10 tips about anger management techniques: Parenting and grandparenting can be an emotional roller coaster. You’re filled with love for your kids and grandkids. Yet caring for them can also be scary, frustrating, and sometimes maddening. But no matter how upset you get, it’s important to control your anger around children.
The importance of managing anger
It never feels good to rage at someone you love, especially a child. Anger is a completely natural and healthy emotion. But research shows that frequent, uncontrolled anger is linked to heart disease, digestive disorders, trouble sleeping, and other health problems. It’s also linked to family violence and aggression.
Anger management can help you deal with your child or grandchild in a kind and constructive way. It also sets a good example of how to handle challenging situations and work out conflicts.
Anger management Techniques
When you feel like you’re about to lose your temper with a difficult child, rely on anger management techniques. They can help keep your anger from boiling over.
First, try to calm yourself with relaxation methods such as:
- Slow, deep breathing
- Picturing a relaxing scene (visual imagery)
- Repeating a relaxing word or phrase in your mind
- Next, try action steps. These can help you manage the heated situation:
- Talk calmly and listen. Speak clearly. Check to see if the child understands you. Remember to listen carefully to what he or she is trying to say to you.
- Be logical. Children, particularly young children, likely aren’t trying to make you angry. Realize that the child is not out to get you.
- Don’t make generalizations. Don’t say things like “you never clean your room” or “you always leave a mess.” Praise the things that your child does well or correctly.
- Know the signs of an impending storm. Your heart may start pounding. You may tense up and clench your teeth just before you’re about to lash out in anger. If so, use the time-tested method of counting to 10 before talking. Figure out what’s getting you upset. Then try to respond thoughtfully. If you’re still about to explode, leave the room until you calm down.
- Try to use the word “I” instead of “you.” This will help make things less hostile. For instance, say “I feel frustrated when you do X because …” instead of “You are making me crazy.”
- Don’t get defensive. Your child may criticize you. Don’t start a fight or criticize in return. Try to understand what’s really bothering him or her. Ask questions calmly to try to resolve the issue.
- Use some humor. Laugh, get silly with your child, or do some mock wrestling. But don’t take part in hostile teasing. And don’t make jokes at your child’s expense.
- Give yourself a break. Don’t confront your child or deal with a problem when you’re already stressed or tired from a long day at work. Take a break first. Give yourself 10 to 15 minutes to relax, calm down, and do something you enjoy. Then you can tackle a hard problem.
- If your relationship is fragile don’t use your children to score points. Stay on the same page when enforcing the house rules so your child won’t become confused about what behaviour is acceptable.
- Anger does have a purpose in parenting. You can use it as a signal that something’s wrong and a warning against danger. But expressing it in a positive way shows that you love your child and are committed to steering him along the right path.