“Stop It!” “Quit!” “How many times do I have to tell you?” are often words we yell at our children in anger. We don’t want to sound so frustrated, but when we get mad we tend not to be able to stop ourselves from having a negative reaction. Anger is only an emotion; it is neither good nor bad. It is the actions during anger that are either good or bad. Parents don’t set out to do the negative behaviors but tend to respond in angry moments because there is no other plan. Effective plans include:
1. Keep your cool. This is much easier said than done, but when you remain calm, you can stay logical.
2. Stay focused on the problem. When parents attack the child and not the behavior, the relationship is damaged, and the solution to the problem will be invisible.
3. Be consistent in your communication and discipline tools. When children have predictability, they are more likely to follow the rules you set as a family.
4. Let the child help with the solution to the problem. When children are involved in problem-solving, they are more likely to adhere to the solution.
Remember, anger is a normal part of any family. The way you deal with anger can help or hurt. When the parent reacts appropriately, the child will learn to manage his or her own anger
Cynthia Garrison has a master’s degree in child and human development and family studies. She has worked as a certified family life educator, a certified parent educator, a certified anger management specialist, a parenting coordinator and a mediator for families for more than 12 years.