Anger can be a paralyzing and debilitating condition. But it can be a terrifying and degrading experience for your child if you’re taking your anger out on them.
Physical and verbal abuse of a child can have lasting and lethal implications, so it’s crucial that as a parent, you do whatever necessary to get your anger in check.
Is Punishment Bad? What to do Instead
It’s imperative that parents recognize their tendency to punish a child too severely and take the needed steps to make sure the punishment is appropriate for their child’s age, temperament and maturity level.
It’s also important for a parent to realize that children thrive on praise.
Parents in such a situation may always jump to discipline but fail to praise their child for their good deeds, behaviors and traits.
Children instinctively want to please their parents and make them proud.
By encouraging positive behavior, the parent will most likely discourage the behavior that has driven them in the past to punish too harshly.
In order to encourage positive behavior deserving of praise, parents might want to consider giving their child a task they know they’re able to accomplish, and praise their efforts along the way.
You need to also consistently praise your children for the positive traits they possess. Their child might be good at math in school, helpful to their little brother or sister, or is good at drawing pictures.
Praise these good traits and the child is likely to respond by acting appropriately and behaving positively in order to gain more praise.
In the end, it’s important to remember that a child is just that – a child.
You as a parent should make a concerted effort to make sure the discipline is appropriate and take care of themselves physically, mentally and emotionally.
Controlling your Anger during Tough Times
As a parent, you have a wonderful opportunity to undo the wrongs that were done to you as a child if you had an angry and abusive parent or parents.
Maybe your past is filled with unresolved hurt and anger.
If so, take the necessary steps to heal yourself.
If you don’t, you could unwillingly and unthinkingly harm your child.
Identify problems from your past and honestly look at current situations that are angering you.
Maybe you aren’t fulfilled at work; perhaps your spouse and you are having relationship troubles, maybe you have other personal issues or unfulfilled goals that are bothering you.
If all your child ever sees is your angry face and hears an angry voice, that’s what they’ll most likely grow into as well.
It’s important to ‘pick your battles’ when parenting.
Accidents and nuisances don’t warrant the energy and agony it takes to get angry. But misbehaviors such as a child hurting themselves, others or property demand a firm, quick and appropriate response from you.
You will probably have to continually remind yourself that the small stuff isn’t worth getting worked up over.
And remind yourself also that you’re the one in control of your anger; don’t let your anger control you.
Put yourself in time out, take a deep breath, walk away, do whatever you have to in order to get a grip on yourself before addressing the situation if you feel your anger coming on strong.
- Identify Problems from Your Past
- Break the Cycle and Heal
- Pick Your Battles
- Be mindful when angry
- Take break from the moment
Learn from Your Mistakes and so will Your Child
Everyone makes mistakes.
Granted, some mistakes are more significant than others and harder to get over, but they are a part of life. How individuals deal with those mistakes is significant to their self-esteem.
Children who are taught from an early age to admit to their mistakes understand that it’s not a crime to make one, and they seem to have the ability to cope much better with them.
They recognize that a mistake was made and admit the error. Most importantly, these children also develop a strategy to change the mistake and not do the same thing again.
The process of making and learning from mistakes is an extremely valuable life skill for everyone because learning involves risking.
Every time children risk, they will not always succeed. But they tried something new and most likely learned from it as a result.
Children with low self-esteem deal with making a mistake quite differently.
More often than not, these children use the experience to devalue themselves. Instead of looking at the error as an opportunity to learn, these children interpret the experience as a reason to quit and never try again.
They view it as a devaluing and humiliating experience.
You can help your child cope with mistakes by first making sure they understand that everyone makes mistakes, even you.
Own up to your own mistakes to teach them there’s no shame in making them. Make sure they understand that it’s okay to make mistakes.
This presents a great opportunity to tell your child what you’ve learned to do differently the next time.
Then, offer strategies to turn mistakes into learning opportunities.
In the process, you can provide your child with an opportunity to enhance their self-esteem and accept responsibility for the mistakes they make.
Help your child to realize that the mistake is the problem, and not them.
Then help them develop a positive plan for the next time around, and what they’ll do differently the next time to avoid making the same mistake again.