We are all human. We all have feelings. Feeling angry is ok. What to do next makes all the difference.
If you know someone who has never yelled once at their children, I would like to meet them and learn their secret. For the rest of us mortals, we feel angry. It is part of being human. As a result, we behave in ways that we later regret.
Ideally, we want to be able to catch this feeling before our behavior takes over. But there will be times when we can't.
It happened. You lost it, and now you can't take it back and you are feeling awful about it.
You will need to pull yourself together and talk to your child about it. This is a learning opportunity for both you and your child. let's make the most of it. We will get to that in a moment, but first, you need to calm down.
As soon as you realize that you are losing your temper, remove yourself from the situation. Say that you need a moment to regroup and that you will be back to have a chat about this when you are feeling calmer. Basically, give yourself a timeout to control your feelings.
If your child is too young to be alone for a couple of minutes, then stay within viewing distance, but distance yourself to the extent possible.
When you distance yourself, you really have 4 tasks to focus on.
Calm yourself down. Taking deep breaths from your stomach or drinking a glass of water will help.
Sort your feelings. You and I know it was not only your child's action that triggered all this anger. Sort them out. Common ones are hunger, being tired, worrying, feeling stressed out because of work-related issues. Name as many of these triggers as you can. Writing helps.
Focus on your child's behavior. What was it? Why did it bother you so much? How can you explain that to your child in a way that's easy to understand?
Think of solutions both for yourself and your child. You are learning from this experience as much as your child is. Something triggered a big feeling for you, and you need to learn to control it. How can you better control this feeling?
You are now ready to have a conversation with your child. Remember that so far, you have been focusing on your side of the story. You have been learning your lesson. Your child has a different side to this story, complete with feelings and solutions that should be listened to.
Differently from you, your child is still learning how to handle these big feelings. You might need to help by guiding the conversation.
Your child is watching and learning
If you could only take one thing from this post, take being genuine about your feelings and how to handle them with yourself and your child.
If you genuinely and respectfully model how you handle your feelings, your child will learn to genuinely and respectfully handle big feelings too.