We are human after all and frustration, like all of our other emotions, comes naturally to us. On days when you are under a lot of stress and suddenly your child throws a tantrum or breaks a rule, it’s quite normal to want to pull your hair out or scream. Getting frustrated at your child’s misbehavior is understandable and it can also be a learning opportunity for both kids and parents. What’s more important is knowing how to manage your emotions, understanding the triggers, and learning what to do to remain calm. Today we talk about exactly that!
1. Accept That Your Child Will Push Your Buttons Sometimes
Every parent gets frustrated and it is inevitable sometimes. Much like how we get into disagreements with our own parents, there will be instances when you and your kids will test each other’s patience, especially when you are exhausted from work and responsibilities at home. Sometimes, a child’s misbehavior also makes you feel guilty because you think you’re not doing a good job as a parent, but remember that their actions are not always your fault. Kids are learning as they grow up, and they will make mistakes. They aren’t always going to get things right the first time, but the great thing is, you will always be there as a loving guide and support system whenever they need help.
2. Practice the 90-second Rule
Research shows that emotions, like anger and frustration, are triggered and processed by our brains in less than 90 seconds. This means that anger can also subside after that short period of time. If you ever encounter an experience that frustrates you like siblings fighting, a messy house, or if your child is acting out, acknowledge and allow your emotions to happen and process for about 90 seconds. Let your emotions pass and give yourself a break. If your kids are old enough to be left alone, you can step away from them for awhile to take a breath or splash some water on your face. The benefit of the 90-second rule is allowing you to feel your frustration, while helping you manage it, instead of reacting because of it.
3. Strive for a Growth Mindset
Parenting is a personal learning experience and there is always room to grow. At times, we can’t help but yell or utter words out of anger. And that’s okay. There really are moments when our emotions get the best of us. The more important thing to do is to learn from that experience which caused us to get angry, so we can correct our actions the next time a similar situation arises. While parents are good at teaching kids how to overcome challenges, Moms and Dads also have lots of room to grow and learn along with them too.
4. Understand and Communicate Your Feelings
It’s okay to feel angry or frustrated, but we must manage it in a more positive way. Your actions also serve as an example for your kids. How you handle your emotions will also influence how they behave. When you’re feeling frustrated, try asking yourself: “Why am I feeling this way?”, “Can I just let this situation go?”, “How do I want to fix this situation?”, “Why did my child act this way?”, “How could she/he be feeling?” You can also communicate your feelings to your kids by saying you need a break, but will be back soon to talk about what happened. If you couldn’t help but act out of frustration, don’t be afraid to apologize to your kids and explain why you reacted in such a way.
There will be moments when we won’t be able to manage our anger and frustration well, but the best thing to do is to take a moment and then talk to your kids about the situation. Always try to learn from your experiences and figure out what the best thing to do is afterwards. Acknowledge your emotions, give yourself a break, take a walk, and breathe. And remember that you’re doing a great job as parents no matter what, Mom and Dad!
2. Louick, Rebecca. 5 Ways to Deal With Frustrations as a Parent.
3. Stosny, Steven. Why Parents Really Get Angry at their Kids.
4. Raising Children.net. Anger and parents: what you need to know.