7 strategies to control anger with your children

There’s an old saying that goes, “Patience is a virtue.”

Having children, as beautiful and rewarding as it is, can sometimes test this virtue to its limits. We’ve all been there – the moment when frustration builds, tempers flare, and before you know it, you’re shouting at a 7-year-old for spilling milk on the carpet.

But here’s the kicker.

You may not even realize it, but how you handle your anger could significantly affect your relationship with your children.

Have you ever asked yourself, “How can I better control my anger with my kids?” I’ve got seven strategies that might help. These tips have been game-changers for me, and they might make all the difference for you too.

This isn’t about never getting angry. That’s unrealistic. It’s about managing that anger in a way that builds relationships, not breaks them down. So get ready to explore these seven strategies to control anger with your children.

Let’s dive in and see if we can turn those heated moments into opportunities for growth and connection.

1. Understand the root cause of your anger

Identifying the root cause of your anger is the foundational step in managing it. Often, our anger stems from feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or misunderstood.

Reflect on the situations that trigger your anger. Is it when your child misbehaves, when you’re juggling multiple tasks, or when you’re not being heard? Understanding these triggers can help you anticipate and prepare for these situations.

Here’s a quick exercise to help you understand your triggers:

  • Keep a journal to record instances when you felt angry.
  • Note down what happened just before you got angry and how you reacted.
  • Reflect on these incidents and identify common patterns.

This exercise will provide valuable insights into your own behavior and will help you take the necessary steps to manage your anger effectively.

2. Take a breather

You’re no stranger to this advice, but it can be surprisingly easy to forget when you’re in the heat of the moment.

Anger is a natural response. It’s how we handle it that counts.

The next time you feel your blood start to boil, just pause. Take a deep breath. Count to ten if it helps. It sounds simple, but it can make a world of difference.

This pause gives you a chance to collect your thoughts and calm down before responding. It’s not about ignoring the issue, but rather giving yourself a chance to address it in a more composed manner.

Your kids are watching and learning from you. Show them that taking a breather is a powerful tool in managing anger.

3. Practice self-care

I’m going to level with you. Parenting is not for the faint of heart. It demands so much from us – time, energy, patience. And sometimes, in the midst of all the chaos, we forget to take care of ourselves.

We’ve all been there – waking up on four hours of sleep, skipping breakfast because we’re running late, neglecting our hobbies because we’re too busy. But these little things add up and before we know it, we’re stretched thin and more prone to losing our temper.

Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. It’s necessary. Whether it’s a quick workout, a peaceful cup of coffee in the morning, or a few pages of that book you’ve been meaning to read – make time for it.

Self-care isn’t solely focused on relaxation. It’s about replenishing those parts of you that are depleted every day. Trust me, your patience will thank you for prioritizing it.

4. Use ‘I’ statements

Communication is key to managing anger. And one of the most effective ways to communicate your emotions is by using ‘I’ statements.

Instead of saying, “You’re so messy! You never clean up after yourself!” you can say, “I feel frustrated when I have to clean up toys after playtime.”

This way, you’re not blaming or criticizing your child, which can escalate the situation. Instead, you’re expressing your feelings and setting clear expectations.

‘I’ statements are a simple yet powerful tool to express your feelings without sparking defensiveness. Try incorporating them into your conversations with your kids to see their impact.

5. Set clear boundaries

It’s no secret.

Kids push boundaries. It’s their way of exploring the world and understanding what’s acceptable and what’s not.

But when these boundaries are unclear or constantly changing, it can lead to frustration on both sides. And frustration, as we know, can often lead to anger.

That’s why setting clear, consistent boundaries is so important.

Whether it’s about bedtime, screen time, or behavior towards siblings, having clear rules helps your child know what to expect. It reduces the chances of clashes and helps you stay calm when enforcing those boundaries.

The key here is consistency. If you say no to something today, make sure the same rule applies tomorrow. This consistency not only helps you keep your cool but also builds trust with your child.

6. Let your child see you angry

This may seem like strange advice. After all, aren’t we trying to hide our anger from our kids? But it’s not about losing control or lashing out. It’s about showing your children that it’s normal to feel angry sometimes and demonstrating healthy ways to deal with that anger.

If you never show anger, your children won’t learn how to handle it when they feel this way themselves. By letting them see you angry and watching how you manage your feelings, they learn valuable coping skills.

Next time you’re feeling frustrated, don’t just put on a smile and pretend everything’s fine. Open up a dialogue with your child. Tell them you’re feeling angry, explain why, and let them see how you calmly work through those feelings. Our children learn more from what we do than what we say.

7. Remember they’re still learning

One afternoon, my daughter accidentally knocked over my favorite vase. As I looked at the shattered pieces, I felt a surge of anger. But in her tear-filled eyes, I saw something else – fear and regret.

That’s when it hit me. She didn’t break the vase to upset me. She was just being a curious kid and made a mistake.

Our children are still learning about the world and their place in it. They’re bound to make mistakes along the way. And our job isn’t to punish them for these mistakes, but to guide them and help them learn from them.

It’s not easy to remember this in the heat of the moment, but doing so can help you respond with kindness and understanding instead of anger.

Creating a Positive Home Environment

A positive home environment is the foundation where all these anger management strategies come into play. It’s the nurturing ground for open communication, empathy, and understanding – the pillars of effective anger management.

Creating such an environment starts with fostering mutual respect. Respect your child’s feelings, thoughts, and individuality. Encourage them to share their feelings without fear of judgment or punishment.

Open communication is another key aspect. Regular family discussions, where every member can express their thoughts and feelings, can go a long way in promoting understanding and managing conflicts.

Also, keep in mind that love and affection are powerful tools in diffusing anger. Regular expressions of love remind your child that even though you may get angry at times, your love for them is constant.

The journey towards effective anger management is not always easy, but with patience, consistency, and the right strategies, it is certainly achievable.

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

Tina Fey is a nomadic writer with a background in psychology, specializing in child development. Born and raised in diverse cultural settings, she developed a deep understanding of human behavior and the intricacies of parenting. Driven by her passion for helping others, Tina now contributes to Careful Parents, offering practical advice and insights drawn from her expertise and experiences. Through her articles, she aims to empower parents with effective strategies for nurturing healthy relationships and fostering their children's growth.

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