Parenting Skills & Anger Management:
Tips for keeping calm and in control with your children
Anyone who has ever been responsible for a child knows that being a parent is extremely challenging. From time to time – and sometimes even more often – we need to blend anger management skills with our parenting skills in order to remain calm and maintain control of our recalcitrant children. Learning anger management skills and improving our parenting capacity may not only make the day to day task of parenting easier, but it will also offer our children positive role modelling and better psychological health.
Why is Parenting So Hard?
Being a parent is a huge responsibility. As a parent, you are shaping the life of another person. You hope that when they are young, you instill enough of your values and beliefs that when they become adults they are able to lead full and rich lives.
Not all children are easy to parent. Sometimes the issue is that a child's personality and temperament do not match that of the parent. If a parent is somewhat anxious and prone to anxiety, then a laid back child who has a relaxed approach to life events will drive the parent wild with anxiety and annoyance. By the same token, an anxious child may drive a relaxed parent up the wall because of the child's constant anxious reactions to minor life events and issues. (This article is electronically protected - Copyright © Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD)
Another aspect of parenting that can make it difficult is a parent's own emotional issues. Parents who are depressed, anxious or facing other issues can find parenting especially challenging. If a parent feels ambivalent about being a parent, this can also contribute to their difficulties.
However, it is perfectly natural not to feel wonderful in every moment about being a parent. It is entirely normal to have moments when you do not enjoy being a parent or might even dislike your kids. This is not something that we talk about a great deal, but the reality is that the parent-child relationship, like any relationship, is fraught with a wide variety and range of emotions and feelings, not all of which are comfortable or enjoyable. So if you have moments when you feel like you want to toss in the towel, know that you are not alone, take a deep breath and find something to distract yourself with until your feelings pass. (This article is electronically protected - Copyright © Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD)
Anger Management Skills for Parents
Differences in parent/child temperament can be the source of many difficult parent/child interactions. Children can trigger unexpected emotional reactions and moments when we simply wish we were not parents. Children can be creative and extremely intelligent little people and often they know just how to push our buttons. This is why it's important for us to utilise anger management skills when dealing with our children. Here are a few more tips for basic anger management:
- Keep your cool. Take a deep breath and make yourself slow down and count to 10 (or 20 or 100). Talk to your child in a low, calm voice. Step away from the situation if you can.
- Be aware of when you are getting angry. When we get angry, our body responds by sending out adrenaline into the bloodstream. This burst of adrenaline causes our breathing to become shallow and our heart to race. If you feel yourself getting angry, then take a time out for yourself and walk away. It is okay to let your kids know you are angry by saying something like, “I am extremely angry with you right now, but I cannot talk to you. When I calm down, we will deal with this.” This is good modeling for your children and healthier for both of you. It is much better than blowing up and creating an emotional mess.
- Find a distraction. When you take time out for yourself, find something else to do for a while and distract yourself. One great way to burn off the excess energy from an anger adrenaline rush is to exercise, take a walk or do something that involves movement. Let your mind wander and you may be surprised to find that you unconsciously find a solution to the problem with your child without intending to.
- Be willing to listen to your child. Children are humans, just like the rest of us. Although it may not make sense to us, every behaviour has a motivation behind it. Part of our job as parents is to help children think through their process and understand their actions. Be willing to listen without jumping to conclusions. Think about why they may have behaved like they did.
- Be patient with your child. Remember that children do not automatically know what they are doing and are not little adults. Part of our role as parents is to help them learn to understand themselves and be good role models for them, by acting responsibly and showing them the ropes to healthy living and interactions with others. If you show your children how you manage your own anger, as they grow up, they will hopefully learn to manage their own anger as well. (This article is electronically protected - Copyright © Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD)
How Can Counselling for Parenting and Anger Management Skills Help Me?
Just like our kids don't always know how to be good kids, we don't automatically know how to be good parents, even if we were lucky enough to have excellent parents ourselves. For most of us, parenting is something we learn on the fly. However, using the services of a counsellor, psychologist or therapist can help us work through our own feelings about being a parent and the uncomfortable feelings we may have about our children from time to time.
Professionally trained psychologists and counsellors can help parents improve their parenting skills by educating their clients about child development, age appropriate behaviours, logical and reasonable consequences, assertive communication and anger management. (This article is electronically protected - Copyright © Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD)
Helpful links for Parents and Anger Management Skills Counselling and Resources
Seeking Help for Parenting Issues
If you or your partner are struggling with parenting issues, you may benefit from consulting with a professional therapist, counsellor or psychologist. If you would like to schedule a meeting or receive further advice, please contact us at:
Associated Counselors & Psychologists Sydney
Central Booking Line: (02) 8205 0566
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