Dealing With Your Own Anger: Why Parents Get Angry and How to Cope

Sad child covering his ears with hands during parents quarre

I am convinced that many people who say they never lose their temper with their children are either lying, delusional, or simply haven’t been a parent for very long. All parents “lose it” at some point with their children, including me.

Personally, I have found it harder to keep my cool the older my children get. My first real “red-mist” moment didn’t happen until toward the end of the toddler years. Since then, they have been more regular than I would care to admit. That’s life. Nobody is perfect. As I’ve said, there is nothing wrong with anger – it’s a normal human emotion and is actually a very useful one sometimes. The problem is the way we deal with it, especially in front of our children.

Why parents get angry

I think it’s important to start by saying that something can trigger even the most placid person at some point in his or her life. In many cases, though, anger, particularly the type that makes us act in ways we never normally would, can be averted if we understand our triggers. The following all play a role in our levels of anger – some can be avoided and others can be worked on, whether by ourselves or with the help of a professional:

  • Growing up in a home where verbal or physical violence was the norm
  • Physical exhaustion (including improper nourishment and deficiencies)
  • Mental exhaustion
  • Lack of support from family, especially partners
  • Financial worries
  • Stress from looking after elderly or sick relatives
  • Work worries
  • A lack of time to ourselves, particularly time to unwind and “breathe”
  • Friendship or relationship problems

In my own case, anger is my default setting because of my own upbringing. My parents were wonderful and I loved them very dearly, but my mum was a yeller. Understandably, I grew up to be a shouter too, and I have to really work to stop that being my…

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