Ah, Clark Griswold; the preeminent example of a father and husband with the best of intentions, but reaction challenged when it comes to dealing with life’s hurdles and controlling his temper. Of course he wants the best for his family: from great vacations to Wally World to finding the biggest Christmas tree. Unfortunately, on his quest to be the “perfect father”, he tends to respond in anger and frustration when things don’t go the way he plans. Sound typical? Ok, so maybe Griswold is a bit extreme (or maybe not), but you have more than likely had a moment or two when frustration has gotten the best of you. Larry and Shawn provide 5 easy ways to keep your anger and frustration at bay.
Your Temper and the “Perfect Father Myth”
Before we go any further, let’s dispel the “perfect father” myth; there is no perfect father, doesn’t exist. We’re human, have emotions and sometimes, those emotions get the better of us and that’s okay. As Larry says, “great fathers have bad moments”, it’s what you do in those moments that build your character and provide a positive example for those around you, specifically your children.
Controlling our Temper Means Knowing our Triggers
So, what’s a guy to do when it seems like the world is pushing all of your buttons? Know your triggers. Maybe it’s repeating yourself to get your kids to pick up after themselves or you’ve just come home from a full day of work and you are barraged with requests to help with homework and the kids. Whatever your triggers, identify them so that you can do what you need to do to prepare yourself ahead of time and following these 5 ideas might just help diffuse your response:
Temper Tip #1: Breathe
Be able to take a breath. Not just that little hyperventilating breath, either. This breath needs to be a nice, long, drawn breath, enough to calm you and bring you back to a state of peace. It should allow you to reset yourself and prepare you to deal with the situation at hand in a rational manner.
Temper Tip #2: Walk Away
Walk away. In the heat of the moment, our adrenaline may make us want to stay in the situation and argue. But cooler heads do prevail, walking away when we feel our blood boiling will keep us from saying things we may later regret. Not only that, walking away gives us a chance to get perspective on the situation. Adrenaline only muddies the waters.
Temper Tip #3: Stay Active
Stay active. If there’s one concept that is driven home on a regular basis on the GDP, it’s the benefits of exercise and overall health. In the case of anger and frustration, physical activity can also help us to channel this aggression into something more positive. So, there’s really a dual benefit: your anger remains at bay and you stay fit!
Temper Tip #4: Surround Yourself with the RIGHT People
Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. Enough said. You need a sounding board that has been through similar experiences and can give you either advice or a simple listening ear.
Temper Tip #5: When you do Lose your Cool, Apologize
Finally, when you do lose your cool, apologize. Even if it goes against everything you feel like doing, an apology goes a long way in repairing a bridge that may be a little singed. Apologies disarm people and pave the way to build a relationship into a stronger force.
Forget about Perfection
Forget the “perfect father” myth. Let it remain just that: a myth. We are human, prone to the same emotions of all other humans; it’s what we do with those emotions that make us who we truly are.
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Thanks for checking out this week’s podcast on Five Ways to Control Our Temper as Dads.