How To Be A Calm Mom, Even If You Feel Angry
How you can handle challenging situations when emotions run high and you feel like lashing out at your children. Stay calm, check your own emotions and then you can attend to your child in a calm and effective way.
Children can really trigger our emotions sometimes, and anger is one that pops up easily when we are stressed out, low on sleep, and feel touched out on a daily basis. Learning how to control your own emotions before attending to the problems at hand with your children will change the way you parent in the best way. I know you can do it! You can’t control everything that happens, but you can control how you react and respond.
Personally, I still struggle with it some days. Most of the time I can put these practices into place and take a deep breath before dealing with whatever situation just made me feel angry, but there are days where I lose it and yell.
After I yell at my children, I always apologize. It just makes sense to apologize to someone when you’ve made a mistake and children are no exception when it comes to this practice. It teaches many valuable lessons too and helps you connect with your child after you’ve lost your cool.
It’s a challenge in itself to learn to control yourself while teaching your little one the correct behaviour. Especially if you yourself grew up with an angry mother. Did you know that when parents use positive discipline, children are more likely to respond well and start cooperating with your request? I was always taught in school to “treat others as you would like to be treated”. Such a powerful saying and it really stuck (fixed mindset) with me through parenthood too.
If I’m constantly giving out demands and getting angry at innocent little children who lack self-regulation skills who are relying on ME to teach how to handle big and scary emotions, they will react to situations the same way. Monkey see, monkey do..right?
REMEMBER THAT BEING A CALM PARENT WILL TAKE PRACTICE, AND IT’S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO MASTER CALM PARENTING IN ONE DAY. GIVE YOURSELF GRACE, LOVE AND TIME.
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How To Be A Calm Mom When You Feel Like Lashing Out
Here are a few ways you can stay calm, while you deal with big emotions coming from you and from your child.
- Take a moment away from your child in another room.
- Turn around and take a deep breath
- Drink some water and try to relax
- Take kids out for a walk
- Take a moment and do some jumping jacks to release happy pheromones
- Get some rest if you can
- Call a friend
- Schedule a coffee date
- Take a shower
- Scream into a pillow
These are all simple things you can do when you need to calm down and not lash out at your child, but making sure you do them takes a little bit of self-discipline and self-awareness. If your children are younger and can’t be left unsupervised while you take a shower, then perhaps that solution will not work for you, but you can take the kids out for a walk or scream into a pillow.
Remember that a sleep-deprived momma is more likely to lose her cool and have trouble controlling emotions. Another thing that can trigger anger and anxiety in a parent is a messy and disorganized home. It’s not a trigger for all moms, but it can be a trigger for some, like myself.
Another helpful thing that can help you remain calmer throughout the day is to set up routines for the family so you can feel more structured and less stressed about what comes next. I personally like to have morning routines before school, bedtime routines, school night rituals, after-school routines and even cleaning routines in place in my own home to help me keep the calm.
We all feel angry at times, and when our kids do something that triggers our anger, we really need to check in with ourselves and figure out what is really going on and calm our own anger before we can attend to the problem at hand.
Give Yourself Space If You Need It
Personally, I am a stay at home mom, and the pressure to focus on the children every second of every day is huge. All of this can get overwhelming and it is very easy to lose our cool when we are so stressed out and wearing thin.
Here are some of my best tips on how you can get more energy as a tired mom and if you need a little bit of motherhood inspiration here is a very popular and well-received post on mastering motherhood.
Get alone time as much as you can, even if it’s hiding in the pantry with a chocolate bar while the kids watch some tv. It’s ok, it’s normal and you’re not a bad parent if you do this.
How To Create Trust And Respect With Calm Parenting
It is so important to focus on the discipline strategies that can help children grow and thrive in adulthood, which is why it is imperative to show them respect and positivity, even when it’s hard.
I’ve been known to ask my children to do a task over and over again. I really really hate when that happens, and honestly, those are the situations that make my blood boil and my anger comes out.
It is such a challenge to keep your cool as a parent when simple situations cannot merit cooperation and listening.
Fortunately for me, I have some tricks I use to keep calm and collected during those tough heated situations so you can stop asking yourself ” how can I stop getting so angry at my baby/child?”.
Why Is It So Important To Stay Calm In Emotional Situations?
Children often repeat what they see. It is important to model good behaviour if you want to see good behaviour out of your kids. Parents that stay calm, warm, and gentle (even in the toughest moments) often meet the required psychological demands that children require and raise their kids with kindness and love. It also makes them feel safe.
Think about this. If you were working and you made a small mistake such as using a blue pen instead of a company black pen which company rules state you must use.
Your boss calls you in and starts to yell at you with a face that’s turning red and veins popping out left right and centre.
Would you be willing to fix your mistake and apologize or would your guard come up and you start to argue back until you also have veins popping out of your neck? Maybe you’ll cower and feel so bad about yourself your self-esteem will plummet and you might even make a rash decision and quit your job. I mean it’s an extreme situation but I am trying to paint a picture.
In this situation, you wouldn’t have a job if you yelled at your boss with popping veins, but the point is that when we get yelled at, our defences come up automatically and instead of dealing with a situation properly things just turn bad.
You can see the importance of staying calm, even when children are being destructive, impulsive, evasive, etc. Angry parent moments usually have a very negative effect on a child, especially if we resort to negative punishment (fear conditioning) too.
Related: How To Get Kids To Talk And Open Up
How To Promote Calm Communication And Managing Mommy Rage
Eliminate Threats And Bribes
If you find yourself getting angry and feel a threat coming on…stop and think.
Is saying something like ” You’re going to get in trouble for doing that, stop it right now” going to stop the behaviour? Could it maybe provoke even worse behaviour?
(most likely, YES)
If you find yourself in a situation like this, think about how you can phrase your request in such a way that a small child, who is still learning so much about the world, can understand.
Instead of: Don’t Kick Your Sister!
Use: Kicking Your Sister Is Not Ok. Let’s Find Something Else For You To Play With
Instead of: Don’t You Dare Throw That Toy
Use: Let’s Not Throw This Toy Around, It’s Meant For This Purpose (show). Let’s Put This Away And Go Do “example” Instead.
You see, children require specific information and clear instructions (that don’t sound like demands).
Your job as a parent is to provide clear and specific information in any given situation. Instead of threats and bribes, use redirection.
Sometimes children simply do not understand what you want them to do. Providing warm encouragement will go much further than threats and yelling.
When you are faced with challenging behaviour. Provide alternatives.
Instead of: Time to go home!
Use: It’s time to get going, would you like to go down the slide one more time or go on the monkey bars?
Instead of: No more computer time today
Use: Time’s up for today, would you like to turn off the computer or would you like me to do it?
Give Them Space And Time
Sometimes, in heated moments, children really do need some space.
Instead of: Go to your room!
Use: I can see you’re upset right now, would you like some time alone to think about this?
Your Calm Is Their Calm
In moments of distress, your energy becomes their energy. Provide the environment that you wish to be in, instead of a reactive, explosive situation that could end up hurting feelings and big emotions.
You are not alone if you react to situations in an angry way. I struggle with this myself, but the most important thing is that we try. All of us, collectively, need to try to be calm around our little human beings who want so much to be like us. We are their world, and scaring them with anger can be damaging to their soul.
It is ok to feel all the emotions that we feel as parents. Frustration, sadness, anger all creep up throughout the long days of parenting and feelings of disrespect and rejection are common.
I know these feelings are great, but they are understandable and you are allowed to have them. This is a difficult journey and all of these feelings will pass eventually.
How you handle these feelings is up to you. You can get grounded and you do your best to stay calm using some of the tips I mentioned.
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- Children Who Listen Have Parents Who Do These Things
- How To Be A Calm Mom, Even If You Feel Angry
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What You Should Do Next:
1. Subscribe To My Parenting NewsletterSign Up For My Parenting Newsletter for tips on creating a happier home and becoming a more positive parent. As a bonus when you subscribe you’ll get a copy of my FREE Growth Mindset Printout For Kids which is the KEY to raising resilient kids with a growth mindset.
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- Easily get kids to listen – the FIRST time. No yelling or reminding…not even once!
- Put an end to daily power struggles. Bedtime became a breeze, and all the dawdling, chore wars, sibling rivalry, and mealtime meltdowns disappeared.
- Reduce backtalk by HALF! It’s simple once you know the secrets of these two ‘buckets.’
- Say goodbye to punishments that DON’T work. There’s a 5-step formula that works WAYYY better than time-outs.
- Feel amazing, confident, and empowered as a parent, every day. I NEVER go to bed feeling guilty anymore! (Okay, well maybe sometimes…’ mom guilt’ is still a thing.)