Five ways to trounce the anger demon

Five ways to trounce the anger demon

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If you follow me on Facebook you would have seen this update on my timeline a few days back.

 

And that was just a five-minute snippet of my entire day. Children can certainly drive you to the brink. Sometimes I think they are part of God’s master plan to teach us patience.

I yell at the twins. Multiple times a day. What follows is worse – they grow sullen and I am left with the feeling that I messed up, that I could have done better, that it really wasn’t worth it. Also, as they grow, I find yelling losing its effectiveness. If you have a tween at home you’ll know the eye-rolls and the arguing and the doors being shut. Oh! the door banging – how it provokes me!

And then it goes completely downhill.

I’ve blogged about this before . And I still remember the look on my daughter’s face after the incident I spoke about in that post. She was barely able to talk, back then.

Never had I experienced such extreme emotional outbursts as I have since the children came along. Click To Tweet

It is only a few years ago that I became aware of the necessity of keeping my cool.

Anger vitiates the home atmosphere and we say things we wish we never should have. Click To Tweet

Also, I wonder what example I’m setting for the children (yeah always, always the weight of being a role model). Besides, it is such a dreadful time waster.

So here are five ways in which I am trying to get past my anger.

Being aware of specific triggers

This has been tremendously helpful. I have learnt to recognise my triggers. There are specific times during the day when I’m most likely to lose my temper – Mornings would be the worst, then come study-time and bedtime. In fact whenever there’s a deadline to meet I know a yell is round the corner. So those are the times I plan for and remind myself to keep my cool.

Removing yourself from the scene

I’d almost forgotten this one till a friend reminded me of it on that Facebook thread. It works better for older children. For instance after I give them their breakfast in the morning, I tell them to watch the clock and get busy with other morning chores. I would have done myself a world of good had I not sat watching H wear that sock that day.

What’s the worse that can happen?

That’s a question I ask myself as I feel my patience slipping. So they’re slow in the morning, they’ll miss part of their breakfast. Or they’ll miss the bus. At night they’ll go to bed half an hour late. Is that worth yelling? Often it isn’t. Would it delay us further? In most cases it does. Oh and if they have flouted one of the unbreakable rules they have a yell coming and I do it without a twinge of guilt because I know they well deserve it.

Take a break, make yourself happy

This one is important because if I’m stressed or unhappy my patience runs dry way faster. I make time for myself. So I have a quiet cup of tea before I wake them in the morning. Or I try to meet up with friends in the evening – that’s absolutely therapeutic.

Partner up with your children

Long back when the children were really small we had the concept of an Angel Day when everyone would try to be good. That still works sometimes. Also, when I’m expecting a stressful day, if I have a work deadline or we’re having visitors for instance, I warn them off. It helps immensely that they’re older and understand me more. On good days not only do they tone down their squabbling, they also lend a hand with the chores.

That said, there still are days, many more of them than what I’d like, when I forget and give way to impatience. But I’m trying and getting better at it most certainly.

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Linking up with  Kreative Mommy for her #MondayMommyMoments. Do drop by to check out suggestions from other moms.
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24 Replies to “Five ways to trounce the anger demon”

  1. Tulika, I have written in many of my posts that children are God’s way of instilling patience in us. Were we so patient before motherhood? I don’t remember if I was. I have also starting to let go things and over look things. Goin to bed half an hour late or playing till late are things not worth our yelling.

  2. A big hug to you, Tulika. I know it’s not easy for you since you have twins. Let me tell you that it gets easier when kids grow up. I am glad that AG has passed the stage where I had to yell at him. It’s cool now, now that he is a teenager and also that we meet after months. Those are pretty good strategies and hope you have yell free days 🙂

    1. You have a point Shilpa. I think the idea of giving each other space works in a mother-child relationship too specially as they get older. We’re together all the time so that’s an issue and also the fact that with the Husband away I’m the only one trying to get them to do things. It can get pretty painful.

  3. I needed this post. Just had an outburst this morning. and now I tell myself that I must relax and breathe easy. The fact is when the matter cools down I really tell myself to relax, walk away and control . But at the spur of the moment I just lose it!!!!

    1. Yeah that happens. You don’t even realise it and you’re in the middle of a massive outburst. But being aware of the triggers helps. And one does get better with practice.

  4. Oh yes – always the mornings for me. Not helped by the menopausal sweats I have to say. Yes – I’m drinking in your advice, know how it feels to be terrorised by a sock and I’m sending you lovely calming vibes. #tweensteensbeyond

  5. Never had I experienced such extreme emotional outbursts as I have since the children came along. – This is what scares me the most about having children. I doubt if I’ll have the patience for that.

    Apart from that, I’ll tell you when I get there 🙂

    1. Soumya all I’ll say is that when I say ‘extreme emotion’ it works both ways. While it’s true I hadn’t known I could get so very angry I also hadn’t know I could feel so much love or so much sadness. There was time I hardly ever cried at films – now I do it all the time. It’s like they opened some emotional tap in me and it’s not all bad.

  6. I can so relate to it. All I look for is a no-yell day, but it’s not happening anytime soon and with a kid just entering the tween zone, I am just praying that I continue to hold on to my sanity. I haven’t tried removing myself from the scene and that’s what I am planning to implement.

  7. When my nephew changed school, he began coming over at our place everyday. I took it upon myself to help him with his homework etc, so that his mom wouldn’t have too much to deal with after a busy day at work. That’s when my patience began going for a dip. I would yell, admonish, scowl and frighten the poor boy. Over time, I realised how futile it was! I was only losing my energy. Over time, I changed my tactics. We became friends – chums who can talk about anything (at least now before he hits his teens!) – and thus I got work done better. Now, at the end of the day, when it’s time for him to go back home, almost all of his studies are done and we both are in a good mood, too. It all feels great! I am hoping the trend continues even a few years from now! 😛
    Yes, the days when he stays here overnight, the mornings-after can try my patience a lot. He just goes into the slo-mo mode and I reach boiling point when I see him doing the exact same thing you described up there – one sock up, one look at the toy car…you got the drift? 😀

    1. Ha ha … yes I get it. Kids can be infuriating. One has to try all kinds of strategies – different ones work for different children as also for different age groups. A parents’ task is so very tough sometimes.

  8. So many hugs coming your way. I know this isn’t easy and you have two of the same age so it’s double trouble. Tweens are tough to handle with their awkwardness and defiance in full blown gear. I agree with all your tips to handle the anger demon. They work very well when practiced consistently. Thought of having a yell-free counter on the blog’s sidebar? That has motivated me like nothing else. Each day I log in, see that and it’s a great reminder.

    1. To be honest Shailaja, I’m not sure I’d be able to stick to a no-yell pact just yet. I’m just looking at minimising it, for now. Or maybe I need to begin right away – take it up for just one day or one week and see how it goes.

  9. Oh God, Tulika, just yesterday M was so so cranky and naughty. I tried everything but at the end, I lost my patience and now I’m feeling guilty. How do you do it? How do mums do it? I don’t know if I can even implement what you have pointed out here. I’m so low on patience by the time I go home and it’s not fair because she’s away from me the whole day and I shouldn’t lose it so soon. 🙁

    1. Hugs Naba. If it’s any consolation – it gets better as they grow, way better. The first two years are the toughest. Don’t beat yourself over it. try outsourcing as many of your evening chores as possible. It’s the pressure of the daily grind that makes it worse.

  10. I don’t know how you manage tweens. I had a crush with my little cousin and that did it. It’s so difficult to get them so something. I would rather climb a mountain than make a three yr old do his homework. These are great tips… Hope you have more yell free days 🙂

    1. Thanks Raj. I need it. I had an extra stormy morning today. Tweens are tough but the good bit is at least in their good moments they understand what you’re trying to say. So I’m just glad for small mercies.

  11. I am totally against yelling and saying nasty things. Of late, I’ve noticed that my yelling has come down a lot. Maybe, the kids have become easier or I have attained the much-needed Zen. 🙂 But yes, I am more conscious and I’ve partnered with the kids. If I lose my temper, I sit down and talk it out with them. And this communication has helped things. To top it, the younger son regularly compliments me calling me kind and understanding. That motivates me to keep doing the good thing. If once in a while, I do yell, I don’t lose my sleep over it.

    1. Touchwood to that Rachna. Glad you’re in a good place. I seem to be struggling all the time. It must be wonderful to hear your younger one say you’re kind. I love it when children, specially boys, are expressive.

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