Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Let children express anger

By Dr James Dobson

FocusOnTheFamily_LogoSmall The chances are, at least once or twice during your role as a parent, you are going to do or say something that will make your child angry with you. Should he or she be allowed to express that emotion?

If a child grows up unable to verbally express his negative emotions toward his or her parent, often he or she will show it in other ways through what psychologists call “passive aggression”. Maybe your child will pout, get bad grades, or even eat too much. Usually children are not aware that these choices are being fuelled by anger. They are simply unconscious ways of expressing accumulated hostility toward parents. So it is important to allow children to ventilate the irritations they have stored inside.

On the other hand, I firmly believe that children should be taught to be respectful to their parents. I think it is wise to tell our children that they can say anything to us, including negative things, as long as it is said in a respectful manner. For example, “You embarrassed me in front of my friends.” By following this general guideline, we are teaching children how to deal with anger, which might come in handy with a future spouse.

From TODAY, Voices – Wednesday, 29-April-2009

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