In a previous blogpost we tried to understand some of the real reasons behind mom rage.
No mother wants to be an angry mom, but many life situations or our own childhood traumas can trigger anger in the present moment.
Today let us look at how to stop being an angry mom and refocus attention to where it is really needed.
Before we get started, I am sure you have wondered about the ill effects of anger on a child.
HOW DOES AN ANGRY PARENT AFFECT A CHILD?
The more a parent yells the more his/her message is lost. A loud voice makes children feel insecure and unsafe.
No learning and co-operation can happen when the child feels unsafe. Over a period of time children who are yelled at constantly also tend to become more aggressive and defiant themselves.
Instead of yelling there are many calmer ways to get your message across without crushing your child’s feelings. Read this previous post to understand how to talk with toddlers in a way that helps bridge the communication barriers and is more suited to their developmental stage.
HOW TO STOP BEING AN ANGRY MOM?
1. Pause and reflect
When you feel like you are about to lose your cool, take a moment to pause and think why it is you are getting angered. Most times it has nothing to do with the child’s tantrum and everything to do with how you are viewing the situation. Check part 1 of this series on anger triggers to understand angry mom triggers better.
Pause, breathe and then approach the situation. Don’t expect changes overnight. When we are set in reactive patterns it takes a while to make any conscious change a habit.
2. Commit to change
It starts with wanting to change for yourself. Do you want a calmer home? Do you want to be a calmer person?
I try and remind myself that the tone of my voice matters, I don’t want to lose my message behind the yelling.
Every angry moment I give in to is a choice I am making to move away from a place of connection. I pick my battles wisely, and ask myself, is my angry reaction worth it?
Anger cannot find solutions for you. The more you choose calm the more easier it becomes to find practical and sometimes creative solutions to the challenging situations in front of you.
3. Connection over correction
I have briefly touched on this point in the past too, but essentially we seek to connect with our child instead of obsessing over changing behaviors. All unpleasant behaviors your child expresses are a result of unmet needs. Once we get to the source of the problem the behavior patterns will automatically change.
To understand this gentle parenting approach I would recommend you read this post first.
4. Ensure your needs are met consistently
So many of us are burnt out in our parenting roles, we are doing this day in and day out with little rest or appreciation. The Pandemic too has added more fuel to this fire for parents around the globe.
Making sure our most basic needs like proper nutrition, hydration, rest, quality me-time and time to socialize are consistently cared for is key to a happier parent. Read here for more on mom self care ideas.
This post covers how you can establish a self care routine within your roles as wife, mother and career woman, and no self care here does not mean a 20 step beauty routine. These are practical tips that busy moms can use to put themselves on the to-do list.
Which brings me to my next point.
5. Give yourself grace
Even the most committed of us are bound to make mistakes and fall back to old coping mechanisms when under stress. Give yourself grace. Kindness to self is hard for many of us.
Try and tell yourself that it is good that your children get to see the imperfect you and also get to see you pick yourself up, acknowledge mistakes and take effort to build your relationships.
Our children don’t need perfect mothers, they need happy mothers, fulfilled mothers, and mothers who fall and pick themselves up. They need us and our authenticity.
6. Talk about your feelings and model behavior
If you yelled and treated your child badly, apologize.
Your child getting on your nerves? Ask for a time out. Say, “Mommy is feeling overwhelmed right now, I need a break.”
Your kids are observing how you calm yourself down, this is a powerful life skill. Modeling for children always works better than preaching.
To end, I would like to say that we are not angry moms, we are overtired moms, still learning moms and trying our best moms. Let’s put our energy into building a calmer home for our children and not fret over missteps along the way.
Do you want to share your challenges and learnings in trying to manage anger? Comment below, I am sure we can all learn something from our stories and experiences.