There are days when parenting a toddler seems like a very high risk job. Very high risk of losing your temper. Even the most level-headed parents can find themselves struggling to control their anger when their toddlers are misbehaving.
Well, you are not alone. There are millions of parents who are frustrated and dealing with parental anger every single day.
Let’s find out why toddlers seem like creatures from a different planet who are sometimes so hard to understand. These are their characteristics:
The other day, my two year old daughter just found out that she could have so much fun playing with a string of faux pearls. She played with it for almost an hour. She refused to have lunch, and she was close to missing her nap time. She was wet and didn’t want to be changed. Those are recipe for disaster. She would be hungry, tired, and miserable.
After the fifth “Five more minutes of playing. OK?” I had to put my foot down. What followed next was close to a scene from Gladiator movie when they fight for their lives at The Colosseum.
Screams. More screams. And kicks. And throwing self to the ground. And cries. And claws. And tears. I never thought a toddler could put up a fight like a soldier. She was definitely so determined to wrestle me and find her way out of the room.
I was angry. I was frustrated. I lost my temper.
It was so very hard to control my emotions. Anger, confusion, frustration, and sadness were like a tornado inside of me. On top of that I had a mission to accomplish: to put her to nap so she could get the needed rest.
In the end, she finally fell asleep on my chest, but the earlier struggle with her left a bitter aftertaste. It got me thinking that I have to learn to manage my parental anger.
I felt that I became a monster to her. That was not a good feeling at all. She woke up cheerful and all--God bless toddlers, their big heart, and their short memory; and I apologized to her for being rough with her earlier.
Everything was fine in the end, but this is something that I need to improve.
Based on Ask Dr. Sears, there are couple of things we can do to deal with parental anger:
The next time my fuse about to explode, I need to take a deep breath or leave the room to readjust my perspective and to keep my cool. Besides, our children depend on us to be good role models on how to deal with anger.
Do you have any tips how to control your anger?