10 Jan This weeks “Ask Bethan” helps you to be a calmer parent
Is it possible to be a parent and not lose your cool? It is with these easy steps
Q – “Hello Bethan, I need to be calmer and stop shouting. What can I do?”
A – Of all the parenting questions I get asked, this is the most common, it’s relevant to us all. I know that when I first became a Mum over a decade ago, anger became my most difficult emotion to deal with. I’d gone from being a happy go lucky type person to being angry and then apologetic. First let’s explore why this happens and what we can do about it.
Shouting is a behaviour we all do when we’re angry. Anger is an emotion that is part of our human design, it lets us know that we’re overwhelmed. We all have an internal reservoir which helps us to go about our lives. It is when this reservoir runs on empty that our difficult emotions such as anger come to the surface.
The most powerful way to be a calmer parent and stop shouting is to be your own detective; are there certain triggers in your day which fuel your anger? Anger is like the tip of the ice-berg and exploring what’s happening underneath helps us to reduce the explosions. So what’s going on for you?
Are you tired? Do you need help? Do you need to share the emotional load? Do you need a break? Are you hurt, disappointed, rejected, confused or worried? Are you getting enough time for you?
Taking time to think about your life and answering the above questions will help you understand where changes can be made. Anger is trying to help us be in control of our lives, but in a very unhelpful way! Exploring other parts of your life where you can be in control will help the anger ease.
An essential practical tip for anger management is to practice walking away. Anger can make us feel very powerful and when a parent walks away from a situation it stops you saying or doing something you may regret. Tell your child what you’re doing “I’m just going to take a break for a few moments to calm myself” and take a few breaths. I know the children may follow you which might not be what you need but it’s a great way to mirror how to handle our difficult emotions.
Bethan is a Psychotherapist specialising in parenting support. She meets parents online or in person and helps them to be the change their children need. If you’d like more parenting tips to help you be a calmer parent, get your free 5 steps to calmer parenting now. And don’t forget to join the free parenting community Calm & Confident Parenting.
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