The other night my husband and I had a long conversation about parenting, specifically about reacting in anger (something I do with my daughters much more often than I would like to admit). My big takeway from our discussion was to continue to think about why we react in anger (we being all adults) and what we hope to gain from it.
The more I think about it the more I believe that when we react in anger people don't hear us. I think that is true whether we are talking to children or to adults. Think about it, when someone is yelling at you, are you truly able to hear what they are saying or do you just respond to the emotions involved?
There may be short term reasons for reacting in anger, such as if a child is doing something dangerous and needs to be stopped quickly. However, if we are hoping for long term learning and changes in behavior or thinking then we are more likely to be successful if we respond more gently and thoughtfully.
The challenge, for me at least, is to remember this and employ the preflection in which I so strongly believe. Responding in anger when I am frustrated is natural. Pausing, thinking, and then responding is harder, but the only way I can focus on the long term.