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7 Tips for parents to control angry Outbursts

Gaurima
7 to 11 years

Created by Gaurima
Updated on Jul 24, 2013

7 Tips for parents to control angry Outbursts

The increasing complexity of contemporary modern living constantly being fueled by unending tasks on to-do lists, social commitments, managing household, entertainment pulls, elaborate demands of childrearing and much more are proving to be stressful for majority of us. Moreover the new-gen parenting empower kids at a very early age to fight for their own rights and listen to their own-self, which is apt but challenging for parents to tackle when children play irresponsible or would not take the parent’s authority seriously.

A few days back one of my close friends Nisha called me up to discuss certain issues that were bothering her. She is a mother of a nine year old girl, Ahaana, who according to her is very stubborn and argumentative. My friend shared that off late she felt helpless since nothing seemed to be working and it was resulting in angry outbursts towards Ahaana.
She was further concerned that most of the times she found herself standing at a tipping point where she felt highly driven to act aggressively the moment Ahaana did not pay heed to her. While she understood that her angry demeanor was impacting their relationship, she desperately wanted to change the situation. Oh!! How she wished for some formula to control her rage before going overboard with it.

Parents often feel overwhelmed so much so that they unwittingly resort to anger as a quick-fix tool to manage children. However, many smart parents recognize that this un-friendly trend is potentially destructive to their relationship with kids and are adopting ways to manage their fiery emotions just at the right moment before causing any harm to parent-child bond or to child’s self esteem.

To find tried and tested conflict resolution tricks for parents was the main goal behind this article, and after some deep discussions around the issue I could collate 8 ways that could save fellow parents from losing control and impulsively venting anger at kids, hoping that you may find these useful:

1. Distancing from the situation: This is the most common approach followed by parents successfully. A friend of mine and mother of two elementary school children affirmed that at times, when the kids behavior seems extremely frustrating, irritating and exasperating to say the least, it can be life saving to walk off from the situation or asking kids to leave for a few minutes. Spending some time off from each other gives time to cool off and think about the situation rationally. Getting back on the same issues after cooling off mostly results in deepened mutual understanding and amicable resolutions.

2. Following a ritual: A father of a teenager shared that he successfully manages anger driven situations by following a self-made ritual. Whenever he finds himself in a wrestling ring (disagreement) with his son, he asks his son to fetch a water bottle from the kitchen. During the time when the son is off, this father vividly visualizes happy memories from his son’s childhood and within half a minute his anger evaporates and he finds himself in a better position to talk with his exasperated teenager.
Some parents who needs a bit more help in visualization shared that , checking the I-pad quickly for the family pictures helped them transition to happier times faster, counting backwards silently or simply silently chanting a mantra helped them clam themselves.

3. Questioning: A mother of 15 year old girl discovered that putting everything on a pause for a few seconds and asking questions to her own self at the moment when she is just about to explode targeting her child helped her a lot. The question that she asks herself more often than not is – Who am I? She warmly shared that naturally the answer that comes up always is – She is a loving, compassionate, understanding, caring and supporting parent. After getting the answer she stay with it for a minute and sees the whole situation in a new light and almost always conversation does not turn into nasty arguments.

A few more questions that parents have shared are – What are my assumptions about my child, about the issue? Am I overtly generalizing, exaggerating, over reacting? Am I attributing over importance to the situation.

Questions that may help a child with self realization: Another mother discovered that just before any angry bombardment at her children, she would ask her child questions like – Why would you choose to do this? Do you know how it impacts me (parent)? Can you think of some other way of expressing/ behaving? What do you think triggers my (parents) anger? More often than not the child gets clarity around the issue and comes up with a proactive response.

4. Using Visual Reminders: A father confessed that he is someone who carries his temper in his hat and so his kids, 10 year old son and 14 year old daughter are often in the range of firing (angry tirade) over mundane issues. He disclosed that in each room he has put a poster to serve as timely reminder to check his anger. The poster display messages like “No Shouting Zone”, “SMILE PLEASE ”, “Save JOY kill anger” in bold. He confessed that countless time he had returned just before the point of no return by following the practice of throwing his glance at the poster when in an uncontrollable situation. I am sure this idea can be used in many ways depending on the parent’s interest and creativity.

5. Acknowledging anger verbally: A mother of two children aged 9 years and 4 years informed that at those times when she is madly angry with any of her children, she acknowledges her extreme displeasure and anger verbally in a non-threatening way. She voices her feelings at that moment She acknowledged that after stating her feelings conspicuously she feels much calmer and receptive to understand child’s point of view. The simplicity of this approach can be misleading about its effectiveness, but this approach has achieved fast results according to some parents. At the same time many parents have suggested that encouraging children to do the same exercise also work wonders.

6. How angry are you? - express it: Another approach that works fantastically well when both parent and child are seething in anger is to tone down anger by measuring it. To put it simply a father of a 10 year old girl explained that when he and his daughter are at logger heads, he asks her to show how angry is she either by drawing, writing, punching pillows and the likes and he also has to do the same. Then it’s up to each one of them to share their creativity with each other or not. More often than not this exercise leads to hilarious outcome and sets the stage for peaceful discussion. More importantly the angry art work hence made is worth cherishing as something true from the heart ;0)

7. Empowering the child: A friend of mine and a mother of two lovely kids aged 3 and 7 revealed an exciting idea to get the parent back from the trip to fury land just in time. Her approach involves educating the child about extreme anger and its harmful consequences. The clincher is that she has made a rule that whenever she or anyone in the house is caught venting anger inappropriately will be pointed out immediately and will have to choose one of the decided ways to express angry emotions like (writing, drawing and recording the message to name a few). Following this practice as a routine has helped her children become very responsible and watchful of inappropriate words and ways of expression.

Even though these ideas don’t promise to work as a magic pill yet they are proactive ways to be in control of the challenging anger inflated situations between a parent and a child. When the parent is determined to not to let anger come in between him/her and his/her children such approaches come in handy. To make them work a parent may have to try a couple of them and consciously adopt one or two to orchestrate parent-child relationships as melodious tunes to be cherished for the lifetime.

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| Apr 20, 2017

thanks for sharing......

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| Apr 20, 2017

but dis works to me when I apart from dm means dy r in school n I m at home all deserve ideas come into my mind but fail wn I hv to apply.

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| Apr 20, 2017

nice tips my self using 2 r 3 of this but as going on our ideas to control anger also should change childrens are always catch more about parents when they will be cool they will play as per that

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| Apr 03, 2017

very good article.... I will definitely try these tips to keep my anger in control.. thanks for tips..

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| Aug 30, 2016

very nice tips

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| Aug 29, 2016

very nice tips. I will definitely try this. lets see which one works for me

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| Aug 29, 2016

Amazing ideas

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| Apr 16, 2016

Wonderful ideas! I've used a few of these tips. My favorite is looking at family photos. They instantly make me happy and proud. Thank you xo

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| Feb 17, 2016

Nice tips. ..Will definitely try

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| Jan 04, 2016

Wow... that is simple yet sometime difficult to follow... but to be a good parent or a preacher... v should first teach or tame ourselves to a role model for our love ones... :)

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| Sep 04, 2015

Amazing that so many kids argue like that. I thought I was alone in the boat.

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| Jul 01, 2015

Thanks gaurima for sharing such wonderful tips think will really help me get out of such situations

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| Jun 21, 2015

Excellent

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| Feb 06, 2014

g

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| Dec 10, 2013

Thankyou so very much. Points 2 & 3 will definitely help.

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| Dec 10, 2013

Great.... nice information. ..

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| Oct 31, 2013

Valuable inputs,thanks for sharing with us!

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| Oct 31, 2013

Hi,Before i could say anything my 5 yr old kind would make a sad face and tears at the end of her eyes. Seeing her like that ,how i can be angry on her.

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| Oct 31, 2013

Hi,

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| Oct 05, 2013

I tried everything but nothing was working. one day when i was scolding my daughter she makes a face and says" mumma aaram se bolo plzz" in her soft voice. I was ashamed and embrassed. since then whenever i am angry these words echo in my ear

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| Oct 05, 2013

I tried everything but nothing was working. one day when i was scolding my daughter she makes a face and says" mumma aaram se bolo plzz" in her soft voice. I was ashamed and embrassed. since then whenever i w

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| Sep 07, 2013

Thanks Anurima :)

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| Aug 27, 2013

Loved it! Issues such as these should be dealt with asap to avoid situations to spiral out of control. Thank you Gaurima, another well written blog :)

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| Aug 01, 2013

Another thing your article has informed me of - i thought teenage/pre teens is the ultimate test of a mother's patience n understanding, but its an eye opener that kids as young as 5/7 yrs of age too are into arguing to such extents!!

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| Aug 01, 2013

Excellent tips! A much needed guidance for dealing with a 15 year old daughter who is learning to spread her wings & establish her independence!

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| Aug 01, 2013

Hi, This is Amrit. Infact, I also share the similar kind of a story wherein at times I am shouting at my 7 yr old daughter. However, after some time, I realize that I should not have done so. So, controlling our anger at the first place can solve many problems.

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| Jul 31, 2013

Wow... these were simple n ezy tips we could follo n mk our relationship more beautiful wid d kids..... thanks for sharing!!!

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| Jul 31, 2013

Thanx for this article. It is really helpful

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| Jul 30, 2013

hi Gaurima, these are very useful and practical tips. Will come in handy now that my boy is turning teen and we have already started having a fair amount of heated arguments.

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| Jul 25, 2013

Thanks Dr. Sonali and Shikha for sharing your thoughts on the issue !! :)

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| Jul 25, 2013

I believe anger management is one technique which is difficult to practice especially when we have soft targets in front of us such as kids. Secondly we tend to believe that as parents we know their best, we tend to cross our limits in keeping our point of view by sometimes even yelling, shouting or even slapping. In this process we forget that we are hurting the very being for whom we declare that we know the best. Thirdly in a way we take advantage of the fact that child has no one other than parents as their primary caregivers so he/ she will return to us no matter how we behave. So although difficult yet not impossible to practice all parents should learn anger management techniques for the best interest of the child whom we love and care for and for ourselves too.

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| Jul 24, 2013

I am sure there has been at least one time or more when we have a really rude angry monster coming out of us shouting at our kid and then you realise what are you doing, is this me .your article is very good, we all can control our angry emotions at the right time and bring about a more positive outcome to conversations with our children.

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| Jul 24, 2013

I am sure there has been at

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| Jul 24, 2013

Garima, I think our children get the best and worst out of us. I am sure there h

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| Jul 24, 2013

very creative input Shikha, thanks for sharing !!!

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| Jul 24, 2013

Gr8 job Gaurima! To add to this we can think about the sad face of our child after our outburst which I am sure no parent would like to see. So thinking about that we can control our anger.

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