5 reasons parents get angry
1. You're tired!
A major reason parents get angry is because they are tired.
Being tired and being angry go hand in hand. When you are tired your fuse becomes short. It is that simple. However, it is not always easy to remedy.
One of the reasons parents feel tired is because they are not getting enough sleep. Are you having broken sleep because your children do not sleep through? Unless your children are under a year old, or sick, they should be sleeping through the night. If this is the cause of your fatigue, do not leave it. It can be sorted out easily. Contact a child care specialist who can help you.
Another reason parents are tired is because they are over-scheduled. Put simply, parents in today's generation feel the need to be busy constantly and therefore line up activities every day including weekends. It is important to have down time. Prioritise activities so that you have enough time to unwind at the end of the day and on weekends.
2. You're stressed!
Another contributor to parents getting angry a lot is stress and overload.
Many parents work long hours and find it difficult to juggle all their roles. When parents are overloaded, they want life to run smoothly so that they can get things done as quickly as possible and can move on to the next thing.
If you are in this situation, be aware when it is your stress that is causing you to snap at your child rather than his behaviour. Work on lowering your stress, so that your child does not cop it unnecessarily.
You can do this in several ways. The first is to think deeply about whether you need to work so hard and if, perhaps, you can work less and cut down on other things. Either way, be more organised, plan ahead, cook in bulk, wake up earlier, do whatever it takes to be more efficient and on top of things. Often it is our disorganisation rather than our actual lives that cause stress.
3. You crave perfection!
A common cause for anger in parents is the wish for perfection. We live in an age where there is a perception that perfection is attainable. It is not. You may not even be aware that you have unrealistic expectations of your child.
From today, take note of your thought patterns. Do you compare your child's drawings to others at the pre-school and feel disappointed when her's is not the most colourful? Do you push your child when he gets average marks at school? Do you yell when she misses a goal at soccer? Are you upset that your child does not excel in every subject and only excels in some?
When you let go of the need for perfection, your anger will dissipate.
4. You want instant gratification!
The desire for instant gratification is another major factor that leads to anger in parents. It is not only children who cannot wait for things to take their normal course, adults in this generation struggle with it too. Just like the microwave can cook a meal in 20 minutes, many parents want their children to be grown up and mature straight away.
Again, you may be oblivious that you have this issue so take a moment to consider. Are you intolerant of your child's babyish behaviour and lack of control? Do you get frustrated when you need to repeat things until she grasps them? Do you rationalise with your child and expect him to see things the way you do?
If so, then underneath these feelings is the expectation that your child could operate at an adult level like you do. Remind yourself daily that your child will take many years to be an adult … just like you did. Your role is to educate your child, inspire and facilitate optimal growth so that in the right time he will be mature, rational and co-operative.
5. You know that anger is power!
Society teaches us that anger is power. It is powerful, rich, aggressive people with guns who are seen to be potent while peace-loving, accommodating people are depicted as being left behind. This is a legacy of the survival of the fittest evolutionary theory. This societal belief is the underlying reason that a majority of parents get angry - because they believe that anger is the only way to get what they want.
If you have got into the trap of using anger to force your child to behave, know it is a short-term solution with long-term negative ramifications. You are not in an evolutionary race with your child. Nor is your life at risk. You are required to motivate and educate your child to be a decent adult and being angry will not bring that result. Children respond to anger with fear and so your anger seems to work. However, the truth is that in meaningful relationships, you achieve more with honey. Not only will your child hear your message more if it is said in a calm, reasonable manner but your child will learn the message behind the instruction.
As a loving parent, it is preferable to use effective, non-coercive ways of gaining your child's cooperation. It may take a bit longer initially but the results will be constructive and long term.
In conclusion, let me say that anger is common today for all these reasons. However, it is not an excuse to continue being angry. Anger can easily be managed with cognitive and behavioural tools which are simple to learn and apply. Once you master your anger, you will have better relationships with your children, and you will all be happier.