We’re all irritable from time to time. New and fantastic ideas to help you quit shouting at your kids when you’re angry, as well as how to catch yourself before losing your cool.
Why Am I Getting Angry With My Child?
Every parent gets irritated with his or her children from time to time.
It doesn’t help that we’re trying to work at home with kids who are restless, bored, and screen-addicted now that there’s remote schooling and fluctuating school schedules. The demands are endless: late zoom appointments, items we neglected until the last minute, health and financial concerns, and so on. In the midst of this anxiety, our child appears, having suddenly recalled she hasn’t completed her school project for today, is tormenting her younger brother, is stealing screen time, or is outright hostile. As a result, we snap.
However, no matter how irritating our children’s behavior is, it does not elicit an angry response from us. We may occasionally be patient and compassionate and calm the storm if we’re in a good mood.
However, when we’re under duress — maybe in the midst of a pandemic! — we’re more likely to overreact. We see our children’s behavior (“He struck her again!”) and form a conclusion (“He’ll grow up to be a psychopath!”), which leads to other conclusions (“I’ve failed as a parent!”). This chain of events sets in action a cascade of emotions — in this example, dread, dismay, and guilt. Those emotions are unbearable to us. We believe that the best defence is a good attack, so we lash out in frustration at our child. It takes a long time to complete the procedure.
Your child could be tickling your buttons, but he isn’t the one who makes you react. Any situation that makes you want to hit out has its origins in your childhood. We know this because, during those times, we lose our capacity to think rationally and begin acting like toddlers, throwing our own tantrums.
Don’t be concerned. That’s quite typical. We all come into parenting relationships with scars from our childhoods, and our children bring those wounds to the surface. At times, we may anticipate our children to behave out in ways that push us over the edge. As a result, it is our obligation as adults to keep away from the edge of the cliff.
What Happens to Your Child When You Scream or Hit
Consider your spouse losing his or her cool and yelling at you and hitting you. Consider them three times your size, towering above you. Consider how much you rely on that individual for your food, housing, safety, and protection. Imagine that they are your only source of affection, self-assurance, and global information and that you have nowhere else to turn. Take whatever emotions you’ve evoked and multiply them by a factor of 1000. That’s similar to what happens to your child when you’re upset with him.
Of course, we all become upset with our children, even outangerd at times. The goal is to summon our maturity so that we can regulate how we express our anger and therefore reduce its harmful consequences.
Anger is frightening enough. Because the kid is reliant on the parent for his sense of self, name-calling or other verbal abuse in which the parent talks disrespectfully to the child has a more personal impact. And children who are subjected to physical aggression, such as spanking, have been shown to have long-term detrimental consequences that affect every aspect of their adult lives, from lower IQ to tumultuous relationships to a higher risk of drug misuse.
If your small child appears unconcerned with your anger, it’s because he or she has witnessed too much of it and has evolved defences against it — and against you. The unpleasant outcome is a child who is less inclined to desire to please you and is more susceptible to peer group pressures. That implies you’ll have to perform some repairs. Whether they express it or not — and the more we become angry, the more guarded they become, and thus the less likely they are to exhibit it — our anger is scary to our children.
Recognizing Triggers Making You Angry
Recognizing the triggers that make you angry, and then being aware of how your body reacts, is the first step toward change.
Your body expresses agitation in the same way that we read other people’s body language to determine if they are sad, angry, or pleased.
Before you even realize you’re unhappy, your body will send you signals.
Signs You’re Getting Angry:
- fists clenched
- Teeth grinding
- You’re biting your lower lip
- Your heart is racing.
According to neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, author of Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, our feelings make 95 percent of the decisions for us.
Before we think, we feel.
We react based on how we feel.
“We are not thinking machines,” he says when describing human emotions. We’re sensing thinking machines.”
Because we make decisions based on our sentiments, it’s critical for parents to be mindful of their own feelings. To become aware of our bodies’ reactions to triggers and to notify our brains that a flashing red light indicates that we should click the stop button. Otherwise, we’ll be led by our sentiments of anger and behave in ways that aren’t representative of the parent we want to be.
How To Stop Losing Your Temper With Your Kids
I’d like to share with you a few suggestions on what to do if you’re ready to lose your cool. Take a few deep breaths or go hide in the closet and eat a bag of chocolate chip cookies aren’t enough. These suggestions go above and beyond.
These are some fresh suggestions that you may attempt right now to assist you stop losing your cool with your children.
- Hug your child for 20 seconds. When you start to get angry, put your pride aside and choose to love your child in the moment. A 20-second embrace has been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure and pulse rate, assisting in the restoration of calm.
- Pretend you’re not by yourself. Consider another person in the room with you, such as your mother, closest friend, or your children’s teacher. What would you do if they were standing right next to you? Isn’t it likely that things would be different? Because others are there to hold you responsible, you’ll follow all of your parenting principles, such as responding rather than reacting, being cool, leading with empathy, and speaking softly.
- Bring yourself down to your children’s level so you can see each other in the eyes. Can you image raising your voice in front of your tiny love when you look them in the eyes? No, because when you see their eyes gazing back at you, the notion of shouting at them vanishes.
- If your children are misbehaving or refusing to obey, repeat the statement, “He is only a kid.” He’s only (insert your children’s age here).” This will remind you that they’re only kids, and because they don’t have all of the skills that adults do to relax their bodies or recall several tasks at once, it will help you relax and remember their true age and capabilities.
- Start with a good attitude. Begin with “I adore you” or “One of the things I like most about you is…” before addressing the issue. You can say things like, “I love you, but I don’t like the choices you’re making right now” or “One of the things I like most about you is your kindness, but you’re not being kind right now when you say terrible things.”
- Change the atmosphere by changing your voice. Instead of shouting, say what you want your children to hear or do in hushed tones. All of the commotion in the room will abruptly cease, allowing your children to hear what you’re saying. Furthermore, the calmer you speak to your children, the more they will want to listen to you and the larger the effect of your words.
- Recognize your own personal triggers. Is it loudness, lateness, tossing things, not listening, or complaining that irritates you? Create calm-down routines such as listening to a podcast or going outdoors for two minutes of fresh air when you notice your triggers playing out in front of you. The goal is to understand your triggers so you can address them before they cause you to lose your cool with your children.
- Pretend your children aren’t yours. I know that seems ridiculous, but would you shout at your niece or neighbor’s child for doing the same thing? Most likely not.
- When you’re unhappy, try squeezing a stress ball (I keep one in my car). They truly work, and I’ve heard therapists recommend them as a form of diversion.
- Talk to your children about how you’re feeling and why you need to take a break. Because children learn more from their parents’ behaviors than from their words, modelling emotional intelligence is a useful technique for both parents and children!
- Pause for a moment. To cool off, go into another room or outside for a few minutes. Then, when you return with a calm voice, discuss the issue with your children.
- Consider what occurs after you scream. To keep yourself from shouting, you sometimes have to consider the domino impact your yelling will have. What will they be like the rest of the day if you shout at them now, and how will they remember you tomorrow or next week if you yell at them now?
- To spark your body to do good, productive action instead of leading with anger, use Mel Robbin’s approach from The 5-Second Rule of counting backwards from 5 to 1, 5-4-3-2-1. In summary, once your brain recognises that you are considering taking action or an alternative route, it allows you five seconds to try to persuade yourself not to take action. Your brain will convince you that it’s easier to shout, that it’s too difficult to calm down, or that you need to let off steam, but when you apply Mel Robbin’s 5-second rule and count down from 5 to 1, all you have to do is take instant action (away from yelling.) You may go outside, embrace your child, put music on, bounce up and down, or go into another room. It doesn’t matter what action you do as long as it’s to keep yourself from shouting. Her book, The 5 Second Rule, is applicable to all aspects of life, and this approach could be used for more than just preventing screaming.
Anger has a sense of immediacy to it. It signals to your brain that it requires a release RIGHT NOW. Things might get out of control when you consider your feelings before considering your reaction. Feelings tell you that you need to respond, but being a calm and patient parent requires you to manage your reactions.
Remember, if you want your children to remain calm and in control of their emotions, you must first demonstrate how to do so.