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How can I control my anger and frustration?

Q: I am a 29 years old housewife with two children. The relationship between my in-laws is not healthy at all and hence, has given rise to family conflict. I have to always shield one from the wrath of the other, which has made me short tempered, outspoken and aggressive. My elder daughter is six years old and most affected by it, as she has always been witness to family related conflicts. She is very sharp and intelligent girl. She was pampered a lot and that has made her really stubborn. Nowadays, I am venting all my family frustration on her by shouting at her and abusing her. As a result, she now ignores our instructions and has become hyper active. To get her demands fulfilled, she always starts crying and if we don’t listen to her, she creates a scene and howls. Sometimes, we are forced to slap her. Often we have heard her saying that we love the other child more than her, which is not the case. It is getting difficult with each passing day. She is always crying for no reason. We cannot stay away from our in-laws, especially I, as my mother in-law is more like a mother to me. Please suggest what I can do. How can I get control over my short temperedness, anger and frustration?

A:You seem to realize the source of the problem: your own uneven relationship with your husband's parents. Taking it out on a 6 year old child is terrible. Slapping the child is not done. Please desist from such violence. Perhaps, you should do some Yoga exercises and bring your anger and frustration under control. If the little girl is resisting your apparent tyranny, she shows some courage. First of all, relax. You do not have to be the perfect mother. Laugh and play with your daughter and let your rules have a light touch. No child cries without a reason - only adults are often unwilling to accept the real reason. She could be feeling that her baby brother gets more attention than she does. Handle this sibling rivalry tactfully. Get some family counselling if it is available in your city.

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