Being a parent is stressful, especially when a child in the family is a new member or has underlying behavioral issues. Many mothers find themselves shrieking at their children as they run around trying to please everyone’s needs and desires. Fathers often bark orders at children after a long and stressful work day. Most of the time, good parents feel badly about their behavior and try to change it. The following tips will help parents control their own anger and calm their angry children as well.
In this day and age, people are listening to respond. In families, this is a problem because children rarely express themselves clearly. It is vital that children’s desires and needs are heard and responded to in an appropriate manner. This is especially true in the case of foster adoption because many children in the care system have intellectual disabilities or traumatic disorders.
The art of active listening is a key skill that all parents should possess. In order to accomplish this, it is important to make a conscious effort to not only hear the words being said, but the substance of the message itself. Tips for successful active listening include reducing the chances for distraction, using and recognizing verbal cues and body language, It can also be helpful to try not to prepare a response and repeat what the child says, either mentally or verbally.
Anger is a natural emotion, but extreme reactions toward children need to be avoided by parents. Oftentimes, it is not even anger that causes people to react in an angry manner. There are usually underlying causes such as sadness, disappointment or exhaustion. Parents work on auto-pilot and do not see how their angry reactions are affecting their children.
For parents, finding calm within their stressed and tired minds will help them raise their kids in the warm and affectionate environment they deserve. The first step to anger management is recognizing the signs. Parents can try deep breathing exercises, counting to 10, and really considering what is making them angry. It is also encouraged for parents to speak honestly about their feelings, using “I” messages, to help the child understand their frustration.
Calm Your Child
Just as true with children as it it with adults, most do not even understand why they are angry, or if anger is what they are actually feeling. Bonded children are less likely to have angry outbursts. Unfortunately, bonding takes time in the case of foster adoption. These children often feel that something is missing and will have trouble expressing their feelings to their new parents.
Calming angry children is imperative to their overall well-being. Without proper anger management skills, children will grow into angry adults. Fortunately, parents can and should encourage their children to talk about what is bothering them, and actively listen to what the child says. They must also not dub the child as “bad”, but instead try to find the causes of their outbursts, even if it requires the help of a professional counselor. Parents can also provide a lot of education in anger management by modeling appropriate behavior in the home and teaching their children about calming techniques.
Nobody is perfect, but when it comes to raising children it is necessary for parents to control their angry emotional reactions. Everyone in a family must be in control of their anger so the children feel they are being raised in a warm, affectionate and caring home and this is vital to their development into responsible adults.
Author: Children First FFA