Everyone gets angry. That burning feeling of wanting explode. Anger can make us feel out of control and often leads to actions and words we later regret.
Before we learn how to control our anger and convert it into positive parenting, we need to identify the triggers that cause that anger to begin building. These 10 mama anger triggers may help you recognize the source of your anger, so that you can create a plan of action to manage constructively in each situation.
Situations That May Trigger Mama Anger
Placing Unrealistic Expectations On Kids
As parents, we tend to place unrealistic expectations on our children, regardless of their age. We expect that they can do, be and understand more than they can and then get frustrated when they don’t. Toddlers are in a special, energetic developmental stage. They have seemingly endless energy, give us near constant “no!’s”, they don’t always nap and they are into everything in your home. If you find your anger triggered by these situations, stop and see them for the young sweeties they are, and see if you can alter your expectations a little in order to enjoy them more than you are at the moment, and make plans around the frustrating bits. Delay naptime until they are tired, get cupboard locks, do more outdoors activities where their energy is spent on fun, not on unpacking the kitchen while you’re in another room.
Your Me Time Being Interrupted
Everyone needs me time, and get frustrated and angry when our kids interrupt a quiet moment alone. It’s difficult not to feel angry when we are exhausted and really NEED that time alone. We need to remember that we are parents, firstly, and that our kids’ needs do come before our own. If your me time is constantly interrupted, try arranging for a friend to come over and watch your kids while you have some time out. Or pick a better time in the day when your kids will be able to settle in an activity for a set period of time.
Sensory Mess and Noise Intolerance
Some adults have Sensory Processing Disorder, and it is very triggering to have mess or noise around. If you are seriously triggered or disturbed by noise and/or mess in your home, take some time to research SPD in adults, and if you do find you have some of the aspects mentioned, take some time to write up a solution for the small things that trigger your anger. Buy earphones and listen to music. Develop a system for the play room so that the amount of mess can be capped and is not endless. Work out what best helps you.
Kids Don’t Know Of Our Other Stresses
Our children live blissfully ignorant lives, and all they really understand is what they see. They don’t know about the arguments you have with family, the financial issues that have you insecure, or the worries about education you may have. Kids know that mom and dad love them, they have a home and friends, and they are happy with that. If your anger is triggered because your child is constantly interrupting your thought processes about your worries, take some time out each morning to write your worries down, and try to compartmentalize them for the day so that you focus on your children. Worry over what you have control over. Let go of the rest. And talk to a friend!
Children Act Out For Your Attention
If you find yourself sitting in front of the TV or your phone, or work a lot on your laptop, you may find your children act out to get your attention. As frustrating as it is to not be able to work when you want to, or talk with a friend in peace, realize that your kids need your attention and time. Keep your non crucial work and habits for a time when you know your kids will be busy with something, and focus on them when it’s time to! Appreciate and love that time; they grow up too fast!
Children Want To Do Life At Their Pace
Toddlers will want to stop to pick up snails and look at butterflies and pick flowers. It’s far too tempting to pull a toddler along quickly in order to get through our to-do list. But remember they process the world much more slowly than we do. They notice the little things around us that we don’t. Pause and appreciate things with them, and cater in time for doing that by leaving early if you can. Be patient in explaining things to them, and repeating things if necessary.
If you find yourself burnt out or exhausted, your anger may be triggered by pretty much anything your child does. Recognize that the tiredness is not their issue, it’s yours. And they don’t deserve the words or actions you feel like releasing in your frustration. If you need some time out, then speak up before you get angry. Teach your kids to respect if mommy says she needs a few minutes alone. And set up activities they can do if you feel you are going to lose your temper because of exhaustion.
Sibling Rivalry And Fighting In The Home
Constant bickering and arguing between siblings can drive anyone crazy. Set some firm boundaries and rules in place as to how each child needs to treat others, as well as separate activities they can do if they really get too heated with each other. Remember that their emotions are not yours. Stay calm and collected, and objectively help them sort out their arguments and cool down.
Disobedience and Disrespect
Remember that your child’s disrespect or disobedience is their issue, and their emotion, not yours. You are firstly their parent and authority, and secondly friend, so keep calm and lovingly guide them through their emotions. Teach them how they can manage and express their negative emotions in a positive, calmer way. Don’t take it personally. Every household has kids who are learning their way through managing emotions and behavior!
Feeling like you can’t control your child can lead to great frustration and trigger anger. If your child is very hyperactive and can’t settle for long, take a deep breath, and research what you can do to help him manage himself easier, and what you can do to keep yourself together and calm when you are with him. Understanding a hyperactive child and getting advice from professionals and friends who have been there is very helpful!
Being a mother is fantastic work, but it can also be trying! Take some time to identify the things that trigger your anger, and plan ahead so that you can live a more peaceful, controlled day. Your kids need you happy, together and peaceful!
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