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  • Writer's pictureChris

Handling Anger

Has your child ever done something that sends you through the roof in anger? I'm sure it's happened and probably more than once. Truth is, I may not be the best person to writing this particular post. You see, I came into parenting with high expectations even though I pride myself on never having expectations. If you are into personality tests, I'm an "achiever" meaning I like to see movement and improvement. I really like control.

The problem is, children from tough places most times take longer than I would like to control their behaviors, do the things I want them to, etc. This brings about anger. Studies show that anger is something that all dads deal with. It's kind of in male DNA. Now, that's not to say that you aren't an even-keeled guy who never blows up, this is just a general rule of thumb.

The question do you deal with that anger?

Every person, every guy is different. The list below is by no means exhaustive, but one of these items may strike your fancy and work for you. Give one a shot if you are at a loss.

  1. First and foremost, remember where the child has come from. This is super easy to type and even say, but harder to grasp in the moment. Realize that it may not be their fault that they are acting the way they are. Could it be their ADHD? Could it be RAD? Could they be triggered by something you have no idea about. Understand that a child may not be able to control themselves in the current circumstance you find yourself in.

  2. Walk Away. Sometimes the best thing to do in the heat of the moment is walk away. Granted, make sure whatever is happening is safe. You know, you don't want to walk away angry at a kid who just caught a paper towel on fire (yes, this example is personal). But if you are able, walk away from the situation and go somewhere for 5 minutes. Tell your child you will talk with them soon.

  3. Breathe Together. Not going to lie, and don't hate me, but when I went to a support group for foster and adoptive parents one time, they worked on breathing with us. I thought to myself, "this is for yoga hippies" to find their "inner peace". Not me. Welp! I was wrong. Breathing can help ease tension and anger. Sometimes when my twins do something they shouldn't or act out, I tell them to stop and take some deep breaths and I will do it with them. It helps calm them down, but also helps calm me down as well. NOTE: I don't have any issues with yogis.

  4. Exercise. Another confession. When I'm stressed, I like to eat. However, science has proven regular exercise improves your mental and physical state and can help de-stress you in stressful times. Exercising releases your "feel good" endorphins and essentially distracts you from daily worries or stresses. So get out for a walk, run, bike, whatever. Just get active.

  5. Practice Gratitude. Sounds dumb to some, but practicing gratitude helps you gain perspective in life. Start writing things down that you are thankful for. Keep a small notebook around and write what makes you grateful. I did this for a year and it helped my mind be more thankful so that when the stressful times came, they were a little easier to handle. You can be thankful for the littlest things (typically the things we miss) and it broadens your perspective on life.

Again, the above is not an exhaustive list by any stretch. Some of these things may sound ridiculously weird, but give it a try. As a warning, do not use harmful devices to try and stop anger. Things like alcohol, smoking, porn, whatever. Nothing negative is going to help your negative mood.

Keep up the good fight gentlemen. You are appreciated whether it's stated or not!

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