When you sense your stress level and anger rising because your child misbehaves, don’t wait for the explosion point. Losing your temper is normal but don’t lash out in anger. Walk away and calm down with this countdown on anger management before taking action:
10. You’re not alone
More parents are losing their cool when managing children, observes Alfred Tan, executive director of the Singapore Children’s Society. While he doesn’t have official figures, he reckons that’s because mums and dads have higher expectations and demands of their kids.
Thanks to life in a fast-paced society and less support from traditional sources like an extended family, stress levels also are higher these days, explains Reshmi Karayan Kayanoth, senior psychologist from the Department of Psychological Medicine at National University Hospital (NUH).
9. You can spot the triggers
While these differ from family to family, the most common one is the stress of daily living, coupled with poor support for the parent, Reshmi says. Another is couples who have problems with their marriage and take it out on their kids.
The challenges of taking care of children at different development stages may also push the wrong buttons for you. She explains: “For parents of infants, it may stem from the drudgery of facing a crying baby day in and day out, with not much other time or opportunity for self-care and social or leisure pursuits.
“Toddlerhood, with the developing sense of autonomy in the child, ushers in the era of temper tantrums and seeming disobedience. This may be particularly difficult for some parents.”
Older children may also demand the latest gadgets and “in” things, which parents can’t afford, says Alfred. That can lead to arguments.