Are You an Angry Parent–Sometimes? How Anger Gives Birth to Great Ideas

mother yelling at childrenRemember that day you yelled so loud, so long, you thought you’d never stop?

Then you apologized even longer than all the screaming took until you felt you had lost it. You were drained. Well, you’re not alone. Really? It’s true if we’re honest. Mothers sometimes lose it. (We all know that.)

But what felt like a long time was only a few minutes; it’s the toll it took on you.

Could something good ever come out of all that? Well—Yes! Here’s how it goes.

What Causes Anger in Mothers?

There are many reasons to feel angry but mothers feel terrible guilt when they take it out on children. Anger is just an emotion, a natural feeling that everyone experiences.

Sometimes mothers feel helpless when children don’t listen to them for no apparent reason. Mothers feel overwhelmed by the huge responsibility of the dependency children have on them. Loving children so deeply makes mothers want to always be devoted and on the right course. But being perfect isn’t in the scheme of things and it wouldn’t actually be helpful. Kids need to know their parents are human.

But things that have nothing to do with children may be upsetting you, confusing you, and leading you to overreact to a child not brushing his teeth, or finishing his homework or putting his clothes in the hamper.

How Can Angry Outbursts Give Birth to Great Ideas?

When you get angry, something is triggered inside that you’re not in control of. If you step back after the situation subsides, you can and should take time to self-reflect.

Anger reminds us what it feels like to be out of control, uncertain, unpredictable. We can learn from that and even help our children.
These are feelings children have quite often because they are young and inexperienced.

After our anger subsides and we self-reflect, we are reminded what our children go through sometimes. They don’t feel exactly as we feel. No one feels exactly the same, but having an outburst teaches us not to judge our children when they have outbursts or even temper tantrums.

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Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst and author who does psychotherapy with infants and parents, children, adolescents, and adults. Dr. Hollman's new book: Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child's Behavior is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Familius.com. She writes about infant, child and adolescent development, mental health, Parental Intelligence, and a broad range of parenting topics.

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