If you’re looking for simple, effective, and actionable anger management techniques for moms to help you be a more patient, fun, spontaneous, and grounded parent, you’ve come to the right place…
A few months ago, I read a quote on Facebook that totally changed my outlook on motherhood. I don’t remember who posted it or what page they found it on, but it stuck with me for weeks on end:
‘Be the person you needed when you were younger.’
At a time when I was juggling a lot of stuff that seemed completely beyond my capabilities, those words forced me to make a choice: let history repeat itself, or be the person I needed when I was a kid.
I have chosen the latter, and do you know what?
It feels amazing.
I’m learning how to have more patience, how to handle anger about the things I cannot change, how to celebrate the good instead of focusing on the bad, and – most importantly – I’m learning how to be a more positive role model for my daughter.
I feel like I’m parenting with greater purpose, and even though we still have bad days, I find I am much better at keeping perspective. I wake up with renewed determination each day, and I’m no longer afraid to set boundaries and put up my hand to ask for help when I need it.
I feel empowered.
And I feel happy.
Whether you’re trying to be more purposeful with your time, need tips to teach you how to control your anger and be more patient with your kids, or just want some new perspective on motherhood and the need for self-care, this collection of anger management techniques for moms is a great place to start.
RESIST THE URGE TO VENT YOUR FRUSTRATION. Yes, venting is therapeutic, but when we engage with others immediately after something upsets or angers us, we tend to say things we don’t mean and our emotions often escalate instead of dissipating. A much better strategy to use when something angers us is to take a time out to reflect on our feelings and resist the urge to talk to others until we’ve properly calmed down and have a better handle on our emotions.
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. If you find yourself thinking, ‘why do I feel angry all the time?’, it’s time to take a look inside and get to the root of your challenges. Are you really mad at something your kids did, or is something deeper going on? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Stressed? Anxious? Tired? Do you suffer from low self-esteem? Did someone or something tap into feelings of deep-seated resentment you have from long ago? Are you plagued by feelings of jealousy? Anger usually serves as a mask, and it’s often easier to resort to rage than it is to face our true fears and insecurities, but if we take the time to figure out the REAL reason for our feelings and confront them head-on rather than taking them out on someone else (like our children!), we’ll be much better off in the long run.
HIT THE GYM. As annoying as it might sound, exercise really is the be all and end all of a healthy and happy existence. Not only does it reduce our risk of certain diseases and help us shed unwanted pounds, but it also contributes to a better mood and a healthier mental state. So next time your kids make you feel angry, consider going for a run so you can sort through your emotions, get to the root of your feelings, and formulate an appropriate response.
KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL. While I’m not really one to write my feelings down on paper for all the world to see, The Five-Minute Journal has been a life-changer for me. It’s a simple yet powerful tool you can use to train your brain to start and end each day with feelings of gratitude so you can learn how to be a happy and positive person rather than a miserable cow. LOL. And it only takes 5 minutes to complete! It helps set the tone for your day and encourages you to create change from within while also reminding you to count your blessings and resolve conflicts before the day is done. It’s one of the most powerful anger management techniques I’ve used to shift my focus and concentrate on the positives instead of the negatives, and I’ve gotten several of my mom friends hooked as well. Find out more about The Five-Minute Journal here.
LEARN HOW TO SAY ‘NO’. If your anger stems from a constant feeling of overwhelm, do yourself a favor and learn how to say NO! As much as we want to be everything to everyone, the truth is that we are only human. There are only so many hours in the day and we need to be better about setting boundaries with our time. And as difficult as it is to say NO to the people we love, this quote by Bernard M. Baruch is a great reminder that the people who really count in our lives will understand:
‘Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.’
MAKE SLEEP A PRIORITY. From improved focus to weight management, the health benefits of adequate sleep are undeniable, and if you have a short fuse with your kids, getting 8+ hours of shut eye is more important that ever. Struggle to find the time to sleep? Consider trading off with your spouse for night wake-ups and sleep-ins, schedule time for naps around your child’s schedule, or hire help so you can catch some extra Zs. Need help falling – and staying – asleep? Stick to a strict sleep routine, amp up your physical activity, limit caffeine and alcohol (LOLOLOL!), and unplug after dinner.
THINK: ‘WILL THIS MATTER 6 MONTHS FROM NOW?’ While it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and react in rage and anger when our kids push our buttons, take the time to pause and consider if the THING that has caused you anger and rage will matter in the not-so-distant future. If the answer is NO, it’s probably in your best interest to take a break and let it go.
SMILE. Instead of walking around with tense muscles and a permanent scowl on your face, stand up tall and SMILE, even if you don’t feel like it. You will be amazed at how differently your family reacts to you when you’re not constantly on the defensive.
COMMIT TO CHANGE. Being angry all the time is really, really exhausting, and as difficult as it is to let go of anger, it can be so incredibly freeing. Make a commitment to focus on the good and forget the bad and see where it takes you. You might just surprise yourself!
HOW TO CALM DOWN WHEN ANGRY
In those moments when your kids are tried, hungry, and cranky and you’re trying to juggle a million things at once and feel like you’re going to explode despite your best intentions to stick with your ‘calm parenting’ goals, there are certain anger management techniques you can use IN THE MOMENT to help ground you.
TAKE 5 DEEP BREATHS. It’s no secret that taking deep breaths can help restore a sense of calm when big emotions hit, but when our hearts are racing due to feelings of overwhelm (and rage), our breathing is the farthest thing from our minds. Taking the time to focus on our breathing can calm the physical symptoms of anger, allowing us to feel more in control.
COUNT TO 10. If deep breathing isn’t your thing, counting to 10 has a similar effect in that it forces you to stop and focus on something else rather than reacting in the moment.
GO FOR A WALK. While it’s not always practical to grab your shoes and go for a run when you’re feeling overwhelmed and angry, a simple walk around the neighborhood or up and down the stairs in your home will offer a distraction when big emotions threaten to take over, while also encouraging proper breathing and helping your body to produce feel-good endorphins.
JOURNAL. Having a safe place where you can write down your feelings freely so you can express your anger in the moment is another great anger management technique for some, but if there’s a risk your child, spouse, or other family member might read what you wrote, considering writing something positive to try and lift yourself out of your bad mood instead.
DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE. Anger can leave us feeling agitated, tense, and irritable, and finding a productive way to expel some of that negative energy can make a world of difference in restoring a sense of calm. Crank some of your favorite tunes, organize a closet, fold a load of laundry, or cook your favorite meal to help bring yourself back to a place of calm.
APOLOGIZE. If you lost your cool with your kids and feel both guilty and annoyed with yourself, make it a point to be a positive role model and tell them you’re sorry. Acknowledge your mistakes, come up with a plan on how you can avoid a repeat of the situation, and then move forward.
Joan Lunden once said, ‘Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life.’ Along those same lines, Buddha also said, ‘Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.’
In other words, living in a constant state of anger hurts ourselves more than it hurts our children.
My challenge for you this week is to face your anger head on. Figure out the real reason for your actions and reactions, and make a commitment to change using some of these anger management techniques. Join a gym, go to bed earlier, lighten your load, and learn how to let things slide.
Your family will thank you.
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