Q: Recently, I’ve begun to take my anger out on my kids by yelling at them. It happens when I get home from work and I realise that I am too stressed from my job. What can I do?
A: The situation you are describing reminds me of the quote – “make a speech in anger and it will be the best speech you will ever regret”.
First, be assured what you are describing is not uncommon. The ‘struggle to juggle’ is a well-known phenomenon today. In reality, your role as a professional person is in conflict with your other role as the ‘perfect parent’.
Let’s get this clear, there’s no such thing as ‘perfect’ parent. So, don’t worry about being the only person with these concerns. What you should be concerned about, is being the most caring, dependable and loving parent, you can possibly be.
Give yourself a break. You’re frustrated and upset, and you’re left wondering where it went wrong and why it always comes down to a yelling match. You’re more likely to be deflated and exhausted by the experience and end up becoming even more stressed. What you need to avoid is taking stress back home with you.
Effective communication is the key. You need to learn how to alter the way you communicate with your kids. They’ve seen you lose control many times and now see that as your default setting. Don’t forget as the adult you are the one in control, you’re also the one who can choose not to have the screaming contest with your children at all. If you walk away to defuse and neutralise the situation you can (and should) always go back and deal with the behaviour at a later time when you’re calmer.
Learning to talk differently with your kids takes time, practice and patience – but the rewards are more than worth the effort.
Remember it’s OK to walk away and gain some space when you know you’re in danger of yelling, so you define 10 minutes as your own personal ‘time space’ in your room. Let everyone know what you’re doing is important to you. This is the void where you metaphorically switch from work to home, from professional to parent. Stay quiet, relax your breathing, disengage momentarily with everything and emerge ready to face whatever. Because you’ve had time to unwind you can plan a more constructive way to react to any genuine behavioural issues as they arise. One of our most important roles is to show our children appropriate, healthy ways to behave, after all, they learn more from what they observe rather than what we tell them.
Russell Hemmings is a Dubai-based life coach and cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist (russellhemmings.co.uk). Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to email@example.com.