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Parents, Anger means Danger

By Derek Randel
Parent Smart from the Heart - Randel Consulting


Six year-old Jan, accidentally knocks over a vase on the dining room table and it shatters. Mom explodes, “HOW CAN YOU DO THIS? I’VE TOLD YOU MANY TIMES TO BE CAREFUL! YOU GO TO YOUR ROOM AND STAY THERE! WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME; THEN YOU’LL BE IN REAL TROUBLE!”

It seems in this house Jan gets yelled at often. Mom constantly loses her temper and threatens Jan with a variety of punishments. What is this doing to Mom’s health?

“No one can make you jealous, angry, vengeful, or greedy- unless you let them.” Napoleon Hill

The vase is already broken and becoming angry with her daughter is not going to fix the broken vase. It sounds like Mom is allowing Jan to control her anger. If Jan is always being yelled at, Mom is not taking very good care of herself. Chances could be, Mom is angry at something else and Jan is an easy target. Mom allows Jan to make her mad.

 “Anger it self does more harm than the condition which aroused anger.” Unknown

Which of the two items will harm Mom’s health the most, a broken vase or her anger? Mom’s anger can cause health issues such as driving up her blood pressure, but let’s look at what it does to her daughter. How does her anger help with her relationship with Jan, or does it just hurt the relationship? What hidden messages are sent to Jan when she is being yelled at?

 “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything which it is poured on.” Unknown

Have you ever been angry with someone then carried this anger all day and finally, you confronted him or her. They have no idea you’re angry. This anger hurts the one caring it much more than the individual you’re angry with.

 The hurt Jan receives from her mother’s anger can be tremendous and overtime it might add up so much that it cannot be overcome.

 “Anger is momentary madness, so control your passion or it will control you.” Horace

It just takes that split second to lose control and say something that you will regret. Imagine if Mom had yelled, “Jan you’re useless.” Without thinking, she just sent a message that may stay with her daughter forever. How many times have you heard someone say something off the top of his or her head? They may have not meant it but maybe the person it was directed at internalized it anyways.

“Talking without thinking is like shooting without aiming.” Proverb

This is a pretty picture, isn’t it? We will say Mom shoots twenty shots and without aiming, three hit her target. Over the course of a week, Mom says twenty negative statements to Jan because she was angry. She meant none of statements; they were said in the heat of the moment. Jan though has heard these statements so much they she is beginning to believe them. Her relationship with Mom is going in a negative direction along with her self-concept. One day Mom might say, “Jan, has low self esteem, I don’t know where she got that from.”

 “The greatest remedy for anger is delay.” Seneca

What do we do when we get angry, how do we control our anger? There are many solutions out in the market, some work for some people and not others. We’ll give you a few to try to see what works best for you.

One, many people try counting to ten before saying anything. Two, have a statement that you say to yourself over and over. For example, “keep your mouth shut,” or “anger and frustration feed misbehavior.” Three, one of our favorites comes from the Cline-Fay Institutes Love and Logic program. It is called delayed consequences, say, “I don’t know what I’m going to do, and I’ll have to get back to you. Try not to worry about it.” Now Mom can wait until she’s not angry to give any consequences. We both get to cool off and discuss the matter when we’re not emotional. When you say,

“Try not to worry about it”, what do you think your child will be thinking about?


About the Author

Derek Randel speaks to corporations, schools and parent groups on how to put the fun back into parenting. Visit his web site for more details--Parent Smart from the Heart - Randel Consulting

Other Articles By Derek Randel

A Parent's Job is like a Lighthouse


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