might be hard for you to handle with patience always. Here are a few tips you could follow when you feel like you’re about to lose it with your kids.

How does ‘anger’ affect your child?
All of us get angry at our children. The challenge is to call on our maturity so that we control the expression of that anger and minimize its negative impact.

Imagine someone you dearly love losing their temper and screaming at you. Imagine the only person you depend on completely for your food, shelter, safety, protection and your greatest source of love and care lashes at you. Now take whatever feelings you have summoned up and magnify them by a factor of 1000. This is similar to what happens inside your child when you get angry at him or her.

Anger is scary. Name calling or other verbal abuse, in which the parent speaks disrespectfully to the child takes a higher personal toll since the child is dependent on the parent for his very sense of self. Children who suffer physical violence, including spanking, have been proven to exhibit lasting negative effects that reach into every corner of their lives.

How can you control your anger?

• Commit now to ‘no hitting’, ‘no swearing’, ‘no calling your child names’. If you really need to scream, go into your car with the windows rolled up and scream where no one can hear and don’t use words, because those make you angrier.

• Your children get angry too. When you express your anger at them you offer them a role model. Your children will certainly see you angry from time to time and how you handle those situations will teach them a lot.

• Set limits before you get angry
If your children are doing something that is increasingly annoying, playing a game in which someone is likely to get hurt, stalling when you’ve asked them to do something, squabbling while you’re on the phone, you may need to interrupt what you’re doing and restate your family rule or expectation and redirect them to keep the situation and your anger from escalating.

• Choose your battles
Focus on what matters, try not to get mad and yell at the slightest mistake. Remember that every little argument takes a little bit of something away.
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