Getting angry at your child can happen to all parents. However, this reaction can lead to increased stress in the child as well as different emotions, such as fear, helplessness, sadness, and shame. In addition, anger is often followed by a feeling of guilt and shame in the parent.
How to keep your cool
When you feel anger rising in you, rather than exploding in front of your child, you could walk away for a moment and do things that will lower your blood pressure. In addition to calming you down, you show your child that there are healthy ways to manage anger. Here are some tips that will help you master and relax:
When you are angry, it is important to put your child’s safety first. If you have to move away to calm down, be sure to leave it to someone you trust.
- Change the dialogue in your head. For example, instead of thinking, “I’m no longer capable! Say, “I’ll calm down before I react. “
- Count to 10, breathe deeply or drink a glass of water.
- Remember a moment of happiness or tenderness with your child. This memory releases into your brain dopamine and oxytocin, hormones of well-being that will calm you down. Giving a hug to your toddler produces the same effect.
- Change your ideas, by listening to music for example.
- Change rooms or leave a few minutes, but make sure before your toddler is safe.
- Call your partner, a friend, etc.
- Write about what made you angry.
You can also tell your child that you are angry and explain what you are doing to calm yourself down. For example: “Whew, I feel a ball of anger rising in me, I’m hot and my heart beats quickly, I’ll count to 10 to calm down. When you tell your child how you feel, he learns how to recognize and name his emotions.
Above all, avoid violent gestures (eg throwing an object against the wall or banging on something) as this would scare your child and fuel your anger instead of calming you down.
Having a glass of alcohol to calm you down will not help you either as it may make controlling your emotions more difficult.
To try too
When you get angry, your body produces cortisol and becomes tense. To release this tension, moving is an effective way. For example, you can run on the spot, jump or dance.
If you do not feel comfortable doing so, you can hold your hands in front of your chest, take great breaths and squeeze your hands together with each exhalation. You can also press your hands on a wall and, at each expiration, push hard on it.
After 1 or 2 minutes, you should feel less tense and ready to interact more calmly with your child.
Why does a parent get angry?
Above all, it is important to ask yourself if your child’s behavior is really causing your angry reaction.
To find out, ask yourself if you always react the same way when your toddler adopts a certain behavior (eg, every time he cries). Generally, the answer is no. Your mood, your energy level, your workday and the accumulation of small stresses greatly influence your reactions to your child.
For this reason, take the time to understand your reactions. This reflection allows you to determine ways to work on the real problem and thus reduce the chances that the situation will happen again.
For example, if you often lose patience at the end of the day, it may be because your mind is still at work or busy planning supper, while your child is in the present moment (eg, “I” I’m hungry! “,” Play with me! “, etc.). Since your level of tension is already high, the slightest opposition from your little one can make you angry.
If so, be honest with your little one. For example, you can tell him: “I lost patience when you refused to go for a bath, but it’s not your fault. I had a hard day at the office. I am sorry for my reaction. ”
To avoid this situation, you could take 5 minutes to return home to make a big family hug. This moment will bring you back to the moment, soothe you and give you the energy you need to continue the rest of the evening.
Should you apologize to your child?
When you apologize to your child, stand up to him and look into his eyes. He will understand the sincerity of your excuses.
Because of his immature brain, your child thinks everything is centered on him. So when you get angry, he thinks he’s responsible for your reaction and you do not like him anymore. If you have reacted too strongly in front of your toddler, it is better to apologize and admit that you should not have carried away.
For example, you can tell him, “I was very angry earlier. That’s why I went to the bathroom to breathe, calm down and then think better. Your child understands that you are making mistakes too and that you are able to recognize them.
Moreover, when you apologize, you become a role model for your child. He sees that you put into practice what you teach him, such as naming his emotions and finding ways to calm down.
Apologizing to your child will not hurt your authority. On the contrary, it can soothe your child and strengthen your relationship with him.
If your child has really misbehaved or behaved in a way that you do not accept, take advantage of the moment when you apologize for calmly explaining what made you angry.
After apologizing, take the time to hug or play with your child to reconnect.
To help you deal with discipline problems without getting angry:
- Crisis of anger: understanding them to better intervene
- Discipline: withdrawal
- Intervene when your child does not follow the rules
- Intervene: quibble with your child
- Discipline: when and how to define rules and limits
- The child who refuses to obey
When you are angry, it is impossible to adopt thoughtful educational behavior. Calm down first and then intervene.
After being angry, it is important to re-establish the “connection” with your child through gestures of affection or a period of play.
Think about what really triggered your anger and take action to address it.