For many of us, the biggest obstacle in the way of being the parent we wish we were, is anger. Great parenting requires patience, but unfortunately for us, anger is exactly its opposite. So how can you control your anger?
When my now almost 13-year-old was little, I used to get mad at him. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I would shout and deal out punishments to get him to behave like a ‘good’ kid. I had no idea what I was doing. All I did was react, react and react, with anger. Needless to say, I created a rocky journey for myself and my relationship with this brilliant boy because of that poor start. But I know without that failure, I could never have forced myself to get in control of my anger.
My strong-willed little first born pushed me to change myself, and the relationship we’ve built now, through all the ups and downs, has been painstakingly worth it.
Controlling your anger: The truth
Being quick to anger, and not being able to control your anger does not make you a lost cause. Anger is an emotion, and like all emotions, we can either allow it to control us, or be in control of it.
Anger itself is not bad. Acting on anger is.
Contrary to what you see on social media, no one really has it altogether.
You don’t need to be a perfect parent or the most patient parent. Allah created everyone different. Some of us are naturally more patient, and others (like myself) really struggle and strive to achieve patience. And that’s not always just because of ‘how we are’, but also heavily linked to insufficient healthy nurturing and modelling in childhood.
The important thing is you can always do something. You can always improve. You can learn to control your anger. Everyone can if you CHOOSE to.
In this blog post I’m going to walk you through 6 steps to control your anger for good – a journey to controlling your anger and finally stop it preventing you from being patient and calm with your children.
Are you ready? Do you believe you can do this?
6 steps to control your anger for good
1. Honour & understand your feelings
Your anger is coming from somewhere. You anger is valid. Maybe you grew up with an angry parent and you’ve inherited or learned that reaction. Or maybe you’ve been mistreated, oppressed or abused. Your anger is coming from somewhere.
Don’t think of it as something to be embarrassed or ashamed of. It’s an emotion. It’s how you feel. Honour your feelings, and your life journey. Your experiences are valid.
Once you can accept that your anger is not bad until you act on it, you will be able to pull together energy and motivation to overcome it and stop if from inhibiting you to be the best parent you are capable of.
2. Recognise your triggers
Make time to sit with a notebook and pen and list the things that trigger you to feel angry. What makes you tense up, fists clenched, gets your heart pounding, your blood rushing and makes you see red?
It could be your child ignoring you. It could be a tipped playroom. It could be anything. Your triggers will be specific to you.
Write them down.
3. Make a plan to deal with triggers
Many of your triggers will be easy to regulate. But you must know that they will have deep running roots which you will need to deal with at some point to totally eradicate an ‘anger problem’.
The best way to control anger is by nipping it in the bud as soon as it starts to rear its ugly head. You know the tell-tale signs, and if you don’t, then go back a step and start to get more in-tune with yourself – become more self-aware. Learn more about that here.
Now make a plan of how you will diffuse your triggers by nipping anger in the bud before it has a chance to sprout its poison.
As soon as you start to tense up and feel the rush of anger, put your plan into action.
Coming soon: Learn the steps that will make up your plan.
4. Reduce regularity of triggers
You know your triggers, you know how to deal with your triggers, now all you need to do is reduce them – do what you can to stop them from occurring in the first place.
For example, if mess bothers you, create a tidying schedule, reduce the things you and your family own, implement a toy and book rotation so many things stay stored away rather than all over the floor. Teach, train and coach your kids to tidy up too – make it fun, positive and enjoyable as often as possible and by doing it with them.
You always have the ability to problem solve. It’s just a matter of whether you will choose to empower yourself or not?
5. Create balance in your life
Being quick to anger often indicates that things are not healthy in your life. I bet you probably experience regular stress and tension too?
To manage your life and day better you need to make sure you’re fulfilling the needs of your
If you’re not getting enough rest, or revitalisation time, if you’re not feeling khushu in your salah (or not praying at all), if your heart is discontent and your body tired and fatigued, if the smallest things are spinning you into bundle of emotions, often expressed or felt as anger, then you can be sure your life is not balanced and your needs are not met.
I’ve written about this extensively before. Click below to find out how to transform your life by creating balance.
6. Keep trying
I started this blog post telling you I would take you through 6 steps on your JOURNEY to controlling your anger, because we are humans not robots.
It takes us time to form new habits and change old ways.
Our emotions are ever-changing, up and down and everything we experience has the potential to alter our plans and intentions. We are not programable like robots, but we can learn and keep trying, and that’s ALL that matters.
Keep trying. Know your goal, keep it in my mind and use the understanding and the plan you create from what I share here (and elsewhere on my blog) to craft and shape your journey of self-development.
It does take time to establish new habits and to change old ways. But stay committed and be consistent. If you fail, get up and try again. You can do this. Perhaps in a few months or even a year, the transformation you made will be absolutely clear. I know it is for me.