Temper tantrums, sibling fights and all those other incidents of misbehavior eat away at a parent’s patience. Anger is a natural reaction, but how you deal with it makes the difference, especially when it comes to your kids. If you find yourself regretting how you handle your kids out of anger, take time to explore anger management techniques to stay under control. Your own anger management skills show your child how to deal with upsetting situations.
Watch for the signs you notice in yourself when you become angry. Notice the sensations you feel, your heart rate, your change in attitude and other signs that your anger is taking control. Make a conscious effort to notice those signs so you can stop your anger before it gets out of control.
Identify the situations and behaviors from your children that typically cause you to get angry. Consider your usual reactions to common situations, such as your child talking back or hitting you. Identify the situations that are annoying but not worth an angry response, particularly things that don’t hurt anyone or anything.
Practice responding to those small situations without anger. For example, if your child spills his cereal, try responding calmly by handing him a paper towel and helping him clean it up.
Talk yourself down when you notice the anger taking over. Remind yourself that you are the adult and you will stay in control so the situation can be resolved without anger. Repeat positive self-talk to keep yourself calm until the situation is resolved.
Breathe deeply when you feel your anger rising. Count as you breathe to refocus your mind.
Tell your child you are getting angry, whether she already knows or not. Explain to her what is making you made rather than saying you’re mad at her. For example, you might tell her that hitting her brother is making you angry.
Take a time-out yourself if you can’t keep your anger under control. Walk to another room and take a few minutes to calm down as long as your child isn’t doing anything dangerous. When you calm down, return to the situation and help your child resolve it so you can all stay calm.
Give yourself a break if you do lose your temper. Beating yourself up over your anger won’t solve anything.
Take an anger management class or see a counselor if you are unable to keep your anger in check. A therapist can help if your anger stems from your own past issues that you haven’t resolved.