I participated on a panel discussion earlier today hosted by Gigi of Kludgy Mom.
The topic: teaching kids to deal with anger.
(don’t we all look so happy to be talking about anger?!) ha!
Truth be told, I’m not the best teacher of this subject. I recently took the Unglued Assessment, and it told me I am a stuffer who builds barriers.
Things tick me off or upset me and I push it down deep inside and carry on about my day – until something else (of non-importance) triggers those buried emotions and I explode.
Yep. That can be me.
That has been me.
This is probably where most of of you are rolling your eyes and wondering, ‘Why would you ever do that?’ Well, if I knew I would flip the switch to turn it off. It’s called being a human with flaws. Don’t y’all have any of those?
I am guilty of not addressing things as they needed to be dealt with. I am guilty of stuffing feelings into a hole in my heart and just ignoring them. Or at least I try to.
Out of sight – out of mind. It’s often what I try to convince myself works.
Until the hard times come. And when those times come, everything seems to rise to the surface at once and explodes. And maybe it’s not even the hardest times that have to happen. Bryan or the kids can do the slightest little thing to tick me off and trigger anger in me – and I explode. And unfortunately they are left standing there wondering what in the world they have done so horribly. When truth be told. I’m not angry at them.
I’m angry at an outside source that I have allowed to steal my joy and trump my contentment. I may be angry at something I should have already dealt with. Or maybe at something that at the end of the day – is really out of my control.
And very possibly that something is something that I need to completely let go.
Lysa talked about this very thing in her book Unglued.
Those moments that we feel the world is unraveling thread by thread – and we want to scream?
Those moments that we feel we have no control over – and want to take on the reigns of the world and steer them our way?
Those are hard.
Whether they are moments that we as adults are facing – or our children.
They are hard. And they are very real.
Just call me old yeller.
I admit it. I am a yeller.
I have no idea why – my parents aren’t yellers. Yelling was never the norm in my house growing up. Truth be told, you will most likely never hear my dad say a cross word about anyone. He will give his opinion about things he doesn’t agree with – politically, bad sports calls, etc. – but he is not an angry person. I wish I had gotten that gene. Because me on the other hand? I stew.
And unfortunately, I have the memory of an elephant when it comes to things I wish I could forget. But everything of real importance in life must be written down.
This chat covered a pretty taboo topic.
So many people don’t want to admit how they handle many emotions behind closed doors. And so many people (me included) easily judge others for handling things differently that we think they should.
At the end of the day – we are all human.
Do we all make mistakes? You better believe it.
Can we all as parents improve in areas of life? There’s not one of us who can’t.
The days I have yelled at my kids? I ended up wanting to crawl in a hole.
Heck no – I’m not setting a good example for them when I am yelling at them to stop yelling at me.
What good is that doing?
I don’t always do a great job of showing them how to handle the stresses of life that they will eventually to be served. I am an imperfect parent.
At some point, we all mess up. What’s important is we own our mistakes, especially with our kids – recognize the areas of our lives that need improvement, have accountability, and take steps to make changes. And above all – forgive ourselves.
What’s also important is that our children feel loved. And safe. (I talked about that more here.) They need to be encouraged to communicate their feelings – in a healthy manner – and work through them.
Kids of all ages need to understand that all of these crazy emotions they feel from different situations – anger included – are not only normal, but healthy.
Books on dealing with anger:
- Hot Stuff to Help Kids Chill Out: The Anger Management Book
- Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions
- I Am So Angry, I Could Scream: Helping Children Deal with Anger (Let’s Talk)
- How to Control Your Anger (Before It Controls You : A Guide for Teenagers)
You can watch the Bonfire chat here —> http://youtu.be/1-9wAFljG6Ul