Why you should never take your anger out on your child
Enraged after a heated argument with her ex-partner, a mum threw her four-year-old son out the window. Read on to know how controlling your anger can help keep your kids safe.
It’s only human to act irrationally when you’re angry. But sometimes, the consequences of these actions are irreversible, such as in the case of a mum in Hong Kong who reportedly threw her four-year-old son out the window. New Straits Times reports the child fell 15 metres after being flung from the fourth floor.
The mum, aged 35, was reportedly enraged after having a heated argument with her ex-husband.
The couple’s divorce had reportedly just been finalised. According to the ruling, the mum was given custody of their six-year-old son, while her ex-husband was given their four-year-old son.
The boy’s dad recounts how the mum had asked to spend time with their son and he agreed. However, when the time came for the dad to pick the boy up, that’s when their fight happened. Fuming, the mum allegedly grabbed her son and tossed him out the window.
Thankfully, after the mum threw her son out the window, he landed on electrical cables and foam boxes, which cushioned his fall.
According to reports, the boy was bleeding from the back of the head when he was rushed to a nearby hospital.
As of this writing, an investigation is still ongoing.
Though we don’t fully know what transpired inside the home, there’s no denying that anger can make us do impulsive, often dangerous things.
Dr. Laura Markham writes in Psychology Today that it’s important for mums and dads to control their emotions and to never act out of anger.
Throwing tantrums as a parent only reinforces how your child thinks is a proper way to deal with anger.
If you feel your anger starting to escalate, try to find ways to cope.
Dr. Markham advises never to scream at your kids. If you do need to scream, her advice is to find a private corner to process your feelings.
Before you say or do something, think of how it will affect your child. Is it really necessary? Ease the tension by taking deep breaths, counting to 10, or finding humour in the situation — whatever it takes to keep calm, do it.
Anger can offer valuable lessons. It can show us what we care about as parents, what matters to us. But anger can also reflect what we still need to work on.
Limit your expression of anger, because Dr. Markham believes that it does not relieve it but strengthens it.
Dr. Markham warns against verbal or physical aggression towards your child. Yes, you might feel sincerely apologetic afterwards, but your child will always have that image of you. They may even carry that frightening memory with them into adulthood.
When your child does something that angers you, your instinct might be to try and teach them a lesson. But there is no rush.
Take a timeout to reassess the situation in order to find out what lessons to teach your child. Kids are impressionable and they care deeply about pleasing mum and dad, so take their feelings into account.
Make sure the lessons and consequences are age-appropriate. Reassure them that just because they did something “bad,” it does not make them a bad kid.
Lastly, do not sweat the small stuff. As you try to raise a child the best way, there will be frustrating times. But know how to let things slide. Do not allow yourself to get easily upset.
Use anger as an opportunity for your own emotional growth. Not only will this make you a more calm parent, it will help show your child how to deal with powerful emotions in a healthy and constructive way.