The Challenges of Raising Children: Anger Management for Parents

Good family relationships

  • Raising kids is difficult work and it often seems like parents require limitless patience and resilience to get through their parenting day.
  • You will be a better parent if you can check your frustration and remain calm and contained with your kids.
  • Anger management counselling can give you the skills you need to manage your children without resorting to anger.

Raising children is a very challenging task and we all want to be the best possible parents we can be. That is why, we often need to integrate anger management techniques with parenting methods to ensure that we are rearing our children in a healthy, positive way, and in a way that will not impact negatively on them in years to come.

The Difficulties of Parenting

Parenting carries with it an enormous amount of responsibility. Children learn from their parents much of what they take into their adult life, including how they react to life situations and how they deal with others. When you parent, you are, in essence, helping shape the personality and emotional capacity of your child.

Raising children is never easy. Children can, at times, be demanding, inquisitive, slow, obnoxious, frustrating, whiney, difficult and non-compliant. We raise children in the context of our busy lives, dividing our time and energy between our children’s needs and those of our own, as well as the needs of the other members of our families.

It’s easy to get frustrated with your kids. And it’s easy to get angry with your kids. But there exist simple anger management techniques that can help you reduce agitation, stay calm and avoid anger when parenting your childen. Steering clear of angry emotions when dealing with your kids will make you better parents, and will teach your children the benefits of living a calmer and less agitated life.

All parents can benefit from learning anger management skills, because all children can be demanding. Of course, some children are more challenging then the norm, and some parents have less resistance to angry outbursts than others. Sometimes there may be a mismatch between a parent’s temperament and that of their child, for example, a highly-strung and nervous parent may find it difficult to deal with a child who has a lazy or relaxed attitude to life.

At other times, parenting skills may suffer due to the adult having difficulty dealing with their own emotional problems. A parent may have issues with anxiety or depression, or they may have under-developed coping skills. An adult who already has difficulty handling their anger will necessarily be more susceptible to agitation and angry outbursts in a parenting context. In these scenarios, it is particularly important to be aware of your communication patterns and learn to manage and contain any angry reactions you might have towards your children.

As parents, we don’t always enjoy the parenting job, not all the time. It is entirely natural to sometimes feel overwhelmed by parenting, or to not enjoy the role, or even to feel emotions of dislike towards our kids now and again. But there are good ways, and not so good ways, to handle these feelings and to deal with emotions like frustration, agitation and anger. Counselling for anger management can help parents do better by their kids.
(This article is electronically protected – Copyright © Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD)

How to Manage your Anger While Parenting

Because the temperaments of parents may sometimes be diametrically opposite to that of their children, this can sometimes trigger negative emotional reactions, including feelings that we do not wish to be parents. Children are intelligent and often sense or know how to aggravate their parents, even though they may not possess the maturity to understand why it is best not to do so. This is why anger management is important, because ultimately children need a rational role model from which to learn. Controlling our anger as parents is therefore essential to effective and enjoyable childrearing.

Anger Management Techniques

Below are some tips on how you can stay in control with your kids:

  • Try to stay calm.  Inhale deep breaths through your nose, and exhale through your mouth. When you feel angry with your child, use a counting technique – counting to 10, 20 or as long as you need to. When you approach your child, make sure that you are speaking in a calm, low voice.
  • Look out for signs that you are developing angry emotions.  Anger produces a physiological response. Our body produces adrenaline that causes our heart to beat faster and our breath to become shorter.  When you feel the onset of these physiological symptoms and become aware of your rising anger, it is important to walk away from the stimulus and give yourself time out.  You can let your children know about your frustration by making simple, direct statements such as “I am extremely upset with your behaviour, but I need some time to calm down before I can deal with you.”
  • Take yourself out of the situation and find something to distract you.  During your time out, try not to dwell on the situation you just left behind. Instead, find something to distract you. This distraction is a technique that allows you to clear your mind and thereby help you locate a solution.
  • Consider your child’s thoughts and feelings.  Children, just like adults, have motivations that underly their behaviour. As parents, it is a part of our job to help  our children understand why they think, feel and behave in the way that they do. This is why it is important that you listen to your children and think analytically and in a positive, non-judgmental way about their behaviour. Try not to jump to conclusions about why they did what they did.
  • Show patience.  Remember that children are still learning all the life skills that we adults can sometimes take for granted. They may not be aware of the impact of their actions on others and this is why it is important to be patient with them. We are role models for our children and by acting responsibly we provide them with a working example of what healthy interactions with others look like or should be. If you want your child to behave without aggression, you must likewise avoid aggressive tones and behaviour. Lead them by example.

(This article is electronically protected – Copyright © Associated     Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD)

The Role of Counselling in Learning Anger Management and Effective Parenting Skills

It is not only children who need to learn how to behave well and be good children, we too need to learn how to be good parents. For most of us, parenting is something we undertake without training or thought, doing it haphazardly and sometimes without much self-reflection.  Working with a qualified counsellor can help you as parents deal with your children in more constructive ways.
Acquiring anger management skills is just one area of parenting in which a therapist can be of help. Counselling can also be a place where parents learn about child development and assertive disciplining techniques. (This article is electronically protected – Copyright © Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD)

Getting Help for Parenting Problems
If you or your partner are finding parenting overwhelming, or are struggling with anger issues around your kids, you may benefit from consulting with a professional counsellor.  If you would like to schedule a meeting or receive further advice, contact us today.