How every parent can better control stress and anger at kids

May 19, 2020
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    If you are always frustrated and screaming at your kids, here are five ways you can better manage their stress and emotions.

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  • Have an honest talk with your husband
    2 / 6 Have an honest talk with your husband

    Husbands should make time to listen to their wives and encourage them. “If this can be practised for just 10 to 15 minutes a week, it could start to change the emotional state of the mother and translate thereafter towards improving the overall atmosphere of the home,” says Ms Theresa Pong, principal counsellor at Focus on the Family Singapore.

    (Also read: 5 ways to turn that fight with your husband into a better marriage)


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  • Make "me-time" a priority
    3 / 6 Make "me-time" a priority

    Carve out time for yourself in the family timetable and take turns taking care of the kids during that period, says Dr Lim Boon Leng, a psychiatrist at Dr BL Lim Centre for Psychological Wellness. “Parents can also establish areas that are out of bounds to the kids so that they can have some respite.”

    Kundalini yoga teacher Tina Chugani-Nair taught her two daughters that they should not disturb her during “mummy time”. “Setting that boundary is so important. Because if you don’t, then they’re always going, ‘Mummy can you do this, Mummy can you do that.'”

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  • Be kind to yourself
    4 / 6 Be kind to yourself

    “Cognitively, parents need to understand that they need not be perfect or attend to their kids all the time,” Dr Lim says. When they are healthy mentally and physically, they are better able to care for their children.

    Ms Pong encourages mothers to “reflect upon the blessings amid the uncertainties” of the pandemic.

    (Also read: How your stress and anger affect kids: What every parent should know)

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  • Commit to communicate
    5 / 6 Commit to communicate

    Arrange family chats where everyone can share how they feel without being interrupted or judged, says Ms Christine Wong, founder and principal psychotrauma coach of RhemaWorks International.

    Parents should also allow themselves to be vulnerable to their kids when they get worked up. “Say things like, ‘I’m sorry, I feel I am being triggered right now and it has nothing to do with you. Let me have some time alone you play in your room.'”

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  • Seek professional help
    6 / 6 Seek professional help

    Check on your emotional state using the online tool on Focus on the Family Singapore’s website. The tool also offers conversation starters for wives to use with their husbands, as well as a limited number of free consultations.

    Ms Wong is holding a free online parenting talk on May 28. Register at She also holds Facebook Live Q&A sessions on Thursdays at

    A version of this article appeared in The Sunday Times.


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