How Parental Anger Effects our Children and How to Cope.
By Whitney Chmiela
Parenting is the hardest job in the world, with long unpaid hours of noisy, messy, repetitive, exhausting, frustrating work. It is no wonder and justifiable feelings of anger sometimes. It is far too often that parents teeter the line between anger and abuse. Parents are concerned about how frequently they get angry and how they react, and with good reason. Parents are particularly concerned with corporal punishment (physical punishment). Corporal punishment is a small step from excessive anger which can ultimately lead to abuse. There is a growing epidemic of child abuse in North America. Non abusive anger is ...view middle of the document...
* They assume a negative intent behind his or her behaviour. “You’re doing this on purpose to hurt me.”
* Magnify the behaviour to intolerable proportions. “I can’t stand this, this is unbearable.”
Without these trigger thoughts you cannot have anger. As well you cannot have anger without stress. Trigger thoughts allow you to avoid responsibility for your own emotions and justify your anger towards someone else.
The key in coping with your anger is identifying your trigger thoughts and changing them. Here are 9 ways to cope with your anger. The first 4 deal with changing your trigger thoughts. The rest have to do with changing the way you act and react.
1. Develop coping statements: create and memorize some messages/matrass that can help you keep your cool in stressful situations. Examples: “relax, stay calm”, “I’m staying calm. I don’t have to be angry to cope with this.”
2. Assess the real cause: parents assume their children are behaving badly on purpose to provoke them-to punish them, to test them, to drive them crazy, to “get at” them. Researchers and child developmental experts have suggested that most of the time this is not the case. It’s important for parents to understand that there are other factors in your child’s behaviour.
Factor #1: A child’s temperament. The built in wiring that each child is issued at or before birth. The way he or she tends to respond to life experiences. Characteristics that help determine temperament are general activity level, basic deposition, and ability to adapt to change, distractibility, and persistence. It’s pointless to be angry at a child whose shyness, high activity level, or difficulty with change that is their temperament.
Factor#2: The main task of childhood is to gain independence and autonomy. To achieve this goal your child has to learn to make decisions and choices, experiences the consequences of those decisions and choices, and develop a sense of separateness from his or her parents. This means most of a child’s behaviour is aimed at demonstrating their independence, testing their limits, disobeying parental rules, and trying to control the outcome of difficult situations.
Factor #3: children’s behaviour is aimed at getting their own needs met. Needs can range from the more fundamental (to achieve significance, to feet autonomous, to belong) to more everyday tasks (to get praise, attention, physical nurturing). Trying to meet your child’s needs may change their behaviour.
3. Replace negative labels: To help reduce your anger you must avoid those proactive terms that make you see red such as “lazy”, “spoiled”, and “thoughtless. “Replacing these negative thoughts with more positive neutral labels will help you. You need to stick to the facts like an investigator on a case looking for clues. Without labels your anger will be far easier to control.
4. Assess the magnitude of the problem: How truly serious is the problem? Replace provocative...