Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Anger Management

The other day John got mad at me and Maia. We've been talking a lot about being appropriately angry -- you can be angry, and speak strongly, but you cannot yell or be disrespectful. This is actually harder than it sounds, because I tend to get sarcastic when I'm mad, and that's not terribly respectful, and John has picked up some of my angry sarcasm. So we're both working on that.

In any case, the other day he was so mad he went down to his room to (I thought) cool off. This was fine. I was in the bathroom when I heard him come back up and then Maia lost it, saying, "John, what are you doing? What? What are you doing? JOHN!" And then tears.

I came out and tried to figure out what was going on. Apparently John had gone down to his room, drawn a picture of me and Maia, then came upstairs and tore it up and threw it in the kitchen trash.

"I read about it somewhere as something to do when you're angry!" he said loudly, stricken, when I expressed a little bit of shock. "I was trying to deal with being angry in an OK way!"

I took a breath and tried not to feel like he was trying to work some voodoo on me, or something. "You know, you're right," I said. "It's better than yelling at someone. But, next time," and I grasped his arm to make the point, "maybe you could do it not in front of the person you're tearing up and throwing away!"


  1. Anonymous12:10 AM

    You are sufficiently safeguarded against the attacks of anxiety as long as xanax valium is there to protect you. Both these medicines are capable of providing you adequate relief from the shackles of anxiety, however, to obtain maximum anti-anxiety benefits these medicines should be administered in accordance with the instructions of the doctor only as

  2. I'm reading sunsec's comment there, trying to determine if it's spam or if this is some friend of yours trying to be inside-jokey.

    I'm going with spam, since I think Xanax and Valium are different drugs.

  3. Sort of hilariously inappropriate spam, though.

    This is the hardest part of parenting, I think. Needing to react instantly and well to the . . . unexpected. That which is impossible to prepare for.

  4. i was not!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. My kid just commented on my blog.

  6. Another cool and similar way to deal with the anger is to have kids do a little 'back-looking'. You've had the kids do this before when you ask them what they were thinking and feeling just before X happened. In 'back-looking', you can have the kids think about what happened that led to the anger and draw a picture of that event/interaction/statement (E/I/S). Then have them re-draw the E/I/S as they would have liked it to happen. So, John could have drawn what he wished you and Maia would have done, in this case, and which would have led to a different outcome. The advantage is that you open up an avenue of discussion, either at the moment or later, in which you learn how to change reactions so they don't end up sliding down the long slope of anger. From a lifetime of experience, 2 generations of kids, and work.........Nicole's dad