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You’re making me angry

When I was parenting my children this whole idea of learning how to calm down when I was feeling angry, frustrated, annoyed and upset never really occurred to me. I remember clearly that it was their fault that I was annoyed with them and frequently told them so. I told them sometimes daily that they were really annoying me and that they should cut it out. This was, of course, a demand stated in a rather loud and empathic voice.

It wasn’t until my four children had almost all become teenagers that the awareness suddenly came to me that it was I who was responsible for my own feelings. Oh my goodness they were not responsible after all. They were my feelings of anger and frustration, not theirs, and that I was the one who could do something or not do something about how I reacted.

I understand now that having these feelings was a perfectly natural part of my parenting. My children were not perfect (nor was I and still aren’t) and sometimes they would certainly not behave in ways that I expected. What I needed to do was not just to recognize the times when I was really angry and to know a way, or even ways to calm down, but also during the times when I felt only a little angry or a little frustrated, or a little annoyed etc and also know what would also work well for me to calm myself during those times too.

Now that my grandchildren will soon be having their own children I look back and think what a difference it would have made if I had known the importance of knowing what worked well for me to help me calm down and de-stress in those times with my own children when I blamed it big time on them.  I know now a lot more about myself and what works and what doesn’t work for me and I feel privileged to be able to share with parents my understanding on these important aspects of our parenting. I believe knowing how to effectively calm down and regularly practice it is one of the most important skills for us to know as parents.

If you are looking for some ideas for yourself to try, here is a list of ideas parents on our courses have told us work for them. Maybe some of them will work well for you too.


Strategies for in the moment

Lifestyle Strategies

  • Chew gum
  • Go for a walk (change of scene)
  • Have a cup of tea
  • Bake
  • Count to ten
  • Put feet up
  • Talk about it with someone
  • Take deep breathes
  • Take bath or shower
  • Tidy
  • Sing
  • Laugh (watch comedy)
  • Wash hands
  • Listen to music
  • Think about what you are grateful for
  • Remove yourself from the situation
  • Exercise
  • Eating healthy
  • Meditation
  • Managing your own energy levels
  • Sleep well
  • Reading
  • Set achievable goals
  • Have realistic expectations


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