Parents everywhere are losing their temper and yelling at their kids. How to maintain your cool under stress.

By Gia Miller

We know we’re not supposed to yell at our children. But parents are very stressed at the moment, and frustration and anger are inevitable. Overwhelmed with everything you’ve been asked to do, you find yourself losing your temper at kids who aren’t on their best behavior either. But when your circumstances aren’t normal, your parenting won’t be normal.

Right after many schools and workplaces were closed, there was a push for parents to see the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity, not to waste this extra time with their kids, says Stephanie Lee, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. “Parents were encouraged to organize their kids’ closets, work on their math skills, etc., but realistically, that’s just absurd. It’s more important to just get through this and manage the best you can in a less-than-ideal situation.”

It’s time to lower our expectations. You won’t be able to do as much as you usually can as a parent, employee or partner. Instead, experts recommend focusing on your and your children’s emotional state and strive to maintain positive family dynamics.

“If you do nothing academically and just focus on your relationship with your children, then it will be time well spent,” explains Rebecca Schrag Hershberg, PhD, a clinical psychologist and parenting coach. “Kids can’t learn if they’re not feeling safe and loved. If there’s a strain in the connections at home, and it feels very tense and miserable, your child’s brain isn’t going to take in what they’re learning because they’re stressed and angry. Your relationship is the precursor for everything else falling into place.”

There are so many parenting struggles at the moment, and staying calm isn’t always easy. Here are ways to manage some of the most challenging issues.


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