Every parent has gotten angry at their child. Life is full of endless sources of stress. From paying off loans, to appointments at work, to health concerns, the list just goes on. And when your child acts up, it might just be the final straw that triggers your anger.\r\n\r\nMaybe your child made a huge mess of their toys just as you finished tidying up. Or when they spill blackcurrant juice all over the light blue cushions and sofa. From drawing all over your newly painted walls with crayon, to even cutting and shredding up money, kids just do the darndest things that can send your temper skyrocketing.\r\n\r\nHowever, at times like these, it is important to not let your temper get the better of you. Your child is still young, and they may not even be aware that they did anything wrong. Here are some steps on what to do when your child is making you angry\r\n\r\n \t\r\n Know your limits\r\n\r\n\r\nBe aware of how much exactly you can take before you get really mad. Anger does not come from nowhere, it is built up from multiple negative feelings such as frustration, irritation, annoyance and much more. \r\n\r\nIf your child is doing something that bothers you and increases these negative feelings such as playing games and shouting loudly, it is important to identify this as a source of stress and intervene before it escalates. For example, interrupt the current situation and redirect them to another activity before your anger gets out of control.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \t\r\n Pause before taking action\r\n\r\n\r\nAnger can be blinding, and cause you to rush into a situation without thinking of all the consequences. To counter this, it is important to internalise the mindset of these two steps: (1) pause and (2) breathe.\r\n\r\nStopping to breathe takes your mind out from your current situation, and gives you the moment of clarity that you need. Think to yourself, is it really worth it? Even if you feel like lashing out, is it truly the way to solve your problems? More often than not, the answer is no.\r\n\r\n \t\r\n Take a break\r\n\r\n\r\nWith all these angry thoughts swirling in your head, recognise that this is really not the best time to be dealing with any delicate matters. Give yourself a timeout and walk away calmly from the situation. \r\n\r\nIf your child can be left alone, explain to them that you are too angry to talk, and need some time alone. Then distance yourself by walking to another room. At there, you can do things to take your mind off the matter, like counting to 10, breathing deeply or splashing water on your face. \r\n\r\nIf your child is too young to be left alone, it helps to have a mantra to hold on to. Sit down and centre yourself, while repeating your mantra a few times to calm yourself down. A mantra like \u201clove comes first\u201d or \u201che\/she doesn\u2019t understand and needs my help right now\u201d can remind you to stay level-headed at this time.\r\n\r\n \t\r\n Wait before taking action\r\n\r\n\r\nNever act while angry. No matter how enraged you are and how much you feel like lashing out. In the heat of the moment, you may make rash decisions that you regret later. It is always a good idea to take a step back and consider how you want to best deal with your child.\r\n\r\nWhen you have cooled down, then only will you be able to think about the situation in a more rational manner. Discuss with your child about what they have done and listen to their point of view. Try to understand the reason for their behaviour and respond accordingly.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \t\r\n Avoid getting physical\r\n\r\n\r\nIt may be normal in Asian culture for parents to spank or slap children, but multiple studies have shown that physical punishment does long-term harm and leaves a negative impact on a child\u2019s development that lasts throughout life. \r\n\r\nCaning and spanking are relatively normalised here in Malaysia, but it should not be surprising that it will result in harmful outcomes. Not only will such punishments not \u201ccure\u201d your child of disobedient behaviour, this aggressive act will have the reverse effect and actually increase your child\u2019s aggression.\r\n\r\nAs a last note, if you often have to struggle with anger issues, it might be more effective to seek professional help through counseling. There is no need to feel ashamed in asking for help. Dealing with issues in an open and direct manner can greatly boost mental health as well as your emotional wellbeing.\r\n\r\nFor more information about parenting and family, please visit Motherhood.com.my.