One of the most profound and silly things that we love about our kids is how much they remind us of ourselves or our mates. Do you have a goofy laugh that your wife loves, and you hear it from your son? Does your daughter have the same quirky smile and eye-rolling ability your wife perfected long ago? You know what I mean. Still, what do you do when your kids display your bad habits, such as your explosive temper or tendency to overreact? These aren’t the types of behaviors you want them to display, which is why it’s important to keep your cool around your kids.
According to the results of a clinical study by Oregon State University researchers, there is a definite link between parents who anger quickly or overreact and bad behavior in small children. The study’s lead author, Shannon Lipscomb, states, “Parents’ ability to regulate themselves and to remain firm, confident and not over-react is a key way they can help their children to modify their behavior.” She continues, “You set the example as a parent in your own emotions and reactions.”
What does this mean, practically? No, you can’t be expected to never lose your temper or overreact. You can, however, work on your temper and reactions. Consider anger management classes, therapy, stress relief, or even simply just remembering to count to 10 before doing or saying something you might regret. Be a good example.