Child Behavior Management Without Anger

By Kathryn Hatter
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Part of parenting children involves using behavior management to encourage positive behavior and discourage misbehavior. Parenting with anger usually does not end with positive results. Explore options that will allow you to manage your child’s behavior without resorting to anger.

Harsh Realities of Anger

When you allow yourself to express anger in an uncontrolled manner, you threaten the safety and security of your child, according to clinical psychologist Laura Markham at Aha Parenting. If your anger becomes a habit, the fear your child feels might lead him to erect walls to shield him from your wrath. If you notice your child failing to respond fearfully to your anger, this is a sobering indication that you have expressed too much anger.

Defusing Your Anger

Everyone experiences anger occasionally, especially in response to frustration, counsels Rose Allen, an educator at University of Minnesota. By expressing anger constructively, you can help your child learn better behavior instead of possibly making behavior worsen because of your anger. When you recognize angry feelings in yourself, take quick steps to interrupt its common progression. Counting or deep breathing might help you regain your composure. You might also give yourself a quick timeout in another room to allow your angry feelings to dissipate.

Safe Expression

It’s fine to tell your child that you’re feeling angry in a calm way, according to the Love Our Children USA website. You might say, “I’m starting to feel angry, so I’ll be back in a minute after I calm down.” Once you’ve calmed yourself and you're ready to speak, return and explain your frustration with your child. Use a calm and firm voice as you discuss the circumstance and how you would like to resolve it. For example, you might say, “I reminded you to do your chores two hours ago and they still aren’t done. We have company arriving in 30 minutes and I’m starting to feel stressed. Would you please do what you need to do to help out?”

Putting Off Discipline

It can be tempting to mete out punishments when you’re angry. However, wait until the livid feelings dissipate before disciplining your child, according to Markham. By waiting until you feel calmer, you will ensure that you parent respectfully and calmly, disciplining your child with firm love. Waiting until you are calm also saves you from the embarrassment of having to retract an extreme punishment that you hurl at your child in the rush of anger.

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