How to stay cool when junior angers you

Junior really knows how to push your buttons: Teach him the right way to behave ― without losing your cool.

PARENTS - How to stay cool when junior angers you JG (1)

Sure, yelling, screeching and hitting your young ’un aren’t the way to go when dealing with your misbehaving child. As a parent, how do you rein in your emotions when you’re furious?

            Earlier this year, a man was jailed 6 months for ill-treating his 7-year-old stepson. To punish the boy for staying up past his bed time, the man had posed him a series of maths questions. For every wrong answer, he pinched the boy on the inner thighs.

            If you feel that you are about to lose your temper with your child, try these ways to keep yourself in check.

Don’t take it personally

He might have turned a deaf ear to your nagging him about his unfinished homework. Or perhaps he is refusing to apologise for pushing a younger child accidentally. You might even feel that what he’s done is a personal attack on the way you’ve brought him up.

           Chill, he’s just a kid, and believe it or not, he’s not really trying to annoy you. He might just be tired, restless or in need of a hug, like even grownups sometimes do. Remove yourself from the situation, so that you are better able to appreciate what he’s going through and how you can help.  

Breathe

You’re about to explode and every expletive you know comes to mind. In such moments, walk away and breathe. Grab a drink in the kitchen, or splash some cool water on your face. It’s hard to make good decisions and talk and act rationally when you’re upset.

Think before you act

Shelen Ang, a principal trainer at Focus on the Family, Singapore, recommends the “Feel-Think-Act approach”. You make an effort to think between what you feel and how you act.

          You may need some time away before you take action, so tell your child, “I need time to think about what just happened. I need you to play quietly by yourself in the meantime,” or “I don’t know what just got over you but your behaviour was unacceptable. I’m going to give us both 5 minutes to cool down and we will talk about what happened later.”

          Ang adds that physical discipline, such as spanking and caning, is not the only, nor the best way to discipline. She says, “Age-appropriate consequences should be communicated beforehand and enforced in love, not in anger.”

Photo: INGimage

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