How can the child manage anger, if we struggle managing our anger?
Here is a short clip on Tips to Manage Anger:
Here is a stroy of managing anger. A dad was showing his child to use the mower one day. As he turned away for a moment, the child pushed the mower into the flowerbed. The dad flew into a rage as his wife ran over and said ‘Tom, please remember; we are raising children, not flowers!’
Every day I meet parents struggling to overcome their own childhood wounds. Did these people have bad parents? No. Their parents themselves had imperfect parents. We can be limited by our own upbringing and sometimes so stressed that the slightest mishap by one of our kids, sends us from zero to ten.
The parents who do better seem to have a secret. They are calmer, but they also stay more connected. They are not just more patient, they are MORE PRESENT, and this produces better behaved kids. When the child makes a mistake, like the mower; they remember ‘What is most important? Be kind whenever possible; it is always possible’. Children make mistakes because they are learning, it is not a reason to punish them.
So, give your children the best of you; not what is left of you. The battle is not between parent and child, but within the parent themselves. So, strengthen your boundaries around setting a date night with your partner and taking some time for yourself. Another boundary would be leaving work on time as work expands to fit the time available. Leave work at work so you can recharge at home. Turn phones off 6-8 pm and focus on Being Present to the child
If what you are doing is not working, you may as well try something different.
Parenting is the toughest job you will ever do, yet the most rewarding.
How to stop shouting
Self-Regulation happens when we decide ‘We don’t shout in this family’ and communicate it out. Ask your children to help you to remain calm and perhaps to reward you at the end of the day with a hug for staying calm. Commit to it and reward yourself when you succeed as shouting has become the new smacking and makes your children feel threatened. I know this as my children told me when they were older that that was the impact it had on them. That is not what any parents wants to hear their child say.
How to self-calm
So, when you feel you are about to go from 0-10, take a step back, step away, and do breath control. Take three deep breaths, counting on the in breath and exhaling slowly as you count back. Ground yourself, feeling your feel on the floor, bring your focus inward and take care of yourself in the moment. It is only a feeling and it will pass. Say to the child ‘Why don’t we do our breathing?’. Set the boundary kindly ‘When you calm down; I can talk to you; I cannot talk to you until you calm down’ and go about your business. The moment the child is calming; give attention as the more positive attention we give, the less negative attention they seek. Reward the good behaviour, and the troubling behaviour if starved of attention reduces and disappears over time.