Too much pressure, too little time, shoddy communication, a tough day at work and caring deeply for our children–that’s good tinder to set off a blast of our anger.
And when we get angry with our child, we’re like trolls, huge and scary to our children.
A part of us knows this. After we flare, we often struggle with a healthy shame. We know how hurtful and threatening our anger is to our child.
We want to get a grip, without abdicating our role as a guide for our children.
We want to set boundaries and create a warm, loving home environment.
Excessive anger blows that to pieces.
So how do we handle our temper and father with compassion and consistency?
Mike Fisher at the British Association for Anger Management has worked with thousands of parents over the past decade.
These are his five keys to managing your fury.
- Try to cue your child in when you’re feeling angry. Communicate your vulnerabilities to them, let them know what’s going on with you. That’s what Fisher calls clean anger, and it’s much easier for your child to understand.
- If you do get angry, apologise. So many parents don’t, yet they expect their own children to. Try to let them know what happened and why.
- Listen to your children – you don’t always know better. Perhaps they do have a point. Perhaps they don’t need to do what you want, immediately.
- Use an anger journal – it’s a way of letting the anger have a space so you don’t have to carry it all the time.
- Get support. Reach out to your friends, other parents, people who can help. Don’t try to do it on your own. Isolation can make things worse.
Question: What do you know works for you when you loose your temper with your child?