Insight for today: well I just posted a blog about kid’s anger…. And it reminded me of this morning. First when me and Samuel exploded like bombs and 2nd when we were at the park. At the park i was talking to someone and Samuel hit me to get my attention. I calmly corrected him. Later, he interrupted me again and said “excuse me”…
I was sooo proud…..
Here is a copy of the blog I just read: I did not write it. Website link is posted below the excerpt:
“Because children aren’t born knowing how to deal with anger. And once they do start to learn, they need practice. In a safe environment. And they need parents who model it beautifully day in and day out.
Which leads me to ask: How perfectly do you handle things when a car cuts you off? Or a friend doesn’t invite you to a party that everyone else is invited to? Or you lost a lot of money in the market? Or you didn’t get the job you want? Or your client is angry at you for making a mistake? Or your husband isn’t helping? Or your wife doesn’t get it, still! Or a co-worker stole your idea? Or someone didn’t show up for work and you had to do everything for them?
Do you always set aside time with that person to tell them how you feel in a calm way? Do you always look to see your part in it?
Are you quick to blame? Do you yell at somone? Or get in a fight? Or pick a fight about something else? Or ignore the person you’re mad at? Or not return their emails? Or pout? Or withdraw? Or gossip about them? Have you ever said something like, “You’re an asshole?” or “He’s such an asshole.” or “She’s such a bitch.” Or “Fuck-off!” either under your breath or to someone’s face?”……
……..”What kind of things am I talking about? Do any of these things kids do all the time sound familiar?
They spit. They may even spit at you!
They growl. They may even growl at you!
They call their friends stupid. Or they call you stupid.
They say that they don’t want to be friends with their best friend anymore.
They say they’re not going to invite their friend to their birthday.
They say “You’re yucky! Go away!”
They cover their ears and say, “I’m not listening to you.”
They may swipe at you.
They may hit.
They may fall to the floor and kick and scream.
What are the usual ways parents respond to these expressions of anger?
Some threaten their children, as in:
“If you continue with this behavior, you will not get _______” fill in the blank with a treat, or a bedtime story or tv time or the privilege of going to a party or the beach or wherever.
“Stop that right now!”
Some ISOLATE, as in sending them to their room or giving them a time out where they are supposed to really think about what they’ve done wrong.
Some HIT their kids.
Some ABANDON as in, I’m not going to be around you when you behave like this.
And believe it or not, some still wash their kids mouths out with soap!
These are all TRAGIC responses to an angry child.
Why? Because they don’t illuminate, they don’t support, they don’t educate.
Not one of these responses will help a child learn a better way to express their feelings or even understand why they are so upset in the first place. It may (likely) scare them so much that they’ll no longer express their feelings to you, but it will not teach them how to manage and deal with uncomfortable, hard feelings. You may be able control their behavior by instilling fear but you cannot control their feelings. They will still flood your children’s brains and bodies. And those feelings will ultimately make their way out of their body somehow.
Thinking about this makes me wonder if kids who bully do so because threatening weaker kids, lets them do to others what has been done to them in some way.
The message that threatening, yelling, isolating, hitting and abandoning gives is this: You are only loveable when you are behaving properly. If you can’t control yourself, I will treat you poorly, often equally as poorly as you are treating me or worse. You dare to spit at me? I’ll humiliate you in front of everyone in the parking lot and drag your rude ass to the car. Et cet era.
Yes, you may be meting out your disapproval in kinder and gentler ways, perhaps you are only taking away a beloved toy, but you aren’t helping. And if you start with a toy with a four year old, you’ll have to continually escalate the punishment for it to have an impact. (Picture your teenager grounded every weekend.) Also, you’re ONLY telling them what they are doing wrong but not how to do it right.”
The rest of the post talks about a situation and how this mom calmly handled it….