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Attachment Parenting

I get angry with my kids all the time. Usually I end up yelling at them, and this gets them to do what I want, but I feel terrible afterward. Can you help me stop this? I can feel my kids are afraid of me.

Mark Brandenburg responds: This is a common problem that needs to be addressed right away. It can be improved and eliminated, but there needs to be a strong commitment from you to make it happen.
It's very easy to get into a spiral of anger with your kids. Once you get angry a number of times, it tends to feed on itself. Here are some ideas:

Raise your standards. Can you really expect your kids to show control when you can't do it yourself?
Fill your mind with thoughts of being more calm and controlled each day. Repeat calming thoughts to yourself, use prayer -- whatever brings a vision of more calm to you. This needs to be done consistently.
Have accountability built in. Have your partner or kids hold you to your commitment to improve on your yelling. They'll be tough judges, but there's a higher chance for success when you've made a committed promise to follow through.
Make sure you're doing some self-care: exercise, a decent diet, time away from stress, etc. Your stress will have a way of being contagious and impacting others.
Use a breathing exercise to help you to relax and practice being more aware of your anger in the early stages. Then you can respond to the situation rather than reacting to it.

Know that it's not too late to improve, but you may have to earn back a bit of trust from your kids. It’s also ok to let your kids know that you’re working on it — they’ll be the first ones to let you know if it’s working!

© Mark Brandenburg

NFO contributing author Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC, is the author of 25 Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent Fathers and is a personal coach to parents. Read more about Mark.

The information appearing at Natural Family Online™ is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please review the rest of our disclaimer and user agreement.






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"The media have become the mainstream culture in children's lives. Parents have become the alternative. Americans once expected parents to raise their children in accordance with the dominant cultural messages. Today they are expected to raise their children in opposition to it."
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