How to handle your anger when the child makes you lose patience

Fonte: Di Sharomka / shutterstock

You asked him I don't know how many times to put the toys away because you have to go to the bank before it closes. The first time he didn't even listen to you, the second time he just raised his head without stopping playing, the third time you lost patience and dragged him away screaming, late and risking going out for nothing. Why does it always have to get to this point? And how do you manage your emotional reaction when your children seem not to want to listen to us?

From the book "Capricious and disobedient children, an effective method to reduce advice" by George M. Kapalka and published by Red !, step by step the advice for parents not to lose your temper. Starting from a premise: "Knowledge is power". And to learn how to manage our reactions we must first understand where anger arises and what we can do to control it.

And then, knowing that the child's interest is not to make us lose our temper. But it is simply his reaction to something that has worked for you up to that point.

Read also: how to manage children's anger

Meaning of an emotional reaction

To understand better, let's take an example. A man crosses a busy road. He is careful, look right to left. As soon as the lanes are empty he sprints to cross, but suddenly he hears the unmistakable sound of a truck horn. He is in the middle of the road, turns around and sees a big beast coming at full speed. His reaction is to run as hard as he can and all sweaty comes across the street, thinking he had a good escape.
The man in question probably felt fear. But what does it have to do with anger? The process by which these two emotions are experienced is very similar.
It starts from stimulus: the man in the middle of the road on alert, ready to cross. He knows the street is busy and all his nerves are ready to react. He is preparato for this, knowing that it is a dangerous road.
Appena plays the honking of the horn warns the danger, sweating increases, the pressure rises, the heart beats faster: it is a human and physiological response to such a situation. It aims to make our body faster.
La response is to run across the road as soon as possible.
La consequence is that he has crossed the street and is safe and sound.

What can be done instead to manage our emotional reaction when our child does not want to listen to us?

1 - The preparation

Do not leave biased, thinking that your child will oppose your request and looking with awe at your meeting with him. Remember in the past how the situation had already degenerated into conflict. We must therefore change our approach. Probably, the feeling of inadequacy in educating your child is also making the situation worse, a feeling that fills in anger. Every whim of the child becomes a setback: one feels powerless and gets lost in authority. So, before even starting the interaction, what can you do?

Prepare to stay calm. Breathe in slowly, for about 4 seconds, filling the lungs completely and then slowly let the air out. Also think that you will keep calm and that everything will be fine.

Your task as a parent is not to obtain obedience at all costs, but to teach the child that his actions have consequences. And it's not a defeat for you if he doesn't obey.

Another tip: if you know that certain actions take longer for him, do not wait for the last one, but start a little earlier to prepare him for an outing, for example. It is also not your fault that your child is stubborn: it is often a child's temperament, independent of the parent's action. What can be done is therefore not to change his behavior, but to give his child the "capacity of discernment necessary to mitigate this characteristic", so as to be able to decide how much opposition is right to exercise based on the situation.

2 - The stimulus

In this case, you can do very little. At this time, you cannot prevent your child from saying something inappropriate and contrary to the order you have given him. However, the book recommends several strategies to be able to gradually reduce the opposition of the child's behavior. READ ALSO 20 TIPS TO MANAGE YOUR WHIMS

3 - The interpretation

This is the most important step in learning how to manage our anger.

The way the parent reads the behavior of the child greatly influences the type of ration. It can be anger or it can be calm.

The advice of the book's author, George M. Kapalka, is to help your child choose between positive and negative responses, explaining the consequences of each choice. Then, regardless of what he chooses to do, it is your job to administer consistent consequences to him.

You tell him to put the games away and he doesn't. The consequence of the choice must be very clear and coherent. And you will have to keep it. It makes no sense to say that you will throw away all his games if he knows you will never do it. It is a meaningless threat.

4 - The physiological alert

If you do not interpret your child's behavior as a personal offense, without exaggerating the extent, no "physiological alert" alarm will be triggered. Remember the sweating and the heart rate that increases in the case of the man crossing the street?

However, if your baby is really provoking you and the blood is starting to go to the head, you can take action.

The body alarm is hard to ignore. And it happens quickly. The breath shortens, the words come out in bursts and in a higher and sharper tone, the heart beats fast and the pressure rises.

These are all signs: you are losing your temper, you are about to get angry.

What to do when you feel the adrenaline rising?

Go to another room, move away from the scene of the conflict. And find your calm again. Sitting or lying down for about five minutes, breathe well and deeply as explained above. While you breathe, imagine a beach, a forest, a beautiful landscape. Wait to regain self-control. Of course you can only do this if the child is not in a dangerous situation and you do not need to intervene immediately (because your child is doing something dangerous).

5 - The answer

She needs to be calm but firm, focusing on what you want your child to do. And without taking disobedience as a personal offense. Put your child in front of the choice of doing good or bad, so that he knows the consequences in both cases. Remember also that this is an educational time and it is an opportunity for him to learn through experience.

If you find yourself angry, don't say or do things that you may later regret. Stay in control of your actions and words. You can apologize after offending, but the damage will remain. And if the child has a whim, don't go down to his level. You are the adult. The same is true if he becomes aggressive.

Read also: phrases to never say to your children

6 - The consequences

Did you still get to the fight? Have emotions taken over? Do not worry. Calm down and reflect on what happened without blaming yourself. Think more about the sequence of events. What did the child say? Your reaction? Did he take you by surprise? Were you prepared to act accordingly? If you weren't, think about what you will do when it happens next time.

Even if the first attempts will seem ineffective, they will help you to act differently next times. Because you learn by making a mistake and it is "by making a mistake that you see what goes and what is wrong".


8 simple steps to help children manage anger

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Anger management is a milestone in the growth of our kids. Here are some tips to share with them from the American website WebMD

About the author of the book, George M. Kapalka

George M. Kapalka is Associate Professor of Psychological Counseling at Monmouth University in West Long Branch and directs the Center for Behavior Modification in Brick, New Jersey.
He holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

He is the author of about one hundred publications and directs a team for the study of infantile behavior.

Updated on 25.07.2022

  • anger
  • moods
  • anxiety
  • children education
  • 3-5 children years
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