Kids are not the only ones who are likely to throw tantrums in the fit of anger. Often, we parents are extremely susceptible to bouts of anger and are responsible for screaming and hollering at our kids. A stress induced moment acts like a trigger for a sudden and violent moment of anger.
Most parents are guilty of verbally threatening, swearing and physically lashing out at their children at some point in time. Not only is this severely damaging to the relationship but children who have had to face angry parents are less empathetic and grow up to be aggressive and violent children.
Younger children are far more gullible as the parent figure tends to be the centre of their universe. The impact gets lost once the child gets older and has a varied set of friends. Belligerence sets in and the child often becomes passive, aggressive or rebellious. Here are some steps towards better anger management.
How To Control Anger In Front Of Children
Go Back to the Child’s Infancy
The minute you see yourself losing your cool, go back to the child’s infancy when he/she was a baby. Think about their helplessness and vulnerability. Just going back will give you the extra minute or two to simmer and cool down. Older kids can get very obnoxious, so thinking what they were like when they were babies can help you get back perspective.
Get Some Distance
The minute you find yourself boiling with rage, walk out of the room. Vent out your anger in private and then get back to the child. Try to explain to the child that what he/she did was wrong. This will help you to calmly convey your feelings without hollering or losing your cool.
If you have already lost your temper, the damage is done. Do not hesitate to apologize to your kid later and explain to him/her that what you did was wrong.
This allows the kid to realize and know that even when anger is lost, it is perfectly ok to go and apologize. Do not over do the apology. Comfort the child, tell them you are sorry but also tell them that you are not too happy with their carelessness.
Do not Fight in Front of the Child
Do not ever bring your arguments on the dining table where your child gets to see them. It can be extremely traumatizing for the child to see his/her parents scream at one another. It gives them the impression that the parents will leave the child and go. Instead, tell the child that you are sorry for fighting and that mummy and daddy still love each other. Explain to the child that when two elders stay together, they get angry sometimes. By this, the child will feel secure about your relationship with each other.
Arguing with a Stranger
If you happen to have a fight with a stranger, tell your children what caused and provoked the reaction. Apologise to the kids for swearing at the stranger and it was not an appropriate reaction and that it is not ok for them to be emulating it. Also, promise your kids that you will try to not let that repeat itself. This gives your child the impression that it is ok to be angry as long as you take remedial steps to rectify it and the anger is vented in healthy ways.