Most people don’t like having to yell at their children in order to get them to listen, but some parents don’t know of any other way. It’s a parent’s job to teach their children, but how can they do that if the kids won’t listen?

Instead of losing your cool, here are a few tips on how to stay calm when your children are acting up:

Remember, it’s part of your job: Aha! Parenting suggests you remind yourself that your number one job as a parent (after safety) is to manage your own emotions. Your children learn emotional regulation from your modeling. If you are too stressed to chill out and be respectful, it’s your responsibility to get a handle on it with some self-care. Not only do your children deserve it, but so do you.

Get out of the situation: Sumitha Bhandarka from A Fine Parent suggests that in order to diffuse the situation when you’re fighting with your child, escape from the situation for a while. Give yourself a time out to breathe. If your partner is home, ask if they can take over so that you can walk out of the room for a few minutes.

If they were not in the middle of the situation when the storm brewed, they’re in a much better place to handle it without yelling. Use the break to cool off a bit. Of course, this works vice versa as well; when you see your partner losing their cool, step in and let them cool off.

Know your triggers: Every parent has something that triggers their anger, and often they aren’t the most rational things. Janet Lehman at Empowering Parents believes that it is useful for each parent to figure out what their triggers are so that they can teach themselves how to respond.

Is it backtalk? Is it making a mess in the living room? Is it the fighting your oldest does with your youngest? Teach yourself what you can do when you’re triggered in order to respond more effectively.

Put it into perspective: Is this something that you’ll be upset about in a month, a week, or even at the end of the day? Sigh or take a deep breath. Don’t react until you can think of an alternate way to respond instead of yelling. Remember, your children are immature little humans. They don’t understand why they have to hurry up or why they need to pick up before dinner.

Nobody’s perfect. Sometimes it is difficult to remain cool, and screaming every once in a while doesn’t make you a bad parent. What’s important is that you learn from your mistakes.

If you struggle with anger management and find yourself constantly getting angry at the little things your children or spouse do, it might be time to see a therapist. They can help you get your anger under control and work on strategies for managing those frustrating situations so that you—and your family—can live a happier life.

If you’d like to set up a time to meet up with Reka, you can contact her by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at, or via Twitter or Facebook.

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