It is very easy for us to get mad at our kids. Young kids break things, say things that are completely inappropriate and do things that they know are wrong at times.
Older kids frequently do things to themselves and others that are wrong. But they can also be frustrating in what they do not do (like their homework or their chores or just picking up their own mess).
Net-net: it is very easy for us (especially us Dads) to lose our temper with our children. Unfortunately, that is almost always a big mistake.
We must keep our own emotions under control whenever we discipline. This is important for three reasons:
1. We must set a good example for our children. Losing control of our emotions is never a good example.
2. We must remember that discipline is about helping our children learn and grow. The primary goal is not to inflict suffering but to help them realize that in real life their actions will have consequences.
3. We need to be able to ask them to apologize and then forgive them when they do. If we have great anger in our hearts we make it harder for them to see our love and to apologize for what they did wrong. And we make it harder for ourselves to accept their apologies from our heart.
It’s normal to get angry when our children break our stuff or didn't obey what we asked them to do or did something we told them not to do. If you need time to ‘get a grip’ on your emotions…give your child a time out for 5 or 10 minutes while you get your emotions under control. Then you can talk with your child in a firm but calm voice and help him/her realize the mistake they made, why they must apologize and what they need to do to set it right.
Actions have consequences. If we lose our temper with our children and start screaming or hitting them out of anger – those negative actions will have negative consequences.
Don’t do it my friend! Set a good example for your kids in all you do, including discipline.