Having Kids Can Teach You A LOT About Anger Management

When I was about 12 years old, I remember my father getting so angry with us that he got a migraine.

I come from a line of ill-tempered people, on both sides of the family. Although mom is far more likely to express her anger, dad is no shrinking violet in getting angry.

One of the burdens of my life, to go along with my depression, is an absolutely foul temper. Like dad, I tend to internalize my anger, rather than lash out. Like dad, I have gotten so angry I got a migraine.

Learning healthy ways to deal with my anger has been a lifelong process. Knowing that internalizing it has noticeable bad effects on my health, I learned to express my anger in what I thought were healthy ways. This led to expressing righteous anger at the causes of it.

More bluntly, when people were assholes to me, I fed it right back.

I thought this was good, until I watched my oldest doing the same thing, and saw how ugly it was. How it was harming him.

I’ve told my children that my only duty in life is to raise healthy, functioning adults to release into society. I was functional in my anger management, but I wasn’t pleasant to be around in it.

This led to serious internal reflection, and a lot of work to learn to be better in my expressions of anger.

I don’t give a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut for the opinions of others, so I’m not controlling my temper for society, but rather for my children. They seem to care what other people think, and I want to give them the tools to maintain healthy relationships.

One of those tools is understanding and controlling the family temper.