Tips to Avoid Lashing Out at Your Children
are going through a bad divorce. You don’t know if you can make
your mortgage payment. You can not find time to work, put food on the
table, and spend time with your significant other and children. Your
boss yelled at you. You spilled orange juice on your dress pants. You
got a flat tire on the way home from work. Your child just tread mud
throughout your clean house…
You feel frustrated, stressed, and angry… but this is no excuse
to lash out at your children! There are other ways to deal with the
stressors in your life.
Here are some tips:
• Pause and breathe – Take a few deep breaths. Close
your mouth (and maybe even close your eyes) and mentally count to
20. Take a moment to cool down and make sure that you do not say or
do something that you will regret.
• Why are you angry? Do you have a good reason to be mad at
your child, or is your child merely a convenient target to vent your
• Timeout – If you find that it truly is your child with
whom you are angry, put him or her in timeout. While he or she is
in timeout, calm down. Once you are calmed and your judgment is clear,
then you can think of an appropriate punishment. You may find that
time in spent in timeout is adequate. If you find that it is not really
your child that you are angry with, but something or someone else,
you can put yourself in time-out!
• Take a walk – Find someone to watch your children and
take a walk. Get out some of your energy. Calm yourself down.
• Talk to a friend – Sometimes, you merely need to vent.
Tell your friend about your anger and frustrations instead of taking
it our on your child.
• Set aside some “me time” – To properly care
for your children, you must care for yourself. Take the time to have
a nice and soothing bath, read a book, exercise, do a craft, listen
to music, etc.
• Before you speak, think about if you were in your child’s
position. How would those words and actions affect you?
• Splash some cold water on your face.
• Call a family support helpline.