With work-life stresses getting worse, psychiatrists, counsellors and parent educators are now teaching couples how to cope with their rage. There are lots of cases where parents cannot contain their anger because of reasons like poor work-life balance, lack of sleep, and even health conditions like Vitamin D deficiency and thyroid disorders.They vent on the most vulnerable member of the family -the child.
Children often cope with parents’ aggressive behaviour by throwing tantrums, holding back and refusing to go to the toilet, grinding teeth and throwing things. Very often, the child is brought in as he she is not studying, refusing to eat or has some other behavioural issue.
Angry parents create angry children, believe experts. If the father is violent, then there is a higher chance of the child being violent. It becomes a vicious cycle.
It pays to take a step back and calm down when you face a trigger. Anger is time bound, what makes you angry won’t keep you angry for long. Behavioral exercises such as freezing (not saying or doing anything), isolating oneself in a room or avoiding the person who stoked the anger. Even in situations that warrant parental intervention, anger shouldn’t be impulsive, but well-thought-out. If your child irritates you, count to 10, and think through what you are going to tell your child. In anger, you tend to be illogical and abusive.
Parenting groups are also concentrating on anger management. Many parents have discussed the issue with us. We feel you need to first acknowledge you are losing control, force yourself to calm down and then address the issue.
Most importantly, parents need to remember that they are emotional coaches for their children.