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Expressing Anger
         Barbara A. Killmeyer

To live an emotionally balanced life a person needs to understand that he must use each of the emotions he feels, but to use them appropriately. Anger is one of these emotions. Anger is healthy. It is not negative, only the method we employ as an outlet for our anger may be negative.

To know how your child expresses his anger will help you to understand his moods and react accordingly to them. One person may seethe inwardly but show a calm exterior to the world, while another will react to anger by throwing or otherwise breaking objects, and still another by shouts and accusations.

Remember that anger is natural. Observe a baby and see how furious he can become. But once he has expressed that fury, the emotion is past and forgotten. We can learn much by that observation. Unfortunately many people have learned that anger is an unacceptable behavior and so they hold it inside, building up resentment bit by bit, until it begins to affect many areas of their lives and is a deterrent both physically and mentally. Anger needs to be acknowledged and channeled into appropriate outlets, such as hitting pillows, going where no one can hear you and screaming, walking until the steam has escaped, or any other energy consuming activity where you can safely vent.

Before examining the anger of your child, look into your own reactions. How do you manage anger? Is a particular method a family pattern? Do you use the same outlet as your father did? Your mother? Are you seeing that same pattern develop in your child? What steps can you take to help your child develop a healthy attitude toward anger?

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