Anger Management Tips for the Frustrated Parent 子育て中に知りたい アンガーマネジメントとは

Published on: October 07, 2017

Raising little rascals, no matter how delightful, certainly comes with its moments of frustration and anger. How can anger management techniques help us with parenting?

By Cate Katsura [日本語記事へ]


“I never used to be so irritable, but ever since having a child, I seem to get angry so often!”

Losing your temper with a child who doesn’t listen no matter how many times you’ve repeated yourself, yelling at them, and then regretting it afterwards – surely that’s a scenario many parents are familiar with.

I recently visited a mommy friend and was struck that she seemed to be much more relaxed than she used to be. When asked about the change, she shared she’d attended an anger management class which helped her to control better her emotions. Intrigued, I decided to join the training seminar.

One of the objectives of anger management is to understand why we get angry, and to better manage that emotion.

Anger management is a psychotherapeutic program that aims to help people with handling their feelings of anger. It was developed in the US in the 70s as part of rehabilitation programs for perpetrators of domestic violence and criminals, and has spread to the point where even some elementary schools implement courses targeting children who have a difficult time controlling their anger.

Such courses have gained popularity in Japan over recent years, with many companies incorporating these into their orientation programs. In Bangkok, training exists for Japanese mothers and children.

Several years ago in Japan, there was a case where a man who was about to retire was arrested for assaulting his boss on his last day at work. One naturally wonders, why couldn’t he just hold his frustration for just one more day?

Even if you don’t go to this extreme, I’m sure many of us have experienced a relationship breakdown because we let our negative emotions get the better of us.

“One of the objectives of anger management is to understand why we get angry and to better manage that emotion. Just that, can help make the difference between making a critical misstep, and not,” says Keiko Iijima, a facilitator from the Japan Anger Management Association.

How to Manage Anger

Five other Bangkok moms were part of the anger management training seminar with me. “Things that might not bother me if it were a stranger, I can’t stand it if it’s my own child. It’s like I have the responsibility to raise my child properly, and then end up getting unreasonably angry” shared one participant.

Reflect on your triggers & rate the level of anger

As part of the training, participants reflected on recent incidents where they got angry, and attempted to objectively rate the level of anger on a number scale.

Identify whether it’s something you CAN change

Next, they grouped what triggered their anger as either ‘what I CAN change’ and ‘what I CANNOT change’. For example, if you got irritated at a slow store check-out line, that would fall into the category of ‘what I cannot change.’

Find ways to get through the irritation

So then you would look for ways to get through that irritation by taking calming breaths, or perhaps by distracting yourself by reading the names of the candies on sale next to the register.

“It’s said that the peak of emotion lasts six seconds. So if you can get through those six seconds, you’re more likely to be able to make better decisions,” says Keiko.

If it’s something you CAN change: Specific goals & concrete steps

On the other hand, if you categorize your child’s behavior into ‘what I can change,’ then you need to be specific about what it is that you want to achieve and take concrete steps.

For example, I often got angry with my son for wanting to go off and play during meals rather than eat. So we agreed that the goal for him was to ‘eat at least one bite of each dish.’ Once he could do that, I started giving him smaller portions and upped the goal to ‘eat everything on his plate.’ He would get a sticker every time he did, and when he had 10 stickers he’d get a reward.

Setting a clear goal helped my son to engage in a positive way while lowering parental stress – a definite improvement over getting angry and feeling mutually unhappy.

Anger flows strongly from the source and weakens with distance, striking those closest to us with the greatest heat. Understand the basics of anger management, release feelings of anger before they escalate to a big explosion, avoid getting upset at your child just to release your own stress.

It’s not easy to implement the ideal, but it can only be good if it helps us to remain conscious of how to avoid hurting one’s most precious children.


Tips for managing anger

When you become angry…

  • Wait six seconds. Don’t say or do anything in response until that peak of anger is passed. This rule can be understood even by young children.
  • Determine whether the cause is ‘what I CAN change’ vs. ‘what I CANNOT change,’ and ask yourself ‘How important is this to me?’ If it falls in the category of  ‘what I cannot change’ but is important, then first accept what you cannot change and then work to find an alternate solution.


Reference: Anger Management Basic Course. Tokyo: Japan Anger Management Association.


























*アンガーマネジメント講座はボイスホビークラブで月1、2回行われています。申し込み・問い合わせはTEL: 02-119-7250へ。



  • イライラした際には、怒りのピークである6秒間は言い返したり、やり返したりしない。(これは小さなこどもでも理解できます。)
  • 怒りの感情を持ったときに、「変えられること」と「変えられないこと」に仕分けし、かつ重要度を考える
  • 「変えられる」と仕分けした場合、変えられるよう具体的に目標を決めて努力していく。「変えられないけれど重要性が高いもの」については、変わらないことを受け入れた上でできることを探す。

参考文献: 『アンガーマネジメント入門講座テキスト』一般社団法人日本アンガーマネジメント協会


About the Author

Cate worked in Japan as editor of a travel magazine, advertisements and a web magazine with a publishing company, a subsidiary of Japan Railways. She moved to Bangkok with her husband in 2015, when he located to work in Thailand. They have a 3-year-old son. Cate has a global background, born in the United States, brought up in Hong Kong and Japanese by origin. Her interests are learning languages, traveling and reading. Lately, she finished a Thai language course. Now, onto improving her English language skills!



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