It is true. I rarely do get mad anymore. Part of it is because he is six years old now and more willing to please and more in control of his emotions. I think a bigger part of it is my new philosophy.
No need to control
Part of our better relationship is because I have completely changed my parenting philosophy. I am not afraid of him trying to "control" me, and I don't try to "control" him. There are essentially no issues of control between us. We are more team-focused. I am less of a dictator and more of a coach. We are happier when we co-operate together. We try to accommodate each other with me as the mom and him as the "big kid" as he calls it. I still make the rules, but we work together to make the rules achievable.
We both have our own agendas. I am trying to run a household with rules and routines and he is trying to have fun and play games all the time. We make plans that will serve both our needs. The more I respect his desires, the more he respects mine. Sometimes I bend my rules to get even better behavior out of him, but I do not bend my rules if I don't feel good about it. And I WILL NOT bend any rules if there is any whining, crying or demanding.
I realize now that he is learning lessons from his mistakes without my having to punish him. Because I simply rely on respectful discussion and emotion coaching to teach him the lessons of life, he is grateful and more willing listen. And most of the time he tells me he already knew it anyway.
Punishments make it worse
When I used to punish him with time-outs, or with removing things he wanted and the worst of all, when I sent a message by withholding my love and acting cold, he would lash out at me and rebel. He could look me in the eye and deliberately do exactly what he knew would send me over the edge. I really worried about what damage he was capable of.
No need to test my love
That has completely changed now (knock on wood!) Since my goal has been to prove to him that I love him all the time no matter what, he doesn't feel the need to test my love. I think he used to test my love. He would see what he had to do to make my love go away, because sometimes it did. Now that he is more secure that I love him no matter what, I can say, "I don't like that." and he will stop and say, "sorry, mom," before I can even explain why.
I am so happy I have come across these new ways of parenting! A couple of years ago, I would have never believed it was possible, but I am living it! We have fewer power struggles!
I wish you all the joy that peaceful parenting can bring!