Mom Rage: 7 Healthy Ways to Manager Your Anger.
Do you know the following situation? Your child seems to “provoke” you. You try with all your might to keep your emotions under control.
Unfortunately, it bursts out of you and you scream at your child angrily. Afterwards you feel bad.
The majority of mothers wish to no longer react angrily when dealing with their child but to remain calm and relaxed.
That is understandable. We are justifiably afraid of harming our child mentally and being a bad role model if we shout at them in conflict situations.
However, our goal should not be to suppress our anger. This intense feeling is on our side. Anger wants to point out that one of your needs is being overlooked in this situation.
Only when you try to ignore the feeling of anger instead of listening to it does the dreaded uncontrolled outburst of anger develop.
How we support our children in regulating their emotions
Sure: Our children have no control over their feelings when they are born. If something doesn’t suit you, let everyone know.
As the child grows older, we expect them to learn to regulate their feelings increasingly.
Today we know that we can support our children in learning how to deal with their feelings in a healthy way.
First of all, we can improve the basic requirements. If we support the child to lead a strengthening lifestyle that suits him, he will be more resistant to spontaneous violent outbursts of emotion.
Perhaps you have already been in this situation: Your child is getting more and more complained.
Suddenly you remember that it hasn’t eaten for a few hours.
With a small snack you can “save” the situation. Similarly, we can try to counteract outbursts of emotion that are motivated by our children.
We as parents can try to ensure that the child’s needs are not overlooked.
They should be well-rested and full, exercise regularly, experience sufficient social contacts, not be restricted too much in their desire for autonomy, have opportunities to rest and much more.
Every child has his own cocktail of needs here, which the parents should take into account.
We parents cannot and should not spare our children the experience of negative feelings such as anger, fear or jealousy.
But we can support the child by not negating or devaluing his feelings, but accepting and naming them again and again.
In this way we help our child to regulate his feelings. It learns the vocabulary to apply this form of emotional regulation to itself over time.
Of course, at the height of a tantrum, you can’t start by reflecting and practicing the appropriate emotional vocabulary.
We parents must, therefore, be sensitized to the little heralds.
We have to try to sense that a feeling of emotion is coming. If we can do this in time, talking about the feeling and the need behind it can often prevent an outbreak of anger.
Finally, we help our child to find a suitable strategy to deal with the feeling in a responsible way.
Aggression can be reduced, for example, by movement and/or you can work with the child on creative solutions to meet their needs.
And how does mom do that with emotional regulation?
It is one thing when we try to teach our children that their emotions are fine and they just have to learn to regulate them and redirect the energy into problem-solving.
Unfortunately, this approach probably doesn’t work if you, as a mother, have a completely different way of dealing with your feelings. The children learn best from role models.
Often, as children, we have adopted behaviors that are not very beneficial: we suppress, avoid and distract ourselves from our feelings.
As a child, I internalized that strong feelings are “dangerous” and got used to suppressing them.
Love and recognition, it seemed to me, I gain by sensitively recognizing and fulfilling other people’s expectations.
Feelings that might tell me something about my own needs are just in the way.
So I’ve become a real talent at suppressing anger and other “negative” feelings. I was one of the most patient people, I could hardly get upset.
But I paid a price for that.
Although I was able to quickly recognize each other’s point of view, my own wishes and needs often remained completely unclear to me and were not taken into account in my decisions.
I first experienced this as a child and then further in adult life.
My emotional son, however, led me to the limits of this strategy.
He managed to stubbornly trample on my needs until the rage found its way in full force and led me to the undesirable mother behavior described above.
I could not explain where this unknown feeling came from and thought I had to learn to suppress it even better.
After I had dealt with how I can accompany my son in regulating his feelings, I realized that I would also have to learn a lot from the beginning with him.
If you feel the same, you may find the following help useful.
MOM RAGE: 7 HEALTHY WAYS TO MANAGE YOUR ANGER
1. Build up the power reservoir
If you want to work towards the fact that you no longer tend to aggressively clash with each other in the family.
You should develop a fine feeling not only for the needs of your child but also for your own needs.
Watch yourself interacting with the other family members. Write down what you notice.
Try to get to know yourself better: Under what conditions are it easy for you to stay calm even in stressful situations?
When does every little thing get you mad?
Is it may be essential for you to have a good night’s sleep? Does it help you to incorporate conscious little breaks again and again?
Can you manage the family more easily if you plan the activities of the day in advance?
A mother cannot have everything. However, it is very important that you use free resources.
Especially the time when you do not have to look after the children – in such a way that they benefit your mental and physical well-being most effectively.
Change habits to recover better!
First of all, it requires that you observe yourself very carefully and be honest with yourself. There is no point in adopting another mother’s self-care program.
Above all, break away from ideal ideas such as: “A tough mom doesn’t need a lot of sleep”.
Nobody is helped unless you at least try to give yourself the sleep or rest that you need.
You are a unique person and it is very individual from which you can draw your energy.
Take care of yourself as best as you can. You will see that it is much easier for you to regulate your feelings in difficult situations with a full energy tank.
2. Take notice of warning signals
Feelings are easier to regulate at an early stage when they are just beginning to emerge and are not yet so intense that they have already taken full control.
At this point it becomes clear how important it is that you take good care of yourself.
If you are in a bad mood, for example because you had to skip your breakfast under time pressure, then you cannot easily recognize the harbingers of emerging anger.
Assuming later in the morning, your child refuses to go to kindergarten while you have to meet a customer appointment at work.
The anger causes when your need to control timing is passed, goes unnoticed into your state of being already irritated by a latent feeling of hunger.
You just notice that your stress level continues to rise and you run the risk of unloading your pent-up frustration over your child at the next event.
Maybe the picture of a vessel will help you. If you keep your vessel empty, you can see every little feeling that arises.
If, on the other hand, you accumulate more and more feelings in your vessel without paying any attention to them, there is a risk that the vessel will eventually overflow.
It is good for all of us to train mindfulness by trying to observe our emotional states from a distant, avoiding position.
What do you feel physically? What thoughts come up in you? Which reflexes, which behavior triggers a feeling in you?
You will see that over time it will become easier for you to be aware of yourself. This is half the battle for good emotional regulation.
3. Accept feelings
Take a benevolent, accepting attitude towards your feelings. Anger is your “friend” whom you invite to deliver his message.
Don’t see anger as an “enemy” that you have to keep out of your life by force.
As soon as you perceive a feeling, rejoice and maybe even thank you for it. Anger wants to draw your attention to the fact that a need is being disregarded in this situation.
It can be enough for your emotional balance if you simply perceive the anger, accept it and become aware of the underlying needs.
You don’t necessarily have to meet every need right away. In any case, it helps you to register that you are ignoring a need.
You will feel better when you realize that you are in a situation that is stressful for you. Allow yourself a compassionate attitude towards yourself.
Anger then fulfilled its “task”: You can say goodbye to it again.
4. Relaxation through your body
If you are angry, you can see it. You can also use this connection in the opposite direction to regulate your anger.
Try to act the way you would in a relaxed state.
Breathe deeply in and out a few times, try to relax your muscles, adopt a posture that you normally take when something is really good, dance exuberantly or smile, even if you don’t feel like it.
It has been scientifically proven that you can positively influence your feelings in this way.
5. Reassess the situation
If you and your child repeatedly get into the same conflict situation in which both of your feelings seem to rock uncontrollably.
It can help if you try to understand and analyze the things that are going through your head.
Try to understand that it is not external circumstances or someone else that is causing your feelings. It is your thoughts and your interpretation of the situation.
For example, it makes a big difference whether you think your child wants to “annoy” you, or whether they are only committed to fulfilling their own wishes and needs.
Check your thoughts. Are they really true? Do they help you to cope with a difficult situation?
Are your expectations of your child realistic? Does your attitude make sense?
If these considerations seem too complicated at first, a simple question may help you: are you in mortal danger?
Because it is not uncommon for our body to react so excitedly to stressful situations as if our lives were at stake – even if we are actually far from danger to life!
Make it clear to you: your life goes on – either way. That alone can often be enough to “regulate” your feelings and relax.
By reassessing the situation, you can reduce the experience of intense, negative emotions and release energies for problem-solving.
Constantly recurring family conflicts are a permanent burden for everyone involved. Interestingly, the same patterns of action are often at work on both sides.
Therefore, parents often know beforehand that a conflict will arise in a certain situation and that this will “end badly”.
It should be clear to us on a rational level that nothing changes unless we change something. The same conflicts just pop up again and again.
If we manage to break this vicious circle and change our behavior, thoughts and feelings, we will experience ourselves as self-effective. That makes us happy and confident.
However, solving problems requires actively influencing a situation and changing our behavior. We cannot influence our child’s temperament.
If the child is very emotional, we have to accept that and maybe we can improve the situation by stopping to change our child’s feelings and behavior.
To prevent or mitigate recurring conflicts, you can break this conflict down into many small steps. What is the trigger?
What factors influence the conflict? What are you feeling? How do you behave You can only change the situation by changing your own behavior.
Stop, try to see how your thoughts and feelings control you. Look for possible alternative behaviors that you don’t evaluate in the first step.
Resolve to implement them in the next tricky situation. Then check whether the situation has relaxed
7. Strengthen self-esteem
Anger that arises in you is often about the fear that you or your child cannot meet certain expectations. You then see the escalating situation as a sign of failure in your role as a mother.
Strong self-esteem prevents you from doing so.
Because if you don’t base your value on whether your child’s behavior is accepted or rejected by third parties, then you too will feel less attacked by your child’s inappropriate behavior.
Therefore, instead of “messing around” with individual anger-triggering situations, it can be helpful to start with your self-esteem as a mother.
Of course, this does not happen overnight, but only in a long process. And there are many ways you can support him.
You can become aware of your own values so that you do not have to be guided by the expectations of others.
Pay attention to how you treat yourself. Do you conduct inner monologues in which you devalue yourself for every little thing?
Try to take a compassionate, benevolent attitude towards yourself instead.
Find out your strengths and keep them in mind! What are you really good at? Where are you making progress? What do others value you for?
Perhaps you will get a notebook in which you will write down the success stories of the day in the evening.
But what if I shout at my children again despite everything?
Do not expect that with this knowledge you will have your feelings under control immediately and once and for all.
It is normal for anger to take over once in a while. Then you shouldn’t doubt yourself.
What matters is that you initiate a learning process and try to practice mechanisms that make you less and less an angry cry mom.
And if you stay tuned, you will be relieved to find that you actually learn to deal with your child much more relaxed over time.
Nevertheless, there will always be particularly difficult situations in which you cannot control your feelings.
Then don’t deny yourself compassion and think about how far you’ve come.
If your child is watching you in this process, it is an excellent lesson.
People can change through their own efforts. At the same time, it’s just human to lose control.
You can be a role model for your child. After the mood has calmed down a little, you can go to your child, take responsibility for your actions, admit that you have not acted correctly and apologized.
What experiences do you have in dealing with mom’s anger? Do you have any other tips that could help other mothers?
WHAT TO READ NEXT:
- Strengthening Resilience for Moms: How to Cope With Daily Stress
- Exhausted Mom: 5 Things You Need to Know
- The 5 Types of Stress That Mothers Often Suffer From and How to Deal with Them
- Alfie Kohn, Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason*
- Gary Chapman, The 5 Languages of Love for Children *
PS: Families are busier than ever. Feeling overwhelmed doesn’t have to be your new normal. This Family Routines Course will help you simplify the many daily tasks confronting you — creating a happier family and a much happier you.