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I think a lot of us grow up, seeing our parents get upset and thinking, “That will never be me.” But, when reality sets in, and you become a parent, buried under the weight of the immense pressure tied to being a parent, you begin to realize that it’s impossible to avoid.

Everyone gets angry sometimes, and parents are not immune to this. When anger does strike, it’s important to understand how anger can affect your child. If you grew up around parents who were easily angered, then you likely already know how scary it can be to be small and have someone big and powerful around that is also angry. If your parents were calm as cucumbers (first of all congratulations) I’m sure you can still empathize with why it’s important to control your anger.

I am not at all suggesting that it’s possible or plausible for you to never get angry. It’s okay to get upset you are human. But, take some responsibility for how you react to your anger, for your child’s sake. Here are 5 things to NEVER do when you are angry.

1. Discipline your child.

If you are angry, now is not the time to dole out punishment. Walk away. Go to the bathroom. Do whatever it takes to find your center before you begin punishing or disciplining your child. Whatever you do in a state of anger is beyond your control, and it’s important to never lose control of yourself when angry in the presence of a child.

2. Yell at your child.

First and foremost, yelling isn’t a form of discipline. It won’t help you to get your child to do what you want them to, it will only scare them and put them in defense mode. If you have yelled at your child before, you aren’t a bad parent, it happens. But, it’s best to try to prevent that by figuring out how to manage your own emotions so you can get your point across from a more genuine place.

3. Shame your child.

If your child has done something upsetting, and now you are angry, the last thing you want to do is shame them. I know it may seem like the right thing to do, to get them to not do whatever it is that they have done again. But shaming them is only going to make them feel bad, instead of teaching them how to communicate or even understand why what they have done is wrong. You may be tempted to say, “They know better,” but even that is pretty unfair. They’ve made a mistake. Shaming them and tearing them down isn’t going to help.

4. Belittle your child.

When you are angry, you might feel the urge to say things you don’t mean. Remember, the things you say when you are angry do not go away when you say the words, “I’m sorry.” They still stick with your little one.

5. Pitch a fit or throw a tantrum.

When you get upset, and you need to let loose, get away from your child and make sure they cannot see you if you must pitch a fit. The best course of action is to do some inner (emotional work) to learn how to manage your difficult emotions, so you can help your child to handle theirs. In the meantime, throwing things, breaking things, screaming, slapping yourself, or doing anything like this in front of your child will only destroy their ability to manage their own emotions correctly. Additionally, they are going to be terrified and traumatized. Please, just don’t.