What helped me become a calmer mom and be gentle with my child even if I’m angry

Raluca Loteanu March 26, 2017
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Calm mom | How to be a calm mom | How to be a calm parent | Tips for not getting angry | Gentle parenting

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Having a calm mom matters a lot for every child, but fighting anger as a parent is not always an easy thing. Ever since I became a mother, I tended to get angry more easily, probably because I felt overwhelmed and exhausted in my new role as a parent. But I realized that I cannot raise a calm and happy child if I don’t learn to manage my own emotions and to be a positive model for him. So I started a journey of learning to be a calm mom and to react in a gentle way even if I feel angry and upset.

I’m sharing here the lessons I’ve learned along the way. If you also want to become a calmer parent, I hope you’ll find here the inspiration you need.

1. Acknowledging that I am responsible for my reactions

Sometimes we believe that the child is the one “guilty” for our angry reactions, but the truth is that we are the only ones responsible for managing our emotions and keeping our anger in control. Our emotional state is the thing that makes the difference between moments when we overreact to our children’s behavior and moments when we manage to remain calm.

The way we react to the same behavior may be different according to how we feel in that moment. For example: if my son spills milk on the table in a moment when I feel good, I don’t give much importance to this and I just ask him to be more careful next time. But if I feel tired or stressed, I tend to overreact and to say something less emphatic (like “I can’t believe that you spilled the milk again!”, “You always spill your milk”). Also, when we need to go out and Bogdan refuses to cooperate, my reaction is clearly influenced by my emotional state. If I feel good, I have more patience and I find a playful way to convince him. If I am already angry, it is more difficult to communicate with him in a gentle way and I tend to become upset and to get into a negative mood. Even if I manage not to show this to my son, it affects me and I cannot be as patient and playful as I would wish.

The fact that I acknowledged the important influence of my emotional state on the way I react to my child’s behavior has helped me to become more aware of my feelings and to learn to control them better.

2. Identifying the triggers that cause my negative feelings and preventing them

The next step after acknowledging the importance of my emotional state was to identify those triggers that usually make me angry. I also discovered that there are some moments of the day when I am less capable of remaining calm, usually in the evening, when I feel tired after a busy day.

Then I tried to prevent the triggers and to avoid the difficult moments. Here are two changes that helped me:

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– After I noticed that the moments when Bogdan becomes totally uncooperative are one of the greatest triggers that get me angry, I implemented a special time we spend together before every important moment when I need his cooperation. In this way, he receives some special attention from me and feels more willing to cooperate. This change prevented a lot of moments when normally I would have felt angry and upset.


Read more about special time here: Why it’s important to have special time with kids (+5 ideas)

– I also changed our daily routine to make sure that I can have some quiet time when I need it. I try to alternate the moments when we play or do activities together with moments when I can focus on myself and do something I like. If I am alone at home with Bogdan and I feel tired or stressed, I give him a special toy or activity to keep him busy while I have a break. If my husband is at home, I just ask him to spend some time with Bogdan to allow me to rest.

3. Using the “stop and think” method

Preventing the moments when we get angry is the best thing we can do, but it is not always possible. When we get to the point when we already feel angry and we risk losing our temper, we must find a way to stop and to manage to have an adequate reaction in front of our children. I read some time ago about the “stop and think” method, but I only implemented it recently and it has great effects!

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The idea is very simple: when I feel very angry and I risk overreacting to my child’s behavior, I just stop and think about what happens: Is the child’s behavior really as bad as it seems or am I just exhausted and less capable of calming down? How would I react to the same thing if I were more relaxed and calm? What is the reason behind the child’s behavior?

Answering these 3 questions provides me a better understanding of the situation and helps me adjust my reaction. Sometimes children engage in a negative behavior because they feel disconnected from us and this is their way of showing us that they need more attention and love from us. I always keep that in mind when I see my son behaving negatively and it enables me see the reason behind it and help my child overcome the negative emotions that overwhelm him. As soon as he manages to deal with his emotions, his behavior will improve and I will face less stressful situations as a parent.Calm mom | How to be a calm mom | How to be a calm parent | Tips for not getting angry | Gentle parenting

4. Taking a break when I feel overwhelmed by my emotions

If I am in a moment when I really feel that anger takes over, I prefer to take a break and wait until I can calm down before dealing with the issue that has triggered my anger. It is like a time-out for me: I say to my child that I need a moment to calm down and I sit somewhere alone for some minutes. When I feel that I am calm again and I can control my feelings, I go back to my child and we discuss what happened. This helps me avoid saying things out of anger or raising my voice when I feel angry.

I also try to have regular “me time” when I have a break from my role as a mother and I can do something else. These breaks allow me to recharge my batteries and to come back in a more playful and happy mood.

{ Read also: How I find time for me (and work) as a stay-at-home mom }

5. Talking about the anger

One great way to fight against anger is to talk about it! Studies show that the fact that we manage to put our negative feelings into words helps us overcome them and understand better what emotional wounds we have.

When I feel that something is repeatedly bothering me and makes me get angry often, it really helps me to talk about it with my husband or with a friend. This discussion allows me to understand what triggers the anger and inspires me to find solutions. I also sometimes talk to my child about anger, but in a different way. I tell him that some behaviors are making me angry and that I do my best to deal with the anger and to prevent it. This sort of discussion can be a great opportunity to talk about his anger too and to find solutions together for the difficult moments.

I always keep in mind that we are role models for our children and that the way we deal with our emotions teaches them to control their own. These open discussions have had a wonderful effect on me and I have even discovered some things about me that I had never realized before. If you have difficult moments when you feel that anger takes control over you, I totally recommend to you to try to tell a friend about the things that you are going through. It could really make a difference!

To summarize all I’ve written here, here are the 5 steps that help me be a calm mom:

– I try to prevent getting angry by acknowledging my triggers and working on improving my emotional state.

– I use connection time and special time with my child to build a stronger relationship between us and to prevent the negative behavior that makes me angry.

– I use the “stop and think” method to be sure that I don’t say or do things out of anger.

– If I am overwhelmed by my emotions, I take a time-out to calm down.

– I am focusing more on learning to deal with strong emotions and I discuss my difficult moments anytime I feel that the negative feelings affect my life.

Here are 3 articles that were very helpful for me and provide more ideas about dealing with parent anger:

Crazy mad: five ways to ward off parent anger (written by Patty Wipfler, the founder of Hand in Hand Parenting)

5 Things To Do When You Feel Your Temper Rising (a wonderful article about how to choose love and to be gentle with our children even when we are mad)

You CAN Stop Yelling. Here’s your 10 step plan. (if you feel the urge to yell when you get angry, this is a great plan to stop it).


My journey of becoming a calm mom is an ongoing one and I try to be better every day at managing my own emotions. I know this is very important for raising my child in a gentle way and I am willing to do my best to accomplish this! It’s not always easy to stay calm, but I hope that I will get better on this as time goes on.

If you are dealing with the same struggle, I wish you to find what works best for you! It can be challenging to learn to deal with strong emotions in a gentle way, but it is totally worth the effort when it comes to raising happy and confident kids!Calm mom | How to be a calm mom | How to be a calm parent | Tips for not getting angry | Gentle parenting

foto: Canva

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Raluca Loteanu

If you find yourself on this blog I invite you to discover us as the happy family we are, who look with optimism and joy at life. If you want to contact me, you can find me on email, I gladly respond to each message.

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Comments (16 people commented this post)

  • avatar image

    Renee

    March 27, 2017 Reply
    Just found your site and I am so glad I did. I love the idea of using connection time with my child to build a stronger relationship. Thank you!
    • avatar image

      Raluca Loteanu

      April 3, 2017 Reply
      Thank you for the nice words, Renee! :-)
  • avatar image

    Lindsay @ Let Me Give You Some Advice

    March 27, 2017 Reply
    Thanks for a helpful post! It's never easy dealing with my anger in the moment and I like your suggestion of self care as a way to manage it.
  • avatar image

    Taylor Mobley

    March 28, 2017 Reply
    I absolutely loved reading this post. While I do not have children of my own, these are great tips for me to keep in mind when that day comes!
  • avatar image

    Whimsy

    March 30, 2017 Reply
    Such great advice here :) Every tip that you gave reminded me of a British show called "Parenting for Idiots" (It is a seriously amazing show!). It shows how parents are not perfect, and that raising a child is a blessing and a migraine all at once.
    • avatar image

      Raluca Loteanu

      April 3, 2017 Reply
      It sounds like a great show, I would be curious to see it!
  • #35 Inspirația săptămânii (25 - 31 mar 2017) | Cristina Oțel

    March 31, 2017 Reply
    […] “What helped me become a calmer mom and be gentle with my child even if I’m angry” – Raluca a povestit pe blogul ei în engleză despre 5 lucruri pe care le-a făcut pentru a deveni mai calmă în relația cu băiețelul ei. […]
  • avatar image

    Elizabeth Brico

    March 31, 2017 Reply
    These are fantastic tips. With two toddlers and PTSD, I definitely struggle with managing my temper sometimes. I love the special time idea. I pinned that post and this one. Thank you so much for your honesty and helpful tips. Wonderful post! I'll probably share it around a bit too.
    • avatar image

      Raluca Loteanu

      April 3, 2017 Reply
      Thank you, Elizabeth!
  • Cum putem deveni parintii blanzi si empatici de care copiii nostri au nevoie ⋆ Raluca Loteanu

    April 10, 2017 Reply
    […] Gaspar Gyorgy a scris un articol plin de informatii interesante despre cum putem invata sa ne intelegem si gestionam emotiile (mai ales cele generate de rani emotionale din copilarie), il puteti gasi aici: Cum ne vindecam copilul interior. Daca credeti ca este de folos, am impartasit pe blogul meu in engleza lucrurile care m-au ajutat pe mine sa devin o mama mai calma, gasiti articolul aici: What helped me become a calmer mom and be gentle with my child even if I’m angry. […]
  • No-Drama Discipline: Book Review – Man-Cub Mamas

    May 6, 2017 Reply
    […] What I wish the book had emphasized more is tools for parents when they feel they are going to lose it. Too often the book emphasized a parent immediately being able to empathetically rush to their children’s side. But honestly a lot of situations that call for this are ones in which I too am feeling out of control and angry. So if you are looking for ways to address that issue, I would recommend this article: What Helped Me Be A Calm Mom. […]
  • The lessons I've learned to prevent yelling at my child even if I'm really angry - Playful Notes

    May 11, 2017 Reply
    […] in the right way and to repair the mistakes that I make along the way! When I wrote about what helped me become a calmer mom, I realized that one of my biggest struggles is to prevent raising my voice when I get angry! Every […]
  • avatar image

    Karen

    May 17, 2017 Reply
    Wow very good advice... I'm a mom of 2 kids under age of 2... thank you for your posts. I will be reading more of them :)
    • avatar image

      Raluca Loteanu

      May 18, 2017 Reply
      Thank you, Karen! :-)
    • avatar image

      Raluca Loteanu

      May 18, 2017 Reply
      Thank you, Karen! I'm glad to read this! :-)
  • My blogging journey: Six amazing months - Playful Notes

    June 9, 2017 Reply
    […] 1. What helped me become a calmer mom and be gentle with my child even if I’m angry […]

Leave your comment

Comments (16 people commented this post)

  • avatar image

    Renee

    March 27, 2017 Reply
    Just found your site and I am so glad I did. I love the idea of using connection time with my child to build a stronger relationship. Thank you!
    • avatar image

      Raluca Loteanu

      April 3, 2017 Reply
      Thank you for the nice words, Renee! :-)
  • avatar image

    Lindsay @ Let Me Give You Some Advice

    March 27, 2017 Reply
    Thanks for a helpful post! It's never easy dealing with my anger in the moment and I like your suggestion of self care as a way to manage it.
  • avatar image

    Taylor Mobley

    March 28, 2017 Reply
    I absolutely loved reading this post. While I do not have children of my own, these are great tips for me to keep in mind when that day comes!
  • avatar image

    Whimsy

    March 30, 2017 Reply
    Such great advice here :) Every tip that you gave reminded me of a British show called "Parenting for Idiots" (It is a seriously amazing show!). It shows how parents are not perfect, and that raising a child is a blessing and a migraine all at once.
    • avatar image

      Raluca Loteanu

      April 3, 2017 Reply
      It sounds like a great show, I would be curious to see it!
  • #35 Inspirația săptămânii (25 - 31 mar 2017) | Cristina Oțel

    March 31, 2017 Reply
    […] “What helped me become a calmer mom and be gentle with my child even if I’m angry” – Raluca a povestit pe blogul ei în engleză despre 5 lucruri pe care le-a făcut pentru a deveni mai calmă în relația cu băiețelul ei. […]
  • avatar image

    Elizabeth Brico

    March 31, 2017 Reply
    These are fantastic tips. With two toddlers and PTSD, I definitely struggle with managing my temper sometimes. I love the special time idea. I pinned that post and this one. Thank you so much for your honesty and helpful tips. Wonderful post! I'll probably share it around a bit too.
    • avatar image

      Raluca Loteanu

      April 3, 2017 Reply
      Thank you, Elizabeth!
  • Cum putem deveni parintii blanzi si empatici de care copiii nostri au nevoie ⋆ Raluca Loteanu

    April 10, 2017 Reply
    […] Gaspar Gyorgy a scris un articol plin de informatii interesante despre cum putem invata sa ne intelegem si gestionam emotiile (mai ales cele generate de rani emotionale din copilarie), il puteti gasi aici: Cum ne vindecam copilul interior. Daca credeti ca este de folos, am impartasit pe blogul meu in engleza lucrurile care m-au ajutat pe mine sa devin o mama mai calma, gasiti articolul aici: What helped me become a calmer mom and be gentle with my child even if I’m angry. […]
  • No-Drama Discipline: Book Review – Man-Cub Mamas

    May 6, 2017 Reply
    […] What I wish the book had emphasized more is tools for parents when they feel they are going to lose it. Too often the book emphasized a parent immediately being able to empathetically rush to their children’s side. But honestly a lot of situations that call for this are ones in which I too am feeling out of control and angry. So if you are looking for ways to address that issue, I would recommend this article: What Helped Me Be A Calm Mom. […]
  • The lessons I've learned to prevent yelling at my child even if I'm really angry - Playful Notes

    May 11, 2017 Reply
    […] in the right way and to repair the mistakes that I make along the way! When I wrote about what helped me become a calmer mom, I realized that one of my biggest struggles is to prevent raising my voice when I get angry! Every […]
  • avatar image

    Karen

    May 17, 2017 Reply
    Wow very good advice... I'm a mom of 2 kids under age of 2... thank you for your posts. I will be reading more of them :)
    • avatar image

      Raluca Loteanu

      May 18, 2017 Reply
      Thank you, Karen! :-)
    • avatar image

      Raluca Loteanu

      May 18, 2017 Reply
      Thank you, Karen! I'm glad to read this! :-)
  • My blogging journey: Six amazing months - Playful Notes

    June 9, 2017 Reply
    […] 1. What helped me become a calmer mom and be gentle with my child even if I’m angry […]
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