Your kid’s misbehaviour can drive you nuts and make you so angry, you feel like bursting. When she’s going through one of those phases in which she is uncooperative, doesn’t do what she’s told, and gets up to mischief no matter how many times you warn her, you might struggle to keep your temper in check.
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But screaming because you are angry at your child makes matters worse. That’s usually like pouring petrol on fire, because all that happens is tension mounts, disagreements escalate, and everyone feels even worse than they did before. It is far better to avoid such getting angry at your child, if you can.
The next time you feel yourself about to get angry at your child, try one of these strategies to keep calm and parent on.
3 / 11 Remember, she is just a childLoad more
When you spend all day in the company of your preschooler, it’s easy to forget that she is just a little kid who wants to have fun, rather than a wilful terror who is deliberately trying to upset you. Keep things in perspective.
4 / 11 Lower your expectationsLoad more
Children this age like to explore, experiment, and test the limits – that’s normal behaviour. So, don’t expect too much from her or you will set yourself up for disappointment. Even the best-behaved child gets up to mischief sometimes.
5 / 11 Think positive thoughtsLoad more
When you are stressed by your child’s misbehaviour, it’s only natural that you start to think negatively about her. Instead, try to focus on her positive characteristics and remind yourself of the good times you have together.
6 / 11 Explain your frustrationLoad more
Rather than letting your negative feelings build up until you can contain them no longer, tell your child what you feel. Let her know: “The way you are behaving is making me upset, so I’d like you to do as I ask.”
7 / 11 Use distractionsLoad more
One way to break the tension that’s building up is to turn her to another activity. So, instead of shouting at her for not doing what you ask, simply engage her in something else altogether. That strategy directs you both away from the source of conflict.
8 / 11 Walk out of the roomLoad more
Sometimes, walking away is the best way to control your temper. Go to another room and try to regain control over your emotions (but make sure that she is safe on her own). After five or 10 minutes, you are likely to feel calmer and ready to face her again.
9 / 11 Plan your strategyLoad more
Before your kid misbehaves, think about how you could manage her when she isn’t cooperative – for example, warning her, removing her from the source of annoyance or distracting her. This way, you know exactly what to do when she is mischievous.
10 / 11 Use positive languageLoad more
You may be able to defuse a confrontation verbally by speaking positively to her – for example, “I am getting angry with you. I know you don’t want that to happen because you are such a kind child.”
11 / 11 Ask for supportLoad more
There is nothing wrong with admitting that you are close to a meltdown and that you need help. If you are having a bad day with your child, and your spouse isn’t available, ask a friend or relative to come round to give you a break.