Parenting anger is tough to control; but the answer may lie in acting sooner when your child misbehaves.
A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them. Proverbs 15:18
Ever been angry at your kids? Ha. If you haven’t, then I question whether you are truly parenting them!
I read something the other day, though, that put a different perspective on parenting anger. This was the quote:
The rule of thumb is that if you find yourself losing your temper with your kids, you usually should have disciplined them earlier in the process.
Now I know that this cannot be a blanket rule because sometimes our kids just do stupid stuff that comes out of nowhere and catches us off-guard. But as a general guideline, I think this principle is smart.
If your child’s behavior has gotten to the point where he or she is making you really angry, then there’s a good chance that action should have been taken sooner.
For example, let’s say your child is negligent in cleaning his room and it becomes a battle that escalates to you becoming angry. At that point, you are disciplining your child from a very angry position.
In that instance, the discipline, or natural consequences of the messy room should have been reached in the conversation before you became so angry that you had a hard time being calm.
I know, however, that staying calm is very very hard in the moment, so this is the time to give yourself a time-out and come back when you are the adult again.
I fear, parents, that much of our “disciplining” comes out of our frustration and anger instead of out of our concern to really help our children learn from the situation. If you want to deal with the anger, then start dealing with the frustrating behavior sooner and don’t let it escalate to a point where you blow up.
Can I encourage you to do whatever it takes to stop disciplining in anger and instead focusing on what your child really needs to learn in order to not repeat this mistake again?
If you are struggling to deal with the moodiness in your home and need help, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.