Anger and Parenting

We learn to be parents from watching our own parents. If your own parents were not the best parental role models (Did you have a good experience growing up? Do you want to be like your own mother or father?), then you may have inadvertently learned some poor parenting skills. Examining what worked and didn’t work in your own relationships with your parents can illuminate and be the basis for changing your own parenting behaviors.

We learn how to handle anger (our own, and other people’s toward us) by watching our parents. My father discounted my own expression of emotion. My earliest memory of that is having him laugh at me when I was throwing a tantrum at age 3. (Aw, isn’t she cute!) I did a similar thing to my own babies, singing songs at them when they were crying or upset, rather than responding appropriately to their emotions. Similarly, if you hide from your anger or other emotions, your children won’t learn to show their own emotions. This can result in a lack of honesty, intimacy and vulnerability in all your relationships, including those between parents and children. By addressing your own display of anger (or lack thereof) and its triggers, you can respond appropriately instead of flying off the handle, or retreating into your bedroom. You can develop honesty, trust and intimacy, and still get angry when it is appropriate.

Learning to respond to anger instead of reacting can change our relationships with ourselves and everyone around us, including our children. First we must assess how and when we react and why. If we are blind to our reactions, then we can do nothing about them. Once we see them, then we can heal them.

The Process is the path I used to understand and heal my emotions and reactions. Through the work, you can see who you are, and where you have come from. The Process can help you make the changes you desire, and help you become a better parent. It did for me.