Anger has many faces, it can start with irritation, annoyance, sometimes fury or frustration.
Anger can cause an independent situation – for example a child’s behaviour. We can also become infected with it by someone we have just spent time with.
It is certain that we will experience anger. However, how we deal with it – will we clip our kid’s wings in anger – depends on us.
Today’s blog is aimed at showing you how we think you can find a ‘way to deal with anger’. Who more than us cares about the well-being of our children? Who other than us wants our child to have the inner strength that will allow them to realize their plans and passions and to be able to cope with all the experiences they will encounter in life?.
It can be helpful if we act in such a way that our child will have a good self-esteem. When does a child feels all at sea? When does he start to think badly about himself? Probably when he hears negative opinions about himself, especially from his loved ones….
The fact that children are able to make an adult upset several times a day is no discovery. This is how children test us. They check how far they can go and then establish the limits within which they will feel safe. However, the kind of information we pass on to them in anger and our reactions have an impact on all of this.
In our previous blog, we tried to show you the advantages of listening to your own feelings.
Today we will go one step further. We already know what we feel, but how to use this knowledge for the benefit of the whole family? What to do about it? When shall we start to act, and when a word is enough?
Sometimes it is only by revealing feelings that our children’s behaviour can change. Sometimes revealing our feelings can contribute to changing the behaviour of our children.
There are several ways to deal with such a situation.
We can do it by:
- expressing our feelings,
- describing the situation we see,
- expressing our expectations,
- defining our values,
- establishing principles,
- writing a letter/text message,
- giving initiative so that the child can find a solution,
- giving the child a choice,
- or by taking action.
The range of possibilities is, of course, even greater and depends only on our imagination.
The language we use in anger should not assess, assign a role to the child or attack personalities. Let’s focus on the language of empathy, which allows us to approach the other person without violating his or her dignity.
Perhaps the easiest way to show it is through examples.
Since the scale of anger has so many dimensions, let’s take a closer look at it.
The situation: You are in a good mood. You can hear that in the next room your children are starting a scramble.
Your feelings: You are afraid that another fight will probably start again.
- Describe the situation, express your emotions and expectations: ‘I can see you are pushing each other. I am unhappy about this. Please, find a peaceful solution to your conflict.
- Write a note/text message: Agreement needed right away. No child should cause harm to another child. – your loving mum’.
- Specify your values: In our home, we resolve conflicts peacefully.
Situation description: You are in a bad mood. You have had a hard day or your children have not listened to you. You can hear children fighting in the next room.
Your feelings: You are angry. Another fight begins!
- The method of choice: ‘Children, the choice is up to you. You can put an end to your dispute on your
own or stand eye to eye with an angry mother. Decide!
- Red Alarm: ‘Red Alarm – you have 5 minutes to end the conflict. After that you will face my anger’.
- A short exclamation consisting of a few words: ‘Beating is forbidden -stop!’
Situation description: You are very tired. You have had a miserable day or children have not been listening to your repeated warnings. You can hear the noise in the room and the fight is still going on.
Your feelings: You are furious. Yet another fight!. Oh no. Not this time!
- Describe the situation, emotions and expectation with ‘WHEN’: “When I ask you to make peace a few times and I am disregarded, I get angry. I am expecting an immediate end of your quarrel!
- ACTIVITY – When words don’t work, get down to action. You enter the room, divide children and say, for example: ‘Peter, into your room! Paul, into the bedroom!’
The more we know how to express anger, the greater our chances of controlling and releasing it – not in one big outburst, but gradually and in a human way – without beating, humiliating, offending, with respect for the other person and for ourselves.
When we suppress the feeling of anger within us, it becomes most dangerous. When it explodes, we can lose control of ourselves, and we do not want that.
Parents have much more options to choose from than verbal abuse, beating or punishment.
Why not beating, insulting or punishing? These methods lead nowhere. They give rise to a sense of guilt, which destroys you.
A relationship based on respect for feelings, the language of empathy – these are the methods that give infinite possibilities.
Human relationships are rarely simple. Sometimes children put us in situations where we have limited scope to act. Sometimes, for the sake of the family or the situation, we have to surrender to the child’s demand. Remember, however, that in such a situation we should refer to the basic principles, i.e. describing our feelings at the moment. The fact that a mother or father has given up weighs heavily on a child and the child is not satisfied when their parent does something against their will.
Of course, certain situations cannot be tolerated all the time. It is these repeating situations that usually evoke in us a strong feeling of frustration and anger. They won’t solve themselves, so we should try to find a solution. When words do not work, we should be ready to take action. Taking action is not punishment. It is to stop your child’s inappropriate behaviour. It is a chance to protect him and his dignity.
Without a doubt, children will not change their actions gratefully. Almost every child will protest and complain.
However, ‘Parents are not responsible for their children’s happiness, but for their personality. Focusing only on making children happy is nothing good… Child’s laughter is as important as their tears… These feelings refine the character. The more we can feel, the more complete we become.’
Excerpt from the book: [How to Talk so Kids Will Listen… and Listen so Kids Will Talk – A. Faber, E. Mazlish]
What values do we pass on to our children by allowing cruelty to ourselves and others? If we say NO – not only will we stop the inappropriate behaviour of our children, but we will also give them an example of how to defend what we believe in. We should always remember about the human dimension of the language we use and about our actions.
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