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Parenting Advice

Being a parent brings out a range of powerful emotions, not all of them positive. Your feelings of love, happiness and pride may quickly turn into anger, hate and guilt, depending on factors such as tiredness and your degree of support. This is completely normal. Most parents experience negative emotions from time to time. However, it is important to manage these feelings effectively, so that you can enjoy parenting and maintain a safe, happy home for your child. It may be helpful to talk to other parents - you'll soon discover that parenting is difficult for everyone, not just for you.

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Is physical punishment dangerous?

Some parents believe that physical discipline is for the child's own good. Other parents, when angry or stressed, may lash out at their child. Children are dependent on their parents for love and care, and never deserve to be hit or physically abused. Young children, such as those less than 12 months of age, don't have the intellectual maturity to understand discipline of any kind. Hitting or smacking will only frighten a young child, or cause serious and permanent injuries. Children also learn by example. By using physical discipline, you are teaching the child to resolve conflict with violence. Your child can only learn self-control and respect for others if you show them how it's done.

What behaviors can trigger parental anger?

Most children experience difficult periods of tantrums, food fussiness and lying. Try to remember that these times are normal phases of growing up and will one day pass. Suggestions on dealing with your child's aggravating behavior include: If you feel rising anger because of your child's temper tantrum or endless crying, you need to take time out to deal with your feelings. Some suggestions include: If your child is old enough to understand, explain why you were angry and had to leave them alone for a while.

How can I manage in the long term?

It is important to take care of your own needs and feelings. No matter how loving and selfless, a parent can't continue to give to their children while receiving little or no emotional nourishment themselves. Some suggestions include:

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Mark specializes in Individual, Couples, and Family Therapy. He also has expertise in dealing with a broad range of issues from Anxiety and Depression to Anger and Stress Management.

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