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Inside: Letting go of anger and learning to be a calm parent is so important for you and your kids! Here are 4 easy steps to help you overcome parenting anger and find better ways to deal with difficult moments!
We often tend to think that parenting is all about our kids. But the truth is that parenting is also about us and our emotions. Basically, the first step in order to raise happy and confident children is to make sure that we are able to manage our own emotions and be a good role model for them.
But this is not easy at all!
Sometimes we get tired and overwhelmed and this affects our ability to be gentle parents. Losing our calm makes us do or say things that we get to regret and this only make our relationship with our kids more difficult to handle.
If you are struggling with being calm when your children have difficult moments, I’ve gathered here some tips that are very helpful in dealing with parenting anger.
But first let me be honest with you: Letting go of anger and learning to be a calm parent is a long-term journey.
You can’t just stop the anger from one day to another. It takes time. And most of all, it takes a lot of work from your side.
I experience this myself and I know how hard it can be at times! I began my journey to becoming a calm mom more than one year ago and I had plenty of ups and downs. I made mistakes, I learned from them, I started over several times.
But here is the thing: The more you try the easier it gets. And becoming a calm mom is one of the best things that you can do for your kids! So starting this journey is totally worthwhile.
How to deal with parenting anger and start becoming a calm mom
Here are the first steps to take if you are dealing with parenting anger and you want to make a change in your life.
Step #1: Acknowledging that you are responsible for your reactions
“You can’t control other people’s behavior, but you can control your response to it” (Roberta Cava)
This quote is so true when it comes to kids! They are still learning how to deal with their emotions and it’s normal for them to have difficult moments.
What can make a big difference is how we react in these moments!
So the next time when you are facing a difficult parenting moment start by taking responsibility for your emotions. Instead of thinking “I’m angry because my child is acting out” make yourself aware of what is really happening: “My child is having a difficult time and I need to control my emotions to be able to respond in a positive way”.
This may seem a small change but it can be the perspective shift you need to start becoming a calmer parent.
Here is a wonderful quote that always reminds me of the importance of my reactions:
“When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not to join their chaos.” (L.R. Knost).
Step #2: Identifying the triggers that cause your parenting anger and preventing them
A good way to do this is to write down all the moments when you get angry during a week.
At the end of the week, you will be able to see what are the main reasons that trigger your reactions. Then you can start preventing them! Even some small changes in your daily routine can make a huge difference for maintaining a positive emotional state.
(e.g. If you notice that you always get angry in the morning, maybe you could change the morning routine. If putting the kids to sleep is a trigger for you, then maybe you could implement a different approach for bedtime)
To be able to easily identify your triggers, download the printable cheat sheet at the end of the article. It will help you keep track of your triggers and take the first steps towards dealing with them in a better way.
Step #3: Using the “stop and think” method
This was a huge help for me!
The idea is simple: when you begin to feel angry and you start to do or say things out of anger, just stop! You can think of this as having a “time out” for you.
Tell your child that you are mad and you need some time to calm down. If it’s safe to leave your child alone for a few minutes, go to another room and use some easy calming strategies to let go of the anger.
>> If you need some inspiration, click here to download a list of easy Calm Down Tips for Moms.
After regaining your calm you can come back to the situation and discuss it with the child.
This is a great way to prevent making any decisions out of anger! It will prevent you from making decisions that you later regret or saying things that can hurt your child.
Step #4: Talking about the anger
Psychologists say that the first step to tame an emotion is being able to identify it and name it.
Talking about the negative emotions helps us relief part of the stress. So it’s really useful to find a close person to share your emotions with. It can be your spouse or a close friend.
You will see that you will feel much better after you speak about all the negative feelings that are affecting you!
The most effective way to talk about your parenting anger is through a listening partnership. This is a very powerful parenting tool that can have a great positive impact in your life!
You can find all the details about how to use it in this article on the Hand in Hand Parenting site: What is a listening partnership and why do I need one?
How to put these steps into practice and overcome your parenting anger
If you are struggling with managing your parenting anger, I recommend you to try this easy exercise.
Over the course of a week, write down all the moments when you got angry using the printable cheat sheet below.
Write down what triggered the anger and the moment of the day. When anger strikes, try to remember that keeping your emotions under control is your responsibility. Also, start practicing the “stop and think” method anytime you get angry.
If you were able to manage the anger in a positive way, also write down what helped you do this.
At the end of the week, analyze the list, identify your main triggers and brainstorm some solutions to prevent them from affecting you again.
You can continue the same exercise for a few more weeks to identify more triggers and find solutions for them. As I told you at the beginning of this post, letting go of parenting anger is not easy.
It takes time, patience and commitment. But a few months from now you will feel so thankful that you started this journey!
Download the Anger Tracker and start working on your triggers
To download the printable cheat sheet you just need to click on the below link.
The file includes the cheat sheet that will help you track your triggers and some additional tips to help you make the most of this exercise.
I hope that it will help you become a calmer mom and find effective ways to deal with your triggers!
“Yelling silences your message. Speak quietly so children can hear your words instead of just your voice” (L.R. Knost)
More from Playful Notes
- 7 easy habits that will make you a happier mom
- 5 powerful ways to help a child who gives up easily
- 7 activities that will help kids get ready for bedtime in a peaceful way
>> Want to remember this? Share these ideas to your favorite Pinterest board!
photo credit: Yuganov Konstantin / shutterstock.com