Anger management: characteristics

There are ten characteristics that create how one views the world and handles adversity.  If we can see that, it will help us to understand how a child or even ourself is thinking, which in turn helps us to find ways of dealing with our anger.  Over the next few weeks I will talk about all ten of them and let’s see if we can identify ways of managing this in our own house.

The first way we will discuss is the child that seems to create their own situations that lead to angry outbursts.  Many times they are unaware that the actions they are taking will provoke angry reactions.  For instance they may take a toy away from another child and not give it back, or they may pick on someone to the point of annoyance and get a reaction.  On the other had they may go about it more passively.  Let’s say that a child has been called out on his behavior and then decides in his mind that he can do no right and so decides to go silent and not interact.  This could cause a bad reaction and create and battle with they think they are avoiding trouble.

Anger can many times be building up over a long period of time, weeks or months, never forgetting and then using this to justify their actions.  So how can we overcome these self-fulfilling prophesies? 

 1.  Do not put a label on your child of any kind.  Take every instance and situation as a stand alone situation. I know how difficult this is, because we will find it hard not to connect all the other things that they have done together, which really only raises our own frustration.  Labeling a child though puts us in situation where we will find ourselves ‘looking for the anger’  and we know that when we are looking for something that we will find it.

 2. Expect the best of each child in each circumstance.  What we expect is what we will get, if our expectation is made in the proper manner.  If we expect our child to speak kindly to us and we model that for them, they will get it eventually and meet our expectation.  If we go into every interaction expecting an argument we will get that too.

 3.  Be fair.  It is amazing as hard as we might try not to do this, every parent has their favorite child. If you want to believe it or not it shows and though you may not see it or believe it, all of us must work on treating every one of our children or students the same.  In fact it is important for us to be fair for another reason. All of our children and students are watching how we deal with the child that is giving us the most trouble at the time and determining in their own mind how they will be dealt with at the time that they do something that is not in the parents favor.  This one fact will have an affect on them too. 

 4.  Hold no grudges.  If we are not willing to forget the past it will be difficult to break the cycle and does not allow them to have the room to change.  When we hold on to the past it will be harder for us to let them know that we believe in them and their ability to do better at managing their actions.

 5.  Let them know they can change.  If we focus on positive we will get better results.   If we use negative comments, insults, or demeaning phrases like, “I don’t know why I bother.”, it reinforces bad behavior.  When we are positive it lets them know that we believe in them and sets a positive direction for your relationship. 

Following these steps and setting an example for our children who create their own messes will let them see how you keep working on things that you may be struggling with and that you understand them.  Empathize with your child and see the positive results.

Creating peace at Thanksgiving gatherings

This time of the year we have many gatherings to go to and many of them involve family members and those close to us in other areas of our life.  Now I don’t know about you, but my guess is that you are much like me in that many of the occasions we go to, we do so with certain expectations.

We know ahead of time who is going to annoy us, who is going to brag, be outrageous or argue with us.  We think in our minds that we are going to do everything we can to stay away from certain subjects and sometimes people to try to keep the peace.  In fact the reason I am writing this is because from a ‘self-defense’ point of view, the things we do that harm us the most, come from our thoughts and mouth.

So what can we do to have peaceful gatherings?  For us to have the peace we are looking for we need to go to a place that may not seem to make sense at first.  If we are to change the relationships that we have, we must choose to be at peace with everyone in our life – and this time of the year especially with our relatives.

How can this possibly be true?  Because if the focus of our inner dialogue about our family members is on what they are doing wrong or how annoying they are, then that is exactly how your relationship is going to play out.  If what we notice about them is how annoying they are, then we are more likely to blame them for our annoyance.  But in reality the annoyance we are feeling is actually coming from our own thoughts.

In our mind we need to redirect our thinking to “My intention is to be authentic and peaceful with this person (relative)”, and that is the experience we will have.  I know this is true, I have seen it with myself and I am sure you have too.

Have you ever had a good relationship with someone and everything is going along very well and then they do something that hurts you really in a bad way?  What happens?  I have noticed that many times the very things that had been cute and appealing to me now begin to annoy me and they are very easily criticized.  We have all done this at some time. 

Our relationships are what we think they are.  I am going to talk about this more in the future, but for now just  know that,  No one is capable of making you upset without your consent.  When we decide to connect to peace, and bring peace to our relatives and relationships, we immediately gain the power to change the energy of the gathering that we attend in this season of thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!