Practicing Anger Management

Last month I began writing about Eli’s anger problems in an effort to invite you into my world, but also in hopes to make sure no one is going through this alone.  Here’s where we’re at currently.

After a trip to the therapist, we have some new “tools” to use at home.

1. Calming down is the goal.
When Eli is angry, the goal must be calming down.  It is not giving him a consequence for his anger (which is hard for me), it is not reasoning with him (which is hard for me), it is not threatening him with another consequence if he does not calm down (which is hard for me).  First and foremost is getting him calm.  THEN we can have a rational discussion and give reasonable consequences.

2. He’s as confused as we are.
When he has calmed down and says, “I don’t know why I get so angry,” he really means it.   I need to remember that and offer grace upon grace when this is going on.

3. Momma needs a break.
Most of his anger is directed at me, since I am usually the one telling him it’s time to do homework.  I know, I’m the worst.  So our new plan, per the therapist, is for him to do his homework after supper when Chad is also home.  Ahhh, my parenting partner.

Obviously #1 is the hardest for me.  When he’s being disrespectful and I just stay calm and don’t issue a consequence I feel like he’s getting away with it.  So this is when I walk away and repeat to myself over and over that he needs to calm down.  And breathe.  And pray.  And remind myself that my sweet boy is in there and will return shortly when the Hulk has gone.

This is undoubtedly the hardest thing I’ve worked through as a parent so far.  So I’m sure I’ll be writing more about what works…and what doesn’t.