How to Stay Sane & Happily Married When Parenting an Angry Child

Parenting can be hard. Parenting can be really hard if you are parenting an angry child or child with intense emotions. It is emotionally draining and takes everything you have. It’s 100% worth it, but man wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a perfect formula for how to stay sane {and happily married} when parenting an angry child?

At least three times in the last week someone has told me they wish there was a guide for parents of angry children. You know, a guide to help us stay sane, a guide to help us stay happily married, a guide to help us cope with our emotions.

Parenting an Angry Child

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Today, I am over at Dirt & Boogers sharing tips on how to remain calm with your angry child. You know, when they are shouting, screaming, stomping and slamming doors. Yep, I knew you could picture it. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I’d like to share what I do to remain calm during those extreme moments.

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One of my tips for remaining calm is to take care of yourself. Its something many of us take for granted, but need to pay attention to. Parenting children with such intense emotions is draining and exhausting. You deserve to replenish your bucket. In addition to taking care of yourself, it is incredibly important to nurture your relationship with your partner. Today I am going to share some tips from real parents that live this intense roller coaster day in and day out. Together we will share tips for you and tips for your relationship!

Tips for Staying Sane with an Angry Child

Space | Find some space for you. This might mean locking yourself in the bathroom and hiding for 5 minutes, this might mean getting up early for a cup of coffee without kids, or it might even mean leaving the house. Whatever the case, find space to be alone with your thoughts. Alone without yelling, slamming of doors and stomping.

Friends | You need someone to vent to, someone to lean your head on. This can be a virtual hug through a support group or a real-life friend. I hear so often from parents on my Facebook page that they don’t have any friends, that they don’t know anyone to turn to. If this is you, reach out to me. I will help you find a support group online that could help you connect with other adults.

Music | Have a dance party! Sometimes, you just need to shake it off. This can be with your kids, this can be without them. Whatever it is, sometimes just getting everything out and getting silly will get your mood lifted.

Hobbies | Find one! It can be knitting, basket weaving, rowing, running, really… anything that takes mental power away from thinking about the rough day you just had. Something physical can be an additional boost to your morale.

Special Treats | This one might get me in trouble and you have to be a little careful. Treats are great for lifting your spirits. Whether its one glass of wine, a cup of coffee, a bowl of ice cream, a brownie, or a piece of fruit…whatever the case, remember moderation. You deserve a treat, but just be careful how often you are turning to those treats when you are frustrated about your day (believe me, I’ve been there too).

Support Groups | A support group can make you or break you. When finding a support group, it is incredibly important to find one that is supportive, loving and kind. One that is well managed by admins and one that helps you when you are down. A few of my favorites include the Support for Sensory Needs, Mama’s Village (Stop Yelling), and Positive Parenting Reader Questions. These are just a few of the many support groups available online, although there are many in person locally and others online.

Books and Courses | There are several resources that are excellent for giving you what you need to feel ready to take on the next day with your intense child. We are currently reading The Newbie’s Guide to Positive Parenting and going through Positive Parenting Solutions coursework. Both of these are helping us be better prepared for the next outburst or meltdown.

Essential Oils | There are many essential oils that are great for overall mental health and well-being. Joy, Peace and Calming and Valor are my go to essential oils on a daily basis. {In fact, essential oils are also great for the intense emotions my son has. He loves using Cedarwood for an overall peacefulness.}

Professional Help | We are very big believers in getting professional help when the problem seems to big to handle yourself. It is great to have someone to talk to that can help you problem solve or can give you strategies that you might not have thought of.

Tips from other Mamas of Angry Children

Let it Go | “I had to make a lot of personal changes in my own attitude. I was letting her emotional intensity impact me so much that my emotions (anger, frustration, resentment) were getting in the way of me parenting and marriage as well.” ~ Jodie, Meaningful Mama

Let it Out | “It’s ok to cry…when it has been an overwhelming day and your child is finally asleep, it’s ok to cry.” ~Rachel, Adventures in Wunderland

Remove Yourself | “I find I have to remove myself from the situation before I become just as intense as my child! Just a few minutes alone in my room breathing deeply and thinking everything through is an incredible help when a situation begins to heat up. I cannot think rationally unless I remove myself, and I end up doing or saying something I regret!” ~MaryAnne, Imperfect Homemaker

Every Day May Not Be Good But Theres Something Good In Every Day Quote

Tips for Staying Happily Married with an Angry Child

I’d like to start by saying that I understand that not all of us have a spouse to help us through these rough times. I am writing these tips from my experience as a remarried parent who is happily married now. There are times, when I can see how easily parenting our intense child can be extremely dividing if we are not careful and I would like to share some tips that we have learned in the last few years together. In addition, I’ve gathered advice from a few other real parents who are successfully parenting an angry child and staying connected with their partner.

Talk | Talk a lot! For my husband and I, we talk ALL the time. We talk about the color of the sky, we talk about what we had for lunch, we talk about our hopes, we talk about our dreams. We talk about the ups and the downs. It is important to make sure that all of your conversations don’t focus on the incidents from the day, but that you are touching base on what has been happening.

Trust | Know that the other parent will most likely not parent like you. They are not you! Believe in them and trust that they are doing what they believe is best for your child and your family. If you disagree with them, wait until your children are not around and discuss both sides of the story. Together, you can come up with the best way to handle the situation next time.

Enjoy | Make time to reconnect as a couple! Maybe you get a babysitter to go out to dinner, or you make a special dinner after the kids are in bed at home, either way you are dedicating yourself to each other for a short amount of time. Reconnecting is vital when each day is so emotionally draining.

Forgive | One of you will most likely yell at the other. One of you will most likely put your frustration on the other. Honestly, this might happen more than you want it to. So, be forgiving. Forgive yourself for getting angry. Forgive your partner for not understanding. All in all, there will need to be a lot of forgiveness and grace during these years of parenting. It isn’t easy. You are both trying the best you can.

Tips from Other Mamas of Angry Children

Lean In | “It’s so easy to let the emotional intensity of our children reflect in ourselves and our relationships. But it’s important to TRY TO (which isn’t always easy, I know) remain calm and consistent as a parent. And to communicate with your partner and remain a consistent parenting team. Lean into one another during times of parenting frustration instead of away from each other.” ~ Krissy, B-Inspired Mama

Plan | “I think the most important thing is to be on the same page as your spouse. Don’t take the bait when your kiddo has an outburst, and be a team. Have a plan, or a signal, for when one needs to walk away, and take over for each other. An angry child can be exhausting, so it’s important that mom and dad share the parenting.” ~Colleen, Raising Lifelong Learners

Consult | “I work with my husband much better when I truly listen to his point of view. Usually – because I am with the kids more throughout the week – I already have an opinion about what is going on. When I clear my mind and truly open up to hearing his perspective, I gain more insights than I would on my own. We may not agree, especially at first, but consulting together – and letting our pride go – really helps us stay united. As he always reminds me, we’re on the same team!” ~Chelsea, Moments a Day

Consistency | “Do everything possible to remain a united front. I need to know he’s got my back. He needs to know I’ve got his. Consistency really is key for this area of parenting and marriage.” ~Shawn, Abundant Mama

Listen | “Listen and keep listening. I have to remember that this is OUR child, not MY child and invite my husband into the parenting instead of excluding him and thinking I have the only solution that will work. And of course, this means that I’m not alone either; it’s ok to ask for help.” ~ Alissa, Creative with Kids

Recharge | “For me and my husband, parenting an intense child has required us to learn how to communicate positively with one another in stressful and frustrating situations, which is sometimes really hard. We have also found that it is really important to take breaks from the kids to recharge together (or separately) because parenting an intense child can be exhausting.” ~ Kristina, Toddler Approved

Sanity and Marriage Saving tips for Parenting and Angry child

Do you have a child with intense emotions? Does your child get angry and it wears you down? How do you stay sane? What tips do you have that you would like to share?

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More Adventures in Parenting

A Newbies Guide to Positive Parenting Why I told My Kids I Quit 5 words every mom needs to hear


Discover how to get siblings to get along even when all they do is annoy each other with the Sibling “Get Along” Poster Pack!

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11 thoughts on “How to Stay Sane & Happily Married When Parenting an Angry Child”

  1. I wish I could have read this 3 years ago when we were trying so hard to learn and help my son. Just yesterday I finally got up the nerve to post an article I wrote 3 years ago titled, “Excuse Me While I Raise My “Problem Child”. A really good article that could really help a lot of people. Than you for sharing.


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  3. Andrea

    I have a question! I have an intense child and I am prone to anger myself. A lot of the tips (such as having alone time and finding ways to calm down) are not really practical when dealing with multiple children,

    When I am the stay at home mom with three kids under 5, I can’t just lock myself in a room to calm down. This is for multiple reasons. 1) The kids will still not be quiet and I really need quiet to calm down. 2) If the other kids are loose and angry they can hurt their other siblings that are loose with them, or my mischievous toddler gets into trouble while I’m taking my break, only making me escalate when I come out and see the problem.. 3) They feed off of each other and if one gets going usually one of the other does too. And/or I have a crying baby that needs attention. And then I feel guilty because I’m letting my baby cry it out while I’m dealing with the other(s).

    THe list goes on. I do have a few friends/neighbors but no one is able to drop everything immediately and come help me. Dad’s at work.

    What in the world do I do? It seems impossible. I know it’s partly my own fault for having my children too close together, but it is what it is. I know what I need. I need to be alone and to have quiet. But I can’t abandon my children and leave the house and let them fiend for themselves when I have no one else to care for them. It doesn’t do me any good to take that time LATER after my husband gets home, because that time has passed and we now are having fun and enjoying each other. I need it in the moment.

    Any ideas for how to handle these situations?

    1. hopefullysurprisedmom

      my oldest just turned 5 when our third was born. our middle child has SPD, ADHD, and Nephrotic Syndrome that was just recently diagnosed and is treated with mega high doses of steroids that just aggrevate the aforementioned issues. not to mention that same child had so many ear infections as an infant that the term ‘legally deaf’ was thrown around a few times (she had tubes at 10 & 1/2 months, gastric reflux, etc) i find myself getting so angry with her sometimes that i dont really recognize the person (me) that is supposed to be diffusing the situation. i feel like you were describing my typical day. i will say, though, after several years of crying so hard i couldnt talk, such intense anger that i for a short time questioned my ability as a mom, an endless amount of excuses why “my life is so not going the way i want it to” and endless daydreams of where i would rather be, i have to tell you that finding a few minutes for yourself is actually possible. but you have to be just as dedicated to finding those stolen moments as you are making sure your kids are fed everyday. maybe while the little one is napping, put a movie on for one child in one room and another movie in another room. that may buy you 10 very peaceful minutes. i had a 2 sided easel that i would put in the backyard and put a play sprinkler on for them to be silly and be able to go back and forth. finding peaceful moments will be the biggest challenge, but it will give you enough time to ‘deflate’. i’m sure you hate the comment “it gets better, i promise” just as much as i did, but it does. just remember, ‘that child’ will probably be the one that leans on you the most as they get older. so, my only real advice is no matter how angry you are (and godzilla had nothin’ on me) be sure to tell them that you love them everyday, no matter what, its only their choices you get angry with. which ironically they cant control a lot.

  4. kathy

    Love these intense little personalities that have so much life in them that they can’t hold it in! I’ve had 3/6 angry children, and all of this advice holds true. Happily, 2/3 have grown up and moved on to their own intense lives. My happy place is seeing them reach their “aha” moment when they realize, “Its not mom’s fault I’m angry.” Then they let me be their cheerleader in their adventures, and they will let my love in. Just wanted to give you moms hope!

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  10. Special treats – yeah – raising the children I have has been my first life experience that I can see could turn me into a binge eater/drinker/whatever. It can be SO HARD.

    I think strong boundaries really play a key role here. As a neurodiverse, empathic person, I have had to learn to very clearly distinguish between who is feeling what. This is so important in marriage (am also on second round), as you mention.

    Thanks and love,
    Full Spectrum Mama

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