Google+ Authentic Parenting: Anger Is Just and Emotion

Friday, July 26, 2013

Anger Is Just and Emotion

Welcome to the July 2013 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Anger 
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about anger. We hope you enjoy this month's posts and consider joining us next month when we share about breastfeeding.


In Western Society, we fear strong emotions, especially the ones we deem negative. Fear, anger, sadness. We prefer to swiftly brush them under the carpet and keep them unseen instead of handling them adequately.
The result of this regard of negative emotions is that we are not equipped to deal with them. When they come about, we are at a loss. We push them inward or react to them, and lash out.

Yet even negative emotions are just emotions.

Accepting that you, as a human being, are allowed to have a vast range of emotions, that they are normal and natural, is the first step towards a mindful approach of emotions.

Let's take anger.

As a child, most of us have been corrected swiftly and harshly when we portray this emotion. "Stop it right now", we exclaim to the angered child. "If you continue like this I will..."
Most of us have been shamed when in anger: "If you would see how ugly you look when you're angry."
Or our feelings were brushed off, annihilated, diminished: "There's no need to be angry. Smile."

Parents have many many ways of dealing (or should I say undealing) with anger, most of them detrimental.

Children are urged to quickly get over their emotions, instead o encouraged to get through them. There's no blame here, this is just the way most of us have been brought up.

But we can help our children get through their anger, deal with it instead of repress it or act upon it. So can we with our own anger.
As I mentioned before, the first step is acceptance. Telling your child that anger is normal, that she is 'allowed' to feel frustrated or angry if they voice that they aren't. Hopefully, you shouldn't even have to tell your child they are entitled to anger, but the chances are, they'll quickly catch on that anger is unacceptable in Western Society.

The second step to working through your anger is to feel it but don't act. Don't talk, don't lash out. Tell your child they can feel their anger. Encourage them to tell you how it feels, so they learn to recognize the emotion when it comes up. Tell them, it's ok to be angry, but it's not ok to scream or hit. Read these approaches to deal with anger to have some tools to avoid knee jerk reactions such as screaming or hitting.

It takes work, but we can reroute our brain to deal with anger, and just as importantly, we can help our children process anger in a healthy way.


Visit Living Peacefully with Children and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in next month's Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, when we discuss breastfeeding!   Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants: (This list will be live and updated by afternoon July 27 with all the carnival links.)


1 comment:

  1. Laura, I appreciate your reminders that most of us learned ways of "undealing" with anger. That was my case. My childhood anger was not okay and when I was expressed it I was either sent to my room or told in various ways that I needed to be a "good girl." I'm learning how to express my anger in a healthy way now. I want this for myself and also for my daughter, so she can love herself and know she's loveable even if she's mad at me or otherwise saying "No!" to something in her life.


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