Those positive parenting reels we watch after kids are asleep, many times make us cry. We are beating ourselves up with tears of guilt and shame because maybe anger got the better of us while dealing with them that day.
But sometimes, getting angry at your child is just inevitable. Maybe you are sick, annoyed at your boss, or just had an argument with your partner. The children start to feel like triggers and you tend to take out all that built-up frustration on them. And then later at night, we regret it! It feels like we are stuck in a loop.
Such is the turmoil of a mom’s life. If you are here, you already know the possible repercussions of getting angry at your child on their mental health, so I will not get into those details.
But rather than letting it pass as a bad day, let’s look more intently into why we feel as we feel and what can we do to make our and our children’s lives better.
Anger is an intense emotion! There can be no one in this world, at least not a single parent who never gets angry at their child. It is completely normal to get angry. The point of concern here is not the feeling of the emotion, but the expression of it. So, we first need to accept that we are angry, irritable, or simply having a low day. Acceptance gives us the leverage to fix things within and not the child.
2. Remember the Consequences
Newton’s third law states, ‘For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.’ Every parent in this world should know by heart Newton’s third law of motion. Because this will make us understand that no matter what you try to communicate if it’s not how your kids will want to listen, they will react in the exact opposite way of how you expect them to behave. Many times, while I am in a fit of rage and yelling at my kids, I am instantly realizing that this sh#@ is to hit the fan. And it does! The situation just gets worse. So keep reminding yourself of the consequences of getting angry at your child which might stop you from acting further.
Kids of any age just want love. Even if this may sound like a cliché, this is the biggest truth of all. Mainly, their meltdowns or tantrums are also caused just to grab the attention of their parents. Right?! So, hold onto that. One gentle hug irons out any disarrangements and conforms to many of their big emotions. And in scenarios where you feel there is a need for discipline, go through the gentle ways. Rather than getting angry at your child read 5 Positive Ways to Discipline Your Child to help you out.
4. The Hard Truth
No matter how positive your intentions are, you can still lose it at times. Days that are sad or too overwhelming. On those days, remember, your mental well-being is most important. It is okay if they are making a mess, it is okay if they are being clingy and crying, and it is okay if they just want to watch the screen and eat junk. For days like those, keep your sanity above all. Let it be! Just find a space where you can be locked alone for a while and take out that anger. Scream or cry or just talk to your bestie and vent it all out.
5. Keep a check on yourself
If you feel after a while that the ‘loop’ is not breaking and you getting angry at your child for no major reason, it might be a good idea to turn to an expert. Always remember you are doing this for yourself and for the children to grow up as kind and confident adults. Researchers have found that many times our unresolved and suppressed childhood traumas may result in anger issues. Sometimes, a woman goes through so many bodily changes that affect her hormones which can also result in mood swings and feelings of irritability. Therefore, if there are some other physical indicators too, it will be advisable to get a medical opinion.
Parenting is super hard. When our ‘bundle of joys’ start converting into ‘creators of mayhem’, they do get on our nerves. Everyone is bound to make mistakes, if they are, even you are. But what matters most is to work on preventing them to happen again and again. It is crucial to be conscious, which you already are if you have read this article. So rather than beating up ourselves each day for getting angry with our kids, let’s take a pledge to work on ourselves. To build a persona that is stern yet calm when the need arises.
The most crucial thing to remember is that it’s not a work of the fairy Godmother’s magic wand. It will take time. But you have to keep reminding yourself of your goal – not getting angry at your child.