What do you do with your parenting anger?

By Janis Meredith | Posted 10/29/2014

Do you ever get angry at your children when they make mistakes in sports? Or when they give you a bad attitude after a game?

If you try to not get angry at your kids, you will fight a losing battle. No matter how much you strive to be flexible or how often you manage to overlook the small things and see the bigger picture of life, you are still going to get angry.

So what do you do when you feel angry at your child?

I once heard a talk on how we medicate our anger, meaning that when we get angry, we do things to make us feel better, but those things really don’t solve the problem. In fact, they may make things worse.

Do you find yourselves do any of these?

  • Unhealthy talk: Lashing out at your kids may make you feel better for a few minutes, but that “medication” is short-lived. We usually end up feeling bad for what we said. Words can be forgiven but never erased.
  • Unhealthy actions: You might find a momentary release in acting a certain way when angry, such as damaging property or drinking too much. But that “medication” wears off quickly, and you are left feeling bad and with no resolution for your anger.
  • Unhealthy burdens: Perhaps you blame yourself for your child’s frustrations or maybe you are just a worrier. Parents carry unhealthy burdens because they don’t know what else to do with the anger and frustration. Carrying burdens may make you us feel you have some control over a situation that has made you furious.

How do you medicate your anger? Next time you get angry at your athlete, stop, take a deep breath and ask yourself: “Am I reacting in a way that makes me feel good but hurts others?”

In the end, it’s not the anger that is the problem, it’s how you medicate your anger that leads to harm.

Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach's wife, writes a sports parenting blog called JBM Thinks. She authored the Sports Parenting Survival Guide Series and has recently launched a podcasting series for sports parents. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.