Tips for Managing Anger as a Parent

Tips for Managing Anger as a Parent

Being a parent is a gift and privilege, and can be one of the most rewarding endeavors of your life.

And yet, being a parent comes with a lot of responsibility.

Kids can make you feel blessed, joyous, and proud; but they can also make you feel angry.

As a parent, it's inevitable that you're going to get angry with your child.

That's why managing anger as a parent is crucial to the parent/child relationship.

Managing anger as a parent means being aware of your anger, and controlling it.

Managing anger as a parent is about knowing your limits, and finding healthy ways to mentally and emotionally channel your feelings.

We all want to be the best for our children and give them the best.

Let's look at some helpful tips for managing anger as a parent. 

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Managing Anger as a Parent: Set Boundaries

Setting healthy boundaries with your child is key to managing anger as a parent.

Children will often do whatever they think they can get away with.

Ever hear the old saying- Give them an inch and they'll take a mile?

Many children will push their parents' patience to the edge, hoping to see what happens.

Children want to be aware of the real consequences of their actions.

When managing anger as a parent it's important to establish healthy boundaries before they push you to the edge.

Boundaries exist before the wrongdoing- consequences exist afterward.

Managing anger as a parent is about, well…managing.

Setting clear and reasonable boundaries for your child is key to managing anger as a parent.

Setting boundaries means letting your child know beforehand what behavior is acceptable.

Managing anger as a parent is easier when you've already established boundaries because often it prevents a situation that provokes you.

If you can act by setting boundaries with your child, then you can reduce the number of times you have to react to their wrongdoing.

This kind of preemptive planning when it comes to discipline is an important part of managing anger as a parent.

Managing Anger as a Parent: Take Five

Taking a break is key to managing anger as a parent.

Anger has a nasty way of bubbling up, simmering, and then boiling over suddenly.

Anger can explode, and once it does can do irrevocable damage to the parent/child relationship.

Once spoken, words cannot be erased.

Anger has a way of destroying trust in any relationship.

Managing anger as a parent means preserving your child's trust in you by avoiding angry outbursts.

That's why taking a moment to catch your breath and collect your thoughts is crucial to managing anger as a parent.

It's often better to temporarily walk away from an explosive situation than do something you'll regret.

Take five.

Managing Anger as a Parent: Over-Sharing

An important part of managing anger as a parent is learning to manage what you share, and who you share it with.

As we've already observed, trust between a parent and child is paramount to a healthy relationship.

Arguments between a parent and child often involve sensitive behaviors, thoughts, and feelings.

Your child needs to know they have your confidence.

And yet, it's important for the psychological health of any parent to discuss arguments with their child with someone else.

You may feel the need to confess to a peer about losing your temper.

You may desire advice or counsel from a friend or family member.

You may even feel the need to vent your frustrations.

These are natural feelings and can be healthy ways to manage anger.

And yet, when managing anger as a parent, it's crucial to discern what should be shared and with whom.

Make sure you don't over-share.

Managing anger as a parent means being careful when you share and consider your child's feelings first.

You may share details about your anger with your child, and that information somehow gets back to them.

The last thing you want is for your child to feel betrayed.

Managing anger as a parent is about safeguarding your and your child's emotions.

Building and preserving trust is an important way of managing anger as a parent.

Managing Anger as a Parent: Avoid Ultimatums

Judging the appropriate time and place for giving your child an ultimatum is key to managing anger as a parent.

The trouble with ultimatums is that they are so ultimate, that is…final.

How many times have parents said- If you ever do X again, then I will do X?

Giving an ultimatum when you're angry is dangerous, because often it may sound like a threat.

As a parent, the last thing you want is for your child to feel threatened- especially by you.

Giving an ultimatum when you're angry is also dangerous because you may not really mean it.

If you give an ultimatum when you're angry and don't mean it, and your child challenges the ultimatum, you can lose respect and credibility.

Respect between you and your child is paramount when managing anger as a parent.

Managing Anger as a Parent: Avoid Threats

Managing anger as a parent is about avoiding all kinds of threatening behavior when you're angry at your child.

As humans, when we feel threatened, we often act irrationally and even violently.

Threats and threatening behavior have a nasty way of escalating anger and rage.

Threats toward children may include: taking away privileges, spanking, denying gifts, grounding, and denying them access to friends or partners.

Threatening behaviors may include: getting in their face, excessive pointing or gesturing, and throwing or breaking household objects.

In some cases, anger leads parents to threaten physical violence or actually commit violence.

Managing anger as a parent is about managing urges that create a threat.

All threatening behavior, when done in anger, is mentally and emotionally destructive to a child.

When managing anger as a parent, you must discern the appropriate time and circumstance for administering a threat.

For example, if you threaten to take away TV privileges, wait until you are calm to administer the threat.

Managing anger as a parent means learning how to dispense discipline free from anger.

Your child should know you are serious and take your threat seriously.

Your child will not take your authority or threats as seriously when you are angry. 

Conclusion

Every parent gets angry from time to time; it's natural.

But managing anger as a parent is key to cultivating a trusting, respectful and loving relationship with your child.

Anger is difficult to manage, especially when your child acts out or rebels.

If you or someone you know struggles with anger towards their child, seek professional treatment.

A licensed professional counselor can advise you on ways for managing anger as a parent.

You and your child can even seek counseling together and together find forgiveness and healing.

Managing is possible- seek professional parenting treatment today.

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October 7th, 2022

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