We’ve all been raised to believe anger is a bad emotion. We don’t like when someone is angry; and especially when it is coming from our adolescent son.
Anger-It’s Real Life
I was raised by a very angry father (a rager). The issue for me in my life wasn’t that he was angry, it was how he handled the anger. Odd as this may sound, anger is not a bad emotion, it is one of “The Big 4” (mad, sad, glad and afraid). It is what you do with the anger that makes all the difference.
In my father’s case, he abused his family by hitting and yelling. Anger destroyed him and his family. Yet I am telling you that if you teach your son how to handle his anger you will be giving him a most important lesson. Anger is an expression of feeling and we’re entitled to our feelings. Obviously hitting, yelling and screaming or punching holes in the wall are not appropriate. Turning anger inward is not a healthy alternative either.
I tell parents to buy their son a punching bag. This offers a healthy, tactile method to release and vent his feelings of anger.
Does This Sound Familiar
What happens if he’s not allowed to express his anger. Well, the most common result is depression; depression is anger turned inside instead of out. I have dealt with many adolescent boys who come to my program, The Quest Project® full of anger and rage. Maybe he’s being bullied at school, his parents are divorcing or he just isn’t happy with himself. The reasons are varied and for the most part all ARE reasons to feel angry.
Too many times parents are getting a call from school. “Your son has done something wrong; he seems to be angry.” You and your son are off to the doctor for assistance and you leave with a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD and a prescription. I ask you to consider this first.
Have A Conversation
Talk to your son. Tell him of times you’ve been angry and how that worked out for you. Let him know that you understand he’s angry and he’s entitled to his feelings. Work out a healthy safe way that you are comfortable with where he can be free to express his anger. Again, I suggest a punching bag!
Violence is never okay. He needs to know the consequences of his actions. He needs to have safe boundaries/limits established. If you feel yourself preparing to hit back then it’s possibly too late. The situation has crossed over to needing professional help.
Do you have an angry son? Tell me the situation, maybe I can help.