16 Ways to Stop Yourself From Lashing Out at Your Child

Being a parent is the most important job you’ll ever have, but also one of the hardest. The next time everyday pressures build up so you feel like lashing out, try some of these:

  1. Stop. Step back from your child, and sit down.
  2. Take a deep breath. Take another. Inhale and exhale slowly. Repeat.
  3. Remember you’re the adult, and you set the standard for behavior.
  4. Count to 10 or say the alphabet out loud.
  5. Close your eyes, and imagine you’re hearing what your child is about to hear.
  6. Put your child in a time-out chair. (One minute of timeout for each year of age.)
  7. Take your own time out, and think about why you are angry. Is it your child or is your child an easy target for your anger about something else?
  8. Phone a friend or relative.
  9. Phone (415) 441-KIDS (5437).
  10. Splash cold water on your face or take a shower or bath.
  11. Squeeze a pillow as hard as you can.
  12. Do some sit-ups or jumping jacks.
  13. Go outside for a walk if someone is able to watch your children.
  14. Turn on your favorite music.
  15. Write down your thoughts.
  16. Lie down on the floor or just put your feet up.