How To Stay Sane When You Want To Pull Your Hair Out And Other Anger Management Tips For Parents
This is for all you Mothers and Fathers who love your kids dearly AND those adorable kids still have the capacity to send you into the “crazies” at times.
I wanted to share with you some excellent information from my fellow life coach, Torie Henderson, whose site is lifecoachingforparents.com
Kids Can Be Our Best Teachers
I am, by far, not a perfect parent and I don’t believe perfect parents even exist.
What I do believe is that our kids can be our best teachers with the right attitude.
When we can look at the challenges they bring as a way to understand our issues and ourselves better, we become better people by default.
My kids can still send me to feeling “wildly irrational” in a flash, but I have learned to embrace their ‘misbehavior’ as an opportunity to learn more about myself.
I use any negative feelings I experience, to discover more about my own negative thinking that I typically did not even realize was there.
So I am continually seeking ways to live a more happy, peaceful life and this journal is one way I do it
Parents Need To Vent
Parenting can sometimes feel like hard work.
Most of us need to vent our frustrations every once in a while to someone. So we seek out your family or friends to unload.
You complain and commiserate and you leave thinking you feel better and are grateful for their support. You have a renewed sense of purpose to tackle any problems at home.
A week later you are back where you started and looking for another vent session.
Another common practice when you are frustrated with your kids is you go to your partner with the problem.
You say, “I just don’t know what to do, they don’t listen or do what I want!” Your loving partner gives you their solution. “Here’s what I do………….”
The problem is other people’s way may not be your way and so it either starts an argument or you slump away feeling worse than you did before because ‘they just doesn’t understand’.
What we are really looking for is to feel heard and acknowledged.
Parents need to vent on occasion, because we feel like it shares the burden.
Men And Women Solve Problems Differently
The problem is that men and women process and solve problems differently.
Most women seem to naturally commiserate as a form of bonding. But if a husband listens to his wife vent, very often he is left feeling worse. YOU feel better, but he does not.
Frustrated parents, just like frustrated kids, need to have their feelings validated first, before they can go into problem solving mode.
They can access their own inner wisdom to solve their own problems, which makes them feel like a more successful parent.
How To Stop Being Angry With Your Kids
These worksheets are designed to allow parents not only to vent their frustrations, but also helps them figure what is keeping them from feeling heard, understood and peaceful.
My hope is that through these worksheets will not only help you feel better, but hopefully also discover concrete tools to help you do better!
The first one is for parents who feel their child is being disrespectful – common complaint among my clients!
The second is for parents who want their child’s behavior to change such as eating, sleeping, learning, etc.
This is your chance to let it all out on paper.
This is not the time to say, “yes but he doesn’t mean it” or “it’s not as bad as I’m making it sound”.
We want to flesh out what the mean voices in your head are saying, just don’t let anyone see what you write!
When You Feel Better You Do Better
Parenting from a place of peace and confidence is a beautiful thing.
Time and time again, I notice that when parents feel better, they do better.
I cannot imagine a greater gift to the planet than kids being raised by peaceful, happy parents who are living in alignment with their best selves.
So Let’s GO!
Worksheet One: My Child Should Be More Respectful
Belief/Thought: My child should be more respectful.
My child struggles with respect in these ways (ie. not answering people’s questions, not wanting to share her things, manners, etc.)______________________________________________________________.
During these times (ie. our house when friends are over, running errands when he/she’s tired, etc.) ___________________________________________________________________.
And in these places_____________________________________________.
It upsets me when she/he_________________________________________.
In this situation, I feel (ie. mad, sad, scared, embarrassed)___________________________.
I worry that other people will think I am ______________________________________________________.
It would make me happy if my child would just __________________________________________________.
How do you want your child to change? (enjoy the fantasy)__________________.
What do you want them to think? ________________________________________________________________.
How do you want them to feel? __________________________________________________________________.
How do you want them to behave? ________________________________________________________________.
What do you think of your child? (this question is intentionally vague, answer whatever comes to mind: personality, judgments, etc)________________________________________.
What are you afraid will happen if your child’s behavior doesn’t change?________________________.
How is your child’s behavior a reflection of his/her innate personality?________________________.
Are your expectations for her behavior appropriate for his/her age, stage, and temperament?
Is there a goal your child is trying to accomplish with this behavior? (attention, revenge, power, inadequacy, excitement, peer acceptance, superiority)___________________________.
What is my role in creating this behavior?_______________________________________________________.
How can I model more respectful behavior towards my child? (ie. listen to his/her needs, validate feelings)__________________________________________________________.
How can I model more respectful behavior towards myself? (take more breaks, think kind thoughts, give myself credit for all the good I do, etc)__________________________.
How can I be a better emotional leader for my child? (Express gratitude daily, vent anger/frustration on paper, do activities that I enjoy, etc.)
What thought or mantra can you hold in your mind the next time you see this ‘disrespectful behavior’, in order to remain peaceful? (ie. “She is learning kindness from watching me” or “I can respect myself and my child at the same time”)
Worksheet Two: My Child Needs To Change This Habit
Belief/Thought: My child needs to change this habit!
It bothers me when she/he
In this situation, I feel ____________________(ie. frustrated, angry,
sad, scared, embarrassed) because _____________________________
It would make me happy if my child would just
Specifically, how do you want your child to change?
What do you want your child to believe? (you are always there for
them, trying new foods won’t kill them, they are capable, etc.)
How do you want them to feel? (loved, adventurous, well rested,
Why do you think your child feels and acts the way she does now?
What do you think of your child? (this question is intentionally vague,
answer whatever comes to mind.)
What are you afraid will happen if your child’s behavior doesn’t change?
What concerns you about the opinions of others? (partner, strangers,
How is your child’s behavior a reflection of his/her innate personality?
Are your expectations for his/her behavior appropriate for his/her age,
stage and temperament?
Is there a goal your child is trying to accomplish with this behavior?
What is my role in creating this behavior?
What are the aspects of this I have no control over?
What are the aspects I do have control over?
What can I do to create an environment that is conducive to positive change?
Are there any circumstances where the behavior is better?
How can I find peace, even if change never happens?
What thought or mantra can you hold in your mind in order to parent from a place of peace and confidence? (“Ten years from now this won’t be an issue” or “The most important thing is that I love my child”)
Still Feeling Stuck?
If you feel stuck or discover something you would like help with in parenting your child, the graphic below so we can schedule you a free one-on-one phone coaching session.
I have put a lot of time and effort into learning how to be a great parent for my kids and would love to share with you what I have learned.