Understanding Our Anger
By: Cathy L. Graham
County Extension Director
N.C. Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center
Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry.
Frustration and anger can be a big problem for parents. But parents are only human! First, we need to understand where our anger comes from. Here are some ideas:
- Lack of training for a 24-hour-a-day job. Parents are thrust into this job with no training, no mentor, no “manual.”
- Children have free will. You cannot make children eat, sleep, listen, move, say please, or go potty!
- Our expectations often differ from reality.
- Life makes us angry and we take it out on our children.
- Anger masks other emotions.
The following is a four-step process for handling anger:
- Recognize the anger. Stop, breathe, count! Recognize the physical feelings of tensing up, et cetera. Say “STOP! I am getting angry.”
- Put space between you and your child. “Stop! I’m angry. I’m going to my room; I’ll be out in ten minutes.” (Nothing is ever solved in a fit of anger. You need to get control of yourself first.) Separate, calm down, and then come back and teach! Don’t escalate the anger by thinking negative thoughts; use the time to move your mind off the problem – count, do deep breathing, et cetera.
- Adjust expectations. What’s normal and realistic? I may not be happy, but if it is reasonable behavior for this age and this situation, you can understand what’s going on rather than losing sight of reality.
- Use skill. Decide what you are going to do. What steps are you going to take? Which of my skills am I going to use to solve this problem? Once you have calmed down and made a plan, then you can emerge with a different perspective and be much more positive and productive and EFFECTIVE!
Source: Elizabeth Pantley. Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging, and Pleading, and Let Kids Cooperate
FUN THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN
– Make Valentines and deliver to elderly family members.
– Plan and plant a garden together.
– Volunteer together for a community organization.
– Visit the library for story time.
For more information, please contact Cathy L. Graham, County Extension Director with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, by E-mail at Cathy_Graham@ncsu.edu, or visit our website at https://robeson.ces.ncsu.edu/.
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