As much as we might not want to admit it, every parent has moments when our temper gets the better of us. It's all too easy to start throwing a tantrum because our child is doing the same, but it's important to try and keep cool and remember that there are a number of factors contributing to our anger – whatever the situation.
One of the first tips for
controlling your anger is to ask yourself exactly what it is that you are angry about. Do you have some bad news you are dealing with? Are you dealing with some difficult marital issues? Are you not feeling well? Sometimes just the recognition that the cause of your anger is NOT your child can be enough to help you keep a lid on your emotions.
Sometimes you might need to give yourself a ‘time out'. Step out of the room for a moment to gain control of your anger or, if you can't do that, take a few deep cleansing breaths. It really does help.
If you are angry or frustrated because of something your child has done wrong, try to convey your feelings in a patient and respectful tone. By using your words to express yourself, you are also teaching your child how to express their feelings. It is very important for a child to learn how to properly express negative emotions such as fear, frustration and disappointment. Always use respectful and positive language. Focus your disapproval on the behaviour, not the child.
Most importantly, if you ever do lose your nerve: apologise to your child. When a parent loses their temper with their child, the child's feelings will be hurt. Whether your child shows that hurt through crying, pulling back or lashing out, you can be sure that they are hurting. A genuine apology will help to restore your relationship and convey your deep affection to your child.