Anger and Other Emotions
anonymous Asks ...
My dad passed on his bad temper to me. He was a very harsh man and when he got angry it was quite scary for my brother and me. He didn't hit us often but he would spank us with his belt when he was really mad. I swore I would never be a parent like him but now that my son is 6 and my daughter is 4 I can see that I often can't control my anger and I am too hard on my children and that they are scared of me like I was of my dad. This is not what I want. I feel like I cannot control myself when I get very angry with them. How can I learn to stop getting so angry so I can be a better dad to my children?
Linda Richardson Says ...
First, let me say that your insight into the situation with your children and your determination to have a good relationship with them is commendable. I'm glad you want to improve things for yourself and your children.
My advice... Absolutely seek help with this. Anger is a complex emotion that very often involves many layers of other emotions. Gaining insight into your anger and other emotions, your thoughts and actions, and the way your cope can be very helpful in finding internal peace and calm.
Some areas of help for you might include: counseling, talking to clergy, parenting classes and/or parenting support groups. Each of these can provide you with alternative ways to cope with stressful situations, understand alternative approaches to parenting that help you get better results, and allow you to voice your concerns or frustrations.
Use your empathy for your childrens' situation to keep you motivated toward change.