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Why Am I An Angry Dad? 5 Anger Triggers And How To Manage Them

Why am I an angry dad?

It is not uncommon for dads to be angry. In fact, it’s a normal emotion that can happen in any family. But what are the types of anger that fathers experience? And how can they deal with them?

In this article, we will explore 5 triggers of anger that dads might feel and how to manage them.

Trigger 1 – Stress

Similar strategies are used to control stress and anger. One explanation for this is that both stress and anger have a psychological component, making it possible to control them mentally. Understanding the relationship between these two emotions is crucial because they both have the potential to negatively impact us, especially if they are left unmanaged.

There are a number of different things that can affect anger and stress; Long-term stress and anger exposure can harm our physical health. Getting stressed about deadlines, worrying about money or shouting at the kids are but a few examples. It may increase our blood pressure, which can lead to other problems that have an impact on both our physical and emotional well-being. Our interpersonal relationships may suffer as a result. Beyond that, excessive levels of stress and anger can lead to the development of bad behaviours that get harder to manage over time. Anxiety may increase as a result of either of these effects. Being an angry Dad isn’t good for our health or our relationships!

We need to consider how these emotions affect our lives in order to start managing the negative impacts of stress and anger. Anger can result from stress, which might result in further stress. Although neither emotion is a good thing, we shouldn’t try to force them away. Instead, we should work to regulate them by working on our understanding of the elements that influence anger and stress and developing coping mechanisms and build healthy anger management strategies.

Tip to manage stress – Breathe deep and relax

Your body and mind may feel as though they’re operating on overdrive when you are feeling stressed. Slowing your breathing and concentrating on relaxing your muscles is the simplest and most straightforward approach to relieving the stressful effects of anger. Inhale deeply for 4 seconds into your chest and stomach, hold for 2–4 seconds, and then exhale for 4 seconds. Your pulse rate will slow down as a result, and you’ll have some time to gather your thoughts.

Counselling for men

Trigger 2 – Feeling frustrated or powerless

Regardless of a father’s upbringing, those who believe they can control their own destiny—tend to be happier, healthier, and more effective. Even the most difficult situations can be made tolerable if we believe we have some control over the outcome. While minor tensions can become overwhelming if we believe we have no control over the issue at all. Things as simple as the kids not tidying their rooms or indeed, even letting their dad into their room can be incredibly frustrating and can leave a father feeling as though he has no control, even in his own home.

“Powerlessness is inherently threatening, and it prompts a strong desire to reduce or eliminate that feeling,” says Eric Anicich, an assistant professor of management and organisation at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.

Tip to manage feelings of frustration or powerlessness – reconsider our approach to the problem

The first thing to do is recognise our own biases in the way we appraise our circumstances. Humans are usually quite bad at anticipating their future emotions and feelings. Positive life experiences, like winning the lottery, cause us to overestimate how happy we will feel and how long that feeling will last. Conversely, we find it difficult to envision how we will get past a threat or disappointment, such as our daughter going out to a nightclub for the first time.   Negative experiences don’t usually last as long or have the same intensity as people expect. By keeping that in mind the initial sensation of pessimism we frequently experience upon hearing bad news can be lessened by just reminding ourselves of that truth.

Practically speaking, we can regain control of the situation by finding smaller ways to help with the situation. Setting your own schedules and making the most of your space may help you restore some sense of autonomy if you have been forced to work from home, for example.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

Theodore Roosevelt.

Trigger 3 – Feeling a lack of respect

The feeling of being disrespected can be something that is quite triggering for many dad’s and can often make them feel quite angry. This could indeed be the reason why you ask yourself why am I an angry dad. In fact, most people have very little tolerance for being disrespected and those who consistently feel as though others have little or no respect for them often suffer with poor self-esteem and have a poor self image.

If you feel this way, it could be worth asking yourself “what does it mean to be disrespected”? You’ll probably find that your answer is different for example, to the dad sitting next to you. What you feel is disrespectful, may not feel disrespectful to someone else. For example, you may feel that it’s disrespectful of your son not to thank you for buying him an ice cream but another dad might be fine with it. That other dad may feel it’s disrespectful for their daughter to go to bed without saying “good night” but it might not bother you at all.

Being disrespected is a subjective feeling and will differ from person to person, from dad to dad. As it’s a personal feeling and differs depending on your own values, there’s a possibility that it’s the way you think that is causing the feelings of disrespect, rather than someone, a child perhaps or a partner, being disrespectful. If you think about it, what motivation does someone have to disrespect you personally? Would one of your children, for example, really set out to hurt you? Are they even old enough to be capable of doing that to you? Disrespect can often be born out of anger, fear or frustration or all of those emotions.

Tip to manage feeling a lack of respect

If you find yourself immediately feeling disrespected when someone doesn’t behave as you’d expect them to, you may be assuming the worst and jumping to conclusions. Challenge yourself to think of why a person may have behaved the way they did. For example, if someone pulled out on you in traffic, are they really being disrespectful to you personally or could it be that they’re late for work? Could they be preoccupied with some bad news about an elderly relative and didn’t realise they hadn’t considered you? Below are some things you can ask yourself when you are feeling disrespected that will make you feel better and help you with wondering why you’re an angry dad.

  • Will whatever it is that has made me feel disrespected matter to me in 12 months or even a few day’s?
  • Am I responding appropriately? Or am I responding with anger and frustration. Should I try addressing the issue calmly and assertively?
  • Am I communicating my expectations clearly? Ensure that your children understand your expectations for respect and behaviour.

Trigger 4 – Lack of sleep

A lack of sleep can significantly contribute to feelings of being disrespected by your children. Sleep deprivation often leads to irritability and a shorter fuse. This can make even minor misbehaviors or disagreements with your children escalate into major sources of frustration and perceived disrespect.

Exhaustion also diminishes your ability to empathise with your children’s needs and emotions. This may cause you to interpret their actions as intentional disobedience or disrespect when they may simply be expressing their own needs or frustrations.

Furthermore, sleep-deprived dad’s may struggle to make rational decisions and react impulsively to perceived challenges. This can lead to misinterpretations of your children’s behaviour and heightened feelings of being disrespected. This emotional vulnerability means that your children’s actions, even if not intended to be disrespectful, can feel hurtful or offensive, further intensifying these feelings.

Tip to manage a lack of sleep

To address the negative impact of sleep deprivation on your perception of respect from your children, consider implementing these strategies:

  1. Prioritize Sleep: Make sleep a priority by establishing a regular sleep schedule. Ensure you get enough hours of quality rest to enhance your emotional stability and patience.
  2. Share Responsibilities: Enlist the help of your partner or support network to share nighttime parenting duties. This allows for breaks and uninterrupted sleep, reducing sleep-related irritability.
  3. Mindfulness and Relaxation: Practice mindfulness techniques or relaxation exercises to manage stress and enhance your emotional resilience. Breathing exercises and meditation can help you stay calm in challenging parenting situations.
  4. Communication: Openly communicate with your children about your need for sleep. Explain that when you’re well-rested, you can be a more patient and understanding parent.
  5. Seek Professional Help: If sleep deprivation persists and significantly affects your ability to parent effectively, consult a healthcare professional. They can assess and address any underlying sleep disorders or recommend strategies to improve your sleep quality.

By prioritising sleep and adopting effective coping mechanisms, you can better manage feelings of disrespect from your children that may arise due to sleep-related irritability and stress. Ultimately, fostering a well-rested and emotionally stable environment benefits both you and your family.

Trigger 5 – Communication issues

Communication problems can make you an angry dad by creating frustration and misunderstanding. When parents and children struggle to express their needs, emotions, or expectations effectively, it often leads to conflicts, misinterpretations, and heightened anger. Inadequate communication can make a dad feel unheard or disrespected, triggering anger in response to perceived disrespect or disobedience.

Tip to manage communication issues

To address communication issues and mitigate anger, active listening is essential. Encourage open dialogue with your children, offering them a safe space to express themselves without fear of judgment. Teach them effective communication skills and actively listen to their concerns.

Model respectful communication, and when conflicts arise, seek resolution through calm discussions, empathy, and compromise. A therapist like myself can help you develop valuable tools for improving communication and reducing anger within the family dynamic.

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”


In conclusion, understanding the factors that contribute to being an angry dad is the first step in becoming a more patient and understanding parent. From the pressures of life to miscommunications and unresolved personal issues, anger can easily find its way into our interactions with our children. However, it’s important to remember that anger doesn’t have to be the default response.

In this blog post, we’ve explored five solutions to address and manage anger as a parent:

  1. Prioritizing self-care and managing stress to maintain emotional balance.
  2. Setting realistic expectations for yourself and your children.
  3. Improving communication through active listening and empathy.
  4. Seeking professional help when unresolved personal issues contribute to anger.
  5. Modeling healthy emotional expression and conflict resolution for your children.

By implementing these solutions, you can create a more harmonious and nurturing environment for your family. This will foster a deeper connection with your children and reduce anger’s impact on your role as a dad. Remember, parenting is a journey of growth. With the right tools and mindset, you can navigate it with patience, empathy, and love.

Need help with anger?

If you would like to talk to someone confidentially about managing anger, then I can help.

8 Questions You Might Be Afraid to Ask About Depression


Depression and anxiety can be really scary. Even though mental illnesses are common, they’re still stigmatised. That makes people who are suffering from these conditions even more reluctant to seek help because they fear being judged or misunderstood.

It’s important to remember that you’re not alone: Millions of people struggle with depression and anxiety each year, but many don’t seek treatment for a variety of reasons. That’s why I’ve put together this list of questions you might be afraid to ask about your own depression—from how long it lasts to whether it affects your sex life!

1# Is depression a real illness?

Depression is a real illness. It’s not something you should be ashamed of, and it’s not something that means you’re weak or a failure. Depression is treatable, and there are plenty of people who have gotten through depression and come out on the other side stronger than before.

Some people believe that depression isn’t an actual illness because there isn’t any proof that it affects the biological makeup of the brain physically like other conditions do—but we know more now than ever before about how complex our brains are, how they work together with other organs in our bodies to keep us alive every day without even thinking about it until something goes wrong somewhere along this system (like when someone becomes depressed).

Success is falling 9 times and getting up 10 – Jon Bon Jovi

#2 How long does depression last?

You may have heard that depression is a lifelong condition and will never go away. While this is true for some people, it’s not true for everyone: depression can last weeks, months or even years. You might also be wondering how long you’ll need to take to see a counsellor before feeling better. The truth is that there’s no way to predict how long it will take you to recover from depression—it depends on many factors, including what caused your symptoms in the first place (if we knew that, we could prevent it!)

Do you need help with depression?

If left untreated for too long without support from a professional as well as friends, family and loved ones then symptoms may worsen into something more serious such as suicidal thoughts.

Depression may come back but sometimes the symptoms are milder than they were at first, which means that we can help manage them through lifestyle changes and counselling sessions. But if you don’t learn how to cope with stressors, then this problem might reoccur in new ways.

You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think – A.A Milne

#3 Does having depression make me crazy?

You might have heard that depression is a sign of weakness or an indication that you’re crazy. The truth is much simpler: Depression is a real illness, and it’s not your fault. It’s not about being weak or crazy, but rather about having an imbalance of brain chemicals — specifically serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine — that can cause changes in your mood, sleeping patterns and energy levels.

When you have depression, you might feel like you’re constantly running on empty with no hope for relief in sight. But there are many ways to manage symptoms of depression so you can get back to living life again without feeling this way every day

While it may seem intimidating at first, don’t be afraid to ask questions about depression. It’s important to get a full picture of what causes this illness so you can make an informed decision on how best to treat it.

If you’d like to talk to me about depression, then please feel free to get in touch.

#4 What’s the difference between grief and depression?

Depression is not the same as grieving. Depression is a medical condition, whereas grief is a normal response to loss. Grieving involves processing your feelings through talking about them with others, such as a counsellor and doing things like writing in a journal, which helps you move on with your life. If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s important that you speak to a professional about getting treatment—medication or therapy—to manage those symptoms.

Depression can last for days or weeks at a time, but usually less than six months; if it lasts longer than that, it could be indicative of clinical depression.

Remember that grief is a healthy process, while depression is not. If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s important that you speak to a professional about getting treatment. I can help you to process your grief or help you to work through your depression.

If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it – Muhammad Ali

#5 Can I get depression again if I’ve had it before?

It’s normal to worry that depression will come back. After all, you’ve been through it before and it was hard. You’re not sure how you’ll handle it if it happens again.

Depression is a chronic illness, which means that it can be recurring. It may come back at any point in your life—and even after you’ve had years of feeling stable and happy—but there are things you can do to make sure that if depression hits again, you’ll know how to handle it better than last time!

If depression does come back, it’s important to remember that it isn’t your fault.

Depression is not a sign of weakness or laziness. It’s not something you can just “get over” with a little effort—depression is an illness that needs treatment from professionals, such as a counsellor like me, who understand the disease and how best to help people with it. If depression comes back again later in life, it can still be treated.

#6 If my family has a history of mental illness, am I likely to develop a mental illness too?

This question is one of the most common. It’s important to know that depression can be passed down from parent to child, or it can occur as a result of environmental factors. The National Institute of Mental Health (the leading agency for mental health research in the United States) states: “Genetics does not determine whether someone develops depression.” Instead, genetics likely play a role in how patients respond to life events and stressors.

If you’re afraid to ask yourself whether or not your family has a history of mental illness, don’t be. There are many factors that can play into whether or not you develop depression. If there is any cause for concern in your family, talk to a doctor or a mental health professional like me, about what steps you might take now to prevent mental illness later on.

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new – Albert Einstein

Are you worried about your mental health?

Contact me now to arrange a safe and confidential space to talk through your concerns with a professional counsellor.

#7 Can a lack of sleep cause depression?

Does lack of sleep cause depression? Yes, it certainly can. Lack of sleep can lead to anxiety, stress and irritability which are all triggers for depression. When you’re not getting the right amount of sleep, your body doesn’t have enough time to repair itself from the day before. This means that any physical or mental issues you might have — like stress-related heart problems or mental exhaustion — will come back even stronger on top of each other.

Long-term lack of sleep can cause poor concentration, fatigue and even depression. If you’re dealing with these symptoms then it’s worth looking into how much sleep you’ve been getting recently because it may be affecting your mental health more than you think.

Some people want it to happen, some wish it could happen, others make it happen – Michael Jordan

#8 Can medication help with depression, and if so, why should I try counselling first (or at all)?

Medications for depression (along with medication for anxiety) are among the most prescribed drugs in the world, with over 6 million people in the UK alone, taking anti-depressants. Many people see ‘anti-depressants’ as a ‘magic bullet’ to their mental illness and while this isn’t always the case, many people see quick improvements in their mental health, particularly in the short term. However, many anti-depressants have adverse side effects such as;

  • feeling agitated, shaky or anxious.
  • feeling and being sick.
  • indigestion and stomach aches.
  • diarrhoea or constipation.
  • loss of appetite.
  • dizziness.
  • not sleeping well (insomnia), or feeling very sleepy.
  • headaches.

the list above is not exhaustive!

There is nothing impossible to him who will try – Alexander the Great

It’s also worth bearing in mind that anti-depressants are often prescribed on a ‘trial and error’ basis, where the drug will be changed to another type if the patient isn’t getting the intended relief.

When it comes to talking therapy such as counselling, the results have proven to be longer-lasting than with medications.

Counselling can help you to identify what is triggering your depression and help you to develop coping strategies. Moreover, by seeking counselling for depression, you have an opportunity to learn what triggers your reactions to specific things such as fears, places or certain situations. By working with a counsellor for depression, you can develop lifelong techniques to battle your depression.

I hope by answering these questions about depression, it’s given you a clearer understanding of what depression is. If you think you have depression and you’d like to speak to a counsellor, then please do get in touch. You can also take a look at one of my other blog post ‘4 answers to your questions about depression‘.

Need help with anger?

If you would like to talk to someone confidentially about managing anger, then I can help.


Anxiety struggles for pop star

I read an article today about the pop star, Olly Murs and his battle with anxiety. He talks about a mistake he made on the tv show ‘X Factor’ and how he found counselling had helped him get over the anxiety of making the mistake again.  He talks about how he was struggling with negative automatic thoughts such as “Why am I doing this? I can’t do it. What if I go and say something bad again on TV? What if I make a mistake?”, when he was offered a role on another show ‘The Voice’.

According to Olly (calling him ‘Olly’ sounds like I know him, which feels a bit strange), he was the target of ‘online trolls’.  While I couldn’t tell you about the levels of abuse he experienced, it demonstrates how heavily we can be affected by the thoughts, feelings and opinions of others. Murs goes on to say (calling him Murs isn’t any better, it sounds like I don’t like him either!) “And I made myself ill, literally ill. Sick with worry and anxiety to the point where I was home for three or four days with sweats, headaches, and I never get ill. I felt really tired and lethargic and hot and my heart was, I was having panic attacks”.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. — Confucius

This man was affected so badly, his anxiety levels spiralled out of control to the point he was physically sick. And yet, he had probably not met any of those people who abused him and likely never will. So what was going on with Olly Murs and why did these people cause him so much anxiety? I should point out here, I don’t know a lot about Olly Murs and I’m only working with the information I have but as human beings, we are constantly taking in “data” from our “perceptual field” such as what our friends think about what we are wearing, who likes the music we like, who makes me feel angry, who makes me feel happy, etc etc and what we do with this data is where the “problem” can occur.

To understand why the opinions of others can cause us so much anxiety, we have to go back to childhood. We learn at a very young age how to “get our needs met”. For example, babies quickly learn that if they cry when they are hungry, someone will come and feed them. A baby gets its needs met by crying until somebody comes and feeds them. The baby learns that each time they cry, they will be fed.

As a baby learns how to get milk, young children learn what gets them into trouble and what doesn’t. A child will learn what it will get praise for and what it doesn’t get praised for. If we get a good score in a test, we get praise. If we kick a football through a window, we get into trouble. And it’s usually in childhood we find the root of our problems and the causes of much of our anxiety. If a child learns that the best way to avoid getting into trouble is to do what their Mum or Dad says (or primary care giver to be totally inclusive) then this is often a learnt behaviour which is carried into adulthood.

A star is born!

Many performers in the public eye or “celebrities” find this “skill” very useful. By learning to please Mum and Dad they get praise. If they are a talented singer for example, they will find they get praise from lots of other people too. They quickly become known as “the child who is really good at singing” and this is either incorporated into the persons self concept or not. In the case of a performer, it would most likely be taken in and becomes part of their self; a star is born! The problem or so it seems like to me it is in Olly Murs’ case, is that he didn’t know what to do with the criticism. And when I say he didn’t know what to do with it I mean he didn’t know how to incorporate it into his self concept.

Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the ‘hero’ within us is revealed. – Bob Riley

While I’m only speculating here, maybe there was a time in his childhood when he found a way to get his needs met by entertaining people. Maybe that was singing or dancing or making people laugh. It is possible he found that he was given attention by making people take notice of him and he enjoyed the confidence he got from it. We could speculate that there’s part of him thats not so sure of himself and not so confident and when the internet trolls said things that didn’t “fit” with what he usually heard about himself, that didn’t fit with his self concept of a confident man, he found it incredibly hard to accept and couldn’t incorporate it into his self concept, otherwise known as an ‘introject’.

We all need to be like Rambo, don’t we?

I think most men out there can probably relate to how that feels. When I was a child, I used to watch tv shows like ‘the A-Team’ with B.A (Bad Attitude) Baracus, ‘He-Man’, ‘Thundercats’, WWF/E Wrestling’ and movies like ‘Die-Hard’, ‘Rambo’ and ‘Predator’ all which featured macho heroes who saved the day! All big strong guys with lots of confidence and no sign of anxiety!

Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. – Les Brown

This made me think all guys were “macho” and if you weren’t saving the world, there was something wrong with you. If you lacked confidence you weren’t a “real man”. I found it really difficult to accept if anybody said anything about me that could be deemed “feminine” or touched on my emotions.  Another problem was I found it really hard to take any praise for anything that I didn’t consider to be masculine and found it even harder to tell people how I felt for fear of being “a sissy”. I certainly couldn’t tell anyone I was lacking in confidence or I felt anxiety about something!

There’s no way He-man had anxiety, did he?

As I got older, I really struggled with my own sense of self. I wasn’t built like a truck with huge rippling biceps and I wasn’t a member of the SAS! My confidence was really lacking but couldn’t admit it. I noticed lots of things made me anxious but I wouldn’t tell anyone. I really struggled to accept myself for who I was. And this is where counselling can help. We take the opinions of others such as our parents, friends, relatives, tv, magazines, movies, social media etc and we use the information provided to us to get our needs met.

In my case, I thought that because I saw a lot of machoism on tv that was what the world wanted me to be; a confident man who never talked about his “feelings” because nothing worried him enough to have to. When I couldn’t be what I thought I should be, it caused psychological tension with the real me; my authentic self and this resulted in a great deal of anxiety.

My authentic self just wanted to be me and the me who wanted to play video games and kick a football around, not join the army and fight in a war I didn’t agree with the politics of (Iraq)! It took time and a lot of counselling but eventually I learn’t that counselling can be for me and men can ask for help without having to fear being called “weak” or “girly”.

Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine. ― Roy T. Bennett

If you feel a sense of anxiety about who you are and feel as though you “lack confidence”, I’ve been there. I know what it’s like and I know what it takes to accept yourself. I can help. If you’re looking for a counsellor who understands and can put themselves in your shoes and feel how you feel, get in touch.

If you need help with anxiety, I can help

I’ve helped many men with anxiety and I can help you too.

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