our everyday life

How to Handle Anger Against Your Parents

by Sarah Casimong

No matter how old you are, conflict can still arise between you and your parents. Anger can lead you to say or do things to your parents that you may regret later. It's not wrong to feel mad, but there are right ways to deal with anger so that you are not hurting yourself or anyone else. When you start to feel the anger coming on, gain control of it instead of letting it control you.

Use relaxation techniques to calm down. Take deep, slow breaths. Breathe from your diaphragm -- not from your chest. Try picturing something relaxing, such as laying on the beach or getting treated at a spa. These techniques can slow down your heart rate and calm you down in the moment so you are more capable of rationally approaching the problem that sparked the anger.

Talk yourself into calming down. Talking to yourself in your head can help bring your anger levels down, says anger management counselor Latchman Narain, with the Anger Management Centre of Toronto. When you feel anger starting to boil over, tell yourself, "I can stay cool. I cannot control how my parents act, I can only control how I react to them. I can choose not to blow up and to hope that they will respond positively."

Listen to what your parents have to say and try to understand their point of view. Anger causes people to jump to conclusions and throw their communication skills out the window, says The American Psychological Association, and family dynamics and long-standing family issues often influence such conversations. Slowing down, listening and figuring out your parents' motivations can help prevent your anger from escalating. For example, if your mother is nagging and criticizing you for being irresponsible, realizing that her actions and words come from a place of love and concern for you may help you feel less defensive and angry.

Acknowledge and write down your feelings. KidsHealth.org recommends digging deeper to find out what other emotions could be hiding underneath your anger. Isolating your real feelings can help you figure out the root of your problem with your parents. For example, when your dad criticizes you, instead of blowing up at him, express your true feelings -- hurt and insecurity -- to help you tackle the real issues and avoid making the argument worse.

Distract yourself if you still need to cool down. Walk away from a heated situation to prevent doing or saying something you might regret. Do other activities to get your mind off of your fury and to lower your anger levels. Go for a walk, do yoga, write, watch a movie or TV show. Once you are calm, you can try to address the problem again in a better frame of mind.

Seek professional help if you feel out of control. There are psychologists and therapists who specialize in anger management. Search for local anger management groups and classes online. Getting support from a professional and loved ones can give you the tools to help you get your anger under control.

About the Author

Sarah Casimong is a Vancouver-based writer with a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She writes articles on relationships, entertainment and health. Her work can be found in the "Vancouver Observer", "Her Campus" and "Cave Magazine".

Photo Credits

  • alexsokolov/iStock/Getty Images