Do you find yourself disciplining your child non-stop? Learn anger management for parents and remember these 4 things when you get upset at your children.
In one afternoon, I managed to discipline my son four times before realizing my grave mistake.
In one scenario, he accidentally moved a toy truck that his little brother had been leaning on.
Then, he pushed the swing to show his little brother how it worked. Of course he didn’t realize his brother was a mere few inches away from getting bopped in the face.
He spilled his cup of milk all over the dining table, and later, he moved the bassinet handle back and forth without realizing that doing so would break it.
So, what did I overlook?
No matter how wrong his actions may have been, he didn’t do them with bad intentions.
Take the first and second scenarios with the truck and the swing. In both instances I scolded him for potentially harming his little brother. I was more afraid his little brother would get hurt, thinking he should know better.
The third scenario with the milk was as accident as accidents get. He knocked the cup over, but with the way I reacted, you would think he had purposefully defied my authority.
And the bassinet was when I realized my mistake in all this supposed disciplining. After I told him not to mess with the handles, I saw his dejected face. It was the expression that said, “I’m in trouble again for something I don’t even know why.”
Anger management for parents: 4 things to remember
That expression told me I was losing my patience, taking its toll on the kid. I needed to step back, quit reacting—and start parenting. Instead of disciplining immediately, I could try these tips.
#1 Be mindful that he’s a child.
Kids only have certain capabilities, physically and mentally. They won’t know that certain things in the house can break as well as adults do. That babies inches away from a swing might mean an injury.
And really, even adults spill their cups of milk all the time.
#2 Determine his intentions.
The impulse driving my son’s actions were hardly malicious, entitled, defiant or angry. He wanted to play, to entertain. He was curious. And sometimes accidents happen. Playing isn’t bad—we just have to explain how his actions might not be ideal.
Rather than scold him immediately, I should have said, “I know you want to play with that truck. But next time wait until your brother has stopped leaning on it or he’ll fall.”
#3 Assess whether the actions even warrant discipline.
Again, the spilled milk was just the kicker. I can’t imagine scolding my husband for accidentally spilling their cup. But here I was annoyed at my four-year-old because he did.
Ask yourself whether his behavior is really that bad. More than likely, it isn’t.
#4 Check my reaction and anger.
Thankfully, days like these are few and far between. I usually don’t give him a hard time for spilling anything on the table. Instead I have him clean up his own mess and remind him to be more mindful next time.
So when I’m fuming over accidents or disciplining him non-stop, I need to take a step back. The incident doesn’t need stern discipline, much less an angry reaction.
Kids will be kids, and I should like to add, parents will be parents. We’ll make rash judgments and poor choices as all people do. But let’s remember that they’re not always out to make trouble.
After all, some things aren’t worth the discipline. Especially over a cup of spilled milk.
Do you struggle with getting your kids to listen? I’d love to share with you one effective word I’ve found to get kids to listen in this FREE printable handout. Learn about the word, why it works and how to use it (comes with a worksheet, too!).
Get more tips:
- Unfair Reasons We Get Mad at Our Kids
- On Choosing to Turn a Bad Parenting Day into a Good One
- Why Spanking Your Child Isn’t Necessary (And What to Do Instead)
- Why You Should Always Apologize to Your Child
- “Help! I Can’t Stop Yelling at My Child.”
How do you respond when you get angry at your child?
Get 20 quick parenting tips
Want a simple way to turn the parenting tips you read into action you'll actually do? Get exclusive tips and an instant FREE download of the bonus chapter, 20 Actionable Items You Can Do!