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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Dad's Guide to Anger Management

Great story in Best Life Magazine. Ted Anthony asks, "Am I a scary dad?"

Anthony says after giving his son a tongue-lashing, the 4-year-old said, "Dad you're really big and scary when you yell." For days after his son's comment, Anthony says he did't feel big and scary but rather small and useless. Yet, he admits, a part of him relishes the ability to intimidate. Anthony gives these tips for helping a guy control his inner Hulk while making sure Bruce Banner never takes a long vacation. (I can't wait to pass them on to my husband!)

  • Use anger as a tool, not an outlet. Personal anger usually has nothing to do with your kid and everything to do with your bad day -- deal with it among adults.
  • Be consistent and predictable. When parents are consistent about what makes them mad, it's easier for kids to adapt.
  • Apologize to your kid. When you lose your cool unfairly, let your child know you were wrong.
  • Find temperament role models for yourself, then benchmark your anger (Fred Flintstone?)
  • Be a color commentator for televised anger. When you see it on TV point it out.

I really enjoyed Anthony's truthful insight: "Managing our own male anger is complicated. Managing it through the next generation is downright terrifying."

Here are some other ideas from the article to tame your wild one without raising your voice: Leave the room, learn your trigger, plan ahead, try humor, offer limited choices.

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