Friday, March 6, 2009

How Do You Handle Anger?

H knocked a hole in the wall. He slammed the bathroom door open, and the doorstop didn't do its duty. So, the doorknob went through the wall. I am feeling a bit lost. I don't know what to do with that kind of behavior. Should I spank him? Not in the heat of the moment, I am too angry myself. Do I take away privileges like a show he likes to watch? Taking away toys is pointless, unless I take a lot of them or maybe even all of them. I do have a temper, but I promise I don't slam doors. Later in the day, when I was bemoaning the fact that I don't do enough to help him learn, I said, "H, I haven't helped you learn anything today." He replied, "Well, I did learn never to knock a hole in the wall ever again." I had to turn my head to keep him from seeing my grin, but really, it's not funny that he gets that angry. He is not what I'd call a "bad kid," but he does have a temper and always wants the last word. This doesn't bode well for the adolescent years. Is it just his age (4)? Is it a phase? Does he need military school?

Sometimes I feel so alone and helpless in parenting. I am the one who is with him all day, and I just worry that I am not doing everything right. So, how do you handle your child's anger.


mel said...

Oh K, I'm so sorry. That must have been a helpless feeling. Chris and I both have a bit of a temper and I think we can already see a little in Arwen. It's sort of frightening. I can remember a couple times growing up when I got so upset and threw things. Ugh. From this side of the fence I can't imagine how my momma must have felt and it worries me that I might just find out.

Good luck.

Anna See said...

I have no good advice. I am the door slammer in this family, I am sorry to say. My kids are more hysterical cry-ers.

I'm struggling w/M tonight b/c I asked her what tv shows they watched at a playdate and she won't tell me. I am guessing she watched something she wasn't supposed to, but I'm more troubled that she won't tell me. I kept my cool, but she went to bed sad. How can we get them to tell us something if they don't want to? She has her teenage years to hold back info; I didn't think it would start NOW.

Christy said...

I have no idea what you should do...maybe read some books on parenting a four year old? I wouldn't even know what books to recommend.I haven't picked up a parenting book in months myself. I hope it gets better. (My husband and I rarely get angry, but we're both door slammers when we do...)

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Honestly - I often think that all you can do is follow your intuition. The absolute is for you to be calm at all times. But I guess depending on your four year old's maturity level (meaning I know that my ALMOST four year old is more like a just turned three year old), you have to let them know that slamming doors isn't allowed.

One of my wonderful real life friends gave me some great advice when I was pregnant for the first time. She said you should always be very consistent with discipline. Once this became useful advice with my first, I had newborn twins and there was NOTHING consistent in my house anymore. But I still think it's good advice.

So if you can figure out what gets through to your child (time outs, taking something away, discussion about feelings, combination of several tactics) and then be very consistent - it should create some structure and boundaries.

Good luck!

K said...

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and comments. He really can be a sweet child. His teachers always mention how caring he is for others. I guess he just has his moments.

Mel- Really? You threw things? You don't seem like that. Well, maybe where certain people are concerned I could see it but not with your mom.

Anna See- I know what you mean. It is very disturbing when you feel like your young child is keeping something from you.

Christy- Good advice. I actually looked back where I had taken some notes from a book I read several months back.

Kate- I do try to be consistent, but it just seems that sometimes I can't get through to him. Plus, he can be such a sassy little smart ass sometimes.

Thanks again folks!

Heather of the EO said...

Sometimes I totally freak out and sometimes I can be calm. It depends on my sleep :) I do forget they aren't adults sometimes. They are figuring so much out! Some days I REALLY lose it and other days I have to bite my lip and go in the bathroom, lock the door and just breathe until the rage subsides. yes, I said RAGE. This is hard work. Thank you for being so honest about it!