More and more mothers and fathers are coming to anger management classes due to anger toward their children.Â Some parentsÂ feel they can’t cope with their small children while others report angst with their teenagers.
Most good parents feel guilty when they experience negative emotions toward their children. Yet, it is very common. The typical scenario is one in which children will not do what parents request resulting in escalating anger by the parents resulting in increased defiance by the child.
One anger management strategy that works well with parents is to stop yelling (that always makes things worse) and instead calmly offer choices (that are acceptable to you) to your child. For a younger child, the choice might be something like “Would you like to take you bath before we watch television or after?” (Notice that the child still will have to take a bath; but choice gives him a sense of control).
For an older child, the choice might be something like: “You can go to sleep anytime you like as long as you get up in the morning to go to school and you get good grades.”
Reasoned and well thought-out choices offered by parents help children develop good judgment, and a sense of control over their own lives often resulting in less need to be defiant. And less defiance from children goes a long way toward reducing parental anger.