We all are under more stress than ever thanks to living through a pandemic and its hardships that changed our routines. As a result, many of us also changed and not necessarily for the better by showing more anger than usual, including the behavior of our children. Instead of blowing your top and raising your blood pressure at this uncharacteristic negative behavior, there is something else that may be at play to explain this sudden burst of anger. Therefore, it is a good idea to determine how to distinguish between anger and anxiety in order to best deal with the situation.
Maybe your child or spouse has been increasingly rude and sarcastic when trying to talk to them. Of course, you want to scream and have it out with them. However, this new wave of added stress could be more the anxiety talking than anger.
Sometimes, it is more helpful for everyone involved to take a deep breath and try to find out what brought that comment out as patiently as you can. Though it can hard, you want to show compassion and not blow the situation out of control. You want your child or spouse to get those feelings out in the open. You want to understand. Once they know that you aren’t judging them for their anger, they become more aware of that behavior. This attempt over criticism about that anger often will help make them realize what they are doing and change.
Then again, your child may be sulking around the house, crying more or yelling. Again, these also can be signs of anxiety and not anger. Getting the child or spouse to open up and talk to you is the first step to help relieve some of that anxiety.
You might also be noticing your child or spouse is obsessed over certain things. Maybe he or she keeps repeating fears over not having enough money, getting another job or getting sick. Try to assure them that there is help from many sources such as a food bank, networking for a job or getting the vaccine.
Over a period of time, things will return to normal. In such, the anger and anxiety, which is mainly just irritating will disappear.