by Mike Martinez, RMHCI
Children can, at times, trigger anger. Many parents know this deep down, but the sentence alone may bring some feelings of sadness. For others, that first sentence is an overwhelming and obvious fact. Maybe that fact is why you’re here reading this. I’m here to let you know that you are not alone.
Let’s start by reminding ourselves that anger is a normal human emotion. So when our kids make us angry, it’s okay! Try not to feel guilty about anger alone. After all, anger is your body’s natural warning sign that something’s not right – a misbehavior on the child’s part — a teachable moment, I’ve heard it called. It’s your body telling you, “Hey, it’s time to do something about this!” This is a good thing, parents! However, our guilt comes in after we exhibit an unwanted behavior – yelling, sarcasm, others – behaviors that we do not intend to exhibit toward our children, but in the moment just happen.
So what do we do instead of the angry behavior? Well, there are a multitude of effective anger management strategies you can try such as taking deep breaths in that moment, removing yourself from the situation, or counting (or try all of the above). One technique I like to recommend sometimes is pressing an imaginary pause button and try the “zoom out technique.”
This takes some imagination, but imagine yourself “zooming out” of the situation. What does it look like? See yourself standing there with your child. Look at the room. The scene. Notice yourself, your posture and demeanor, as well as your child’s. With some practice, this may bring some clarity and allow you to zoom back in and this time make it go how you would want it to go rather than losing control of that anger or having it go the way it did last time (seriously, how many times have you told your child not to do what it is they’re doing?!).
Remember, it’s important to take steps to effectively manage and control anger. After all, the expression of anger is a learned behavior. How are you teaching your kids to manage anger? They learn by example, just as we learned what we saw growing up. So before you react, take a step back – they’ll be learning from you.
We all experience frustrations. It’s important to recognize when we need help managing our anger. If you or someone you know is in need, get help! You’re not alone. Call Life Counseling Solutions today at 407-622-1770 to set up an appointment with me or schedule an appointment with me online here.
Mike’s goal is to assist clients in reaching their full potential by helping them explore within themselves to find their strengths. He pays special attention to building a therapeutic relationship in order to create a safe place for change and growth. Mike provides counseling services to people of many different backgrounds, but specializes in helping men with anger management struggles. Continue reading here.