When you give birth to a baby, you undoubtedly have many ideas of how you would like them to be raised. You imagine who they will be when they grow up and how much pride you will take in them. Then one day your innocent baby becomes a bad-tempered toddler and your frustration grows with them. Suddenly, you are in a shouting war with your preteen every day and feeling helpless to stop yourself. So how can you stop losing your temper and save your relationship with your kids before it’s too late?
The True Cause Of Your Temper
Being parents, we have a tendency to try and take on the world and forget that we too are only human. The negative experiences that you have been carrying around your whole life don’t just go away when you have children. Old triggers that pushed your buttons in the past have the same effect on you now and are being unleashed on your unsuspecting kids.
With the stresses of life piling up around us it is easy to act on emotional impulses without thinking. Common feelings that trigger a strong emotional response are fear, inadequacy, anxiousness, etc. These are all natural feelings that you can’t control. However, you can control your behavior when experiencing these deep emotions.
Our subconscious mind stores reactions of past events and uses them as automatic responses in similar situations. When your child accidentally steps on an unrequited part of your past it brings back the pre-programmed negative response. This tells your brain to react in the same way every time your child crosses you.
Logically it is not your child’s fault if they did something you deemed offensive. It is their job to test waters and fly into an emotional frenzy. It is your place to teach them how to express themselves and grow into stable functioning adults. Next time they start whinnying or deliberately defy you try and remember it is not a personal attack; they are simply trying to express themselves in the only way they know.
Calming Your Inner Rage
Raising children is an ongoing emotional roller coaster for everyone involved. Learning how to recognize and control your own insecurities is the first step to becoming a calmer parent. Here are some ways to help you find and repair what is causing these outbursts.
Give yourself credit– Your explosive anger does not make you evil or abnormal, it is an ordinary human response to raw emotions. Set achievable goals for yourself as a parent. If you do happen to make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up, because that will only cause more tension. Admit your actions and move on.
Delve into your past- Figuring out why you may be reacting in this way will greatly improve your ability to fix it. Take note of your thoughts when you feel your temper rising. What are you feelings? When was the first time you felt the same way? Finding the answers to these questions will help you reason with your brain now and make better decisions in the future.
Don’t give into worry– Your imagination can be your worst enemy when it comes to worrying. Try and keep tabs on if you are acting to prevent bad things from happening in the future. You do not know what will happen down the road and worrying about it will only cause a negative series of events.
Relax and Release– Harmful thoughts aren’t just in your head, the tension can also be seen and felt throughout your whole body. Next time you get upset; take note of your body language. Are your shoulders stiff? Teeth clenched? Is there any pressure built up in your head or hands? If so, try taking deep breaths when you start to lose your temper. Allow all the tightness to release from your body each time you exhale. This will send your brain a message to relax and think more logically the next time around.
No one is perfect, parents are no exception. Don’t beat yourself up about past actions and be honest with your children. If they know its ok for you to make mistakes, it will become much easier for them to forgive themselves.