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RED MIST: genuinely effective simple anger management techniques please ...

(26 Posts)
franch Fri 10-Nov-06 15:56:39

... to stop me turning into a horrible shouty mum.

I haven't lashed out but have felt myself scarily close to it a few times, and really hate loss of control and the horrible aggressive voice that comes out of me.

I'm not looking for tips for dealing with the DDs (2y 9m and 14m) as such - I've realised that whatever I do there will be times when I get angry - what I need is a better 'early warning' system and a way of nipping my anger in the bud so that I can deal with my feelings in a calm, adult way before I lose control.

Example: the other morning I had a stupid stand-off with DD1 when we were late for nursery (a situation to avoid in an ideal world, I know) and it took 15 mins to persuade her to use the loo before we left. I eventually took myself off into the front room with DD2, sat down and took some deep breaths - but by that time the damage had been done.

Any thoughts?

bluejelly Fri 10-Nov-06 16:11:37

I used to be the same when my dd was 2 or 3
Actually broke a cup because I was so cross once
Found it got better as my dd got older-- she is 6 now and I haven't lost my temper with her for ages

madmarchhare Fri 10-Nov-06 16:16:31

Oh you have my sympathies.

Yesterday my head should have turned a full 360 with the sound that came out of my mouth. My throat actually hurt afterwards.

I will watch this one closely.

Frizbe Fri 10-Nov-06 16:17:12

You need distraction in some cases, if she's about to throw a paddy for instance, and in other cases you need rewards, ie go the loo get a sticker/chocolate button or something of that ilk, hth's

Californifrau Fri 10-Nov-06 16:19:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

saadia Fri 10-Nov-06 16:22:32

I find that when I'm about to get angry I visualise how it will turn out - dss will get scared, I will feel terrible and apologise, they will act like martyrs (mamma you shouldn't have done that we were really scared) - and nothing will be achieved and that really helps to get calmed down. I try to think how someone more sensible would handle it.

sleepysooz Fri 10-Nov-06 16:33:30

Franch - will also watch this thread for positive defusing techniques, as I agree its an awful feeling of losing control, your lo's age's don't help, I have 3yo twins, and I think we are just about turning a corner, but DD enough to distract Pope Benedict 16th

Good luck with thread and a solution!

sleepysooz Fri 10-Nov-06 16:35:29

oh, 1 positive thing is, I saw my reflection in the mirror when I had a complete meltdown and my face was purple, calmed me down straight away! poor lo's looking at a monster!

sleepysooz Fri 10-Nov-06 16:35:46

Not a solution though!

Earlybird Fri 10-Nov-06 16:55:50

It helps to stop and become consciously aware that my pulse is starting to race/that I'm gritting my teeth/ that I'm starting to feel flushed, etc - realising the presence of physical signs that I'm getting angry, and in danger of blowing up. By acknowledging (to myself and dd) that I'm getting close to losing my temper, I am much better at dealing with an escalating situation before things get truly ugly.

As adults, we're supposed to be "in charge" and that includes knowing our limits and being in charge of ourselves. I try to recognise the warning signs and alert myself/dd that we are skating on thin ice and it really seems to help stop those "red mist" incidents.

ernest Fri 10-Nov-06 19:33:29

I need help with this too. My red mist seems to be popping out right left & centre atm. C'mon please, someone must have some great tips. I do the ?I'm getting close to loosing my temper' but that seems to make me actually loose it, so trying to avaoid now (blush)

evamum Fri 10-Nov-06 21:48:47

As soon as you feel yourself going go and get a glass of water, stand at the sink and drink it slowly. Works like counting to ten but you are removing yourself from the situation as well, plus you cant shout with a gobful (and its good for you!)

(If you really are not sure you can hold it in, use a plastic glass and fling it at the sink afterwards)

evamum Fri 10-Nov-06 21:56:09

Also, now this might sound odd, turn a shout into a laugh.
It confuses the hell out of kids and can defuse a situation very quickly, especially if the tickle monster then arrives....

That wont work for everyone or every situation obviously, only really works for a titanic battle of wills between child and grown up

ernest Fri 10-Nov-06 22:08:13

done a google search and come up with loads. good old counting to 10 stills seems no. 1 popular. Seems a bit lame for me. Found this site interesting - due to no backslash can't do links, sorry, but worth a look

maggiesmama Fri 10-Nov-06 22:09:37

oh my goodness. i'm so happy to have read this. glad i'm not the only one. ta

ernest Fri 10-Nov-06 22:10:47

or loads of various suggestions here

franch Sat 11-Nov-06 11:04:09

ernest, thanks for the links. Am going through them - the concept of 'mindfulness' sounds interesting (from the yahoo page) and the NLP 'action plan' looks useful.

eva, I haven't tried the glass of water - it sounds simple enough to work.

Everyone else, thanks so much for posting with such non-judgemental sympathy - it is SO good to know you're not alone, isn't it?

franch Sat 11-Nov-06 11:09:01

I see the NSPCC also has a leaflet called Keeping Your Cool, downloadable in PDF format from here .

gothicmama Sat 11-Nov-06 11:14:17

preparation and planning strategies can take the stress outof situations although not always perhaps try to look at flash points and how you would deal with them again and learn that way what works best for you

squidette Sat 11-Nov-06 11:15:52

My anger tends to stem from me internally demanding that someone else absolutely SHOULD be doing something, AND that if they dont, i cant stand it and its awful and i need to MAKE them change to do it my way....


I use REBT/CBT techniques a lot - REBT gives me a framework with with to listen to my internal self-talk and challenge it if its leading to unhealthy responses to situations. I have benefitted a great deal from this, and rarely get to the point of being angry now. Frustrated and cross, yes, but not angry.

Awareness came first, then i could choose what to do. Often if i felt myself starting to boil, i would take myself into another room for a few moments and just breath, trying to calm myself. Mindfulness is a wonderful concept - but hard to do if you are boiling - being calm helps when you can listen to what you are telling yourself.

franch Sat 11-Nov-06 12:02:19

REBT and CBT, squidette? (guessing cognitive behavioural therapy for the latter maybe?)

squidette Sat 11-Nov-06 12:19:25

REBT is Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy and you guessed CBT

This may explain it a little - this is a very comprehensive site.


ernest Sat 11-Nov-06 12:20:36

I know what my triggers are - trying to get out of the house/ being late and mess! Especially seeing their toy box or stuff stuffed everywhere/lying all over the floor. I start off with hurry up , get your shoes on' or opening the lid and 200 felt tips falling on the floor and go from mildly annoyed to fire breathing dragon in 0-60. I definitely find acknowledging my anger makes me worse. As soon as I say I'm feeling angry/loosing my temper, it just seems to be the trigger to pushing me over the edge for some reason. Yikes. Thanks for the thread, helped focus my mind on the problem and I have been lovely today. More or less

franch Sat 11-Nov-06 15:26:11

That's a really useful article squidette, thanks

PetitFilou1 Sun 12-Nov-06 19:16:54

Franch your children are exactly the same ages as mine and I have the same problem as you - plus it gets much worse with my PMT. I've just started CBT and just going for the first couple of assessment sessions and talking about it has helped and I haven't even got into the therapy properly yet. It only goes on for a couple of months, once a week or fortnight so I figured it was worth a go. I'd say try it.....I am getting it through my GP practice.

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