Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind

More on Anger Management

Anger continued to be a theme at our house last night. At first, it seemed unrelated to Zidane‘s World Cup lunge, but upon reflection, there had to be a connection.

The Chattering boys argued near bedtime and I delivered yet another sermonette on how they shouldn’t bicker and fight as much as they do. Then as I was tucking the younger Chat into bed, he started to cry and said that his feelings get hurt when other family members say he has an “anger management” problem.

“Well, you’re the youngest,” I offered. “That’s really hard. People are either underestimating what you can do, or pressuring you to be older. All that is frustrating.”


He sniffed and wiped tears away from his cheeks in a way I found unbearably touching.

“I’m so proud of you honey. You are growing up to be a fine person, an incredible person. I can’t believe it sometimes.”

“I-I do get angry at home…” he said.

“Anger is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s not right to hit your brother, but anger is useful, it’s an energy that you have to harnass. Angry people change the world.”

This is a hard concept for a child to follow. I buried all anger for years. I still swallow it down and struggle with the channeling of it. I hope I can help both my children with this issue. It’s extremely painful, isn’t it? Thich Nhat Hanh and Robert A. F. Thurman have written excellent books on the subject. And here’s a web page for kids that explains anger’s usefulness.

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posted July 11, 2006 at 1:16 am

As I once read of a quote by HHDL, it’s not anger that is the sin, it is the result that determines whether it to be a sin or not.>

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posted July 11, 2006 at 1:23 am

I just saw someone at work today with this book on her desk, by Thich Nhat Hanh. Now I know it’s not some secret code… 😎 I have to ask her about it and who it’s for. Her 18 year old son is a Marine. I wonder if it’s for him. I have a nephew with a real anger management problem. whose Mom won’t admit it. Maybe I need to give this book to some other relatives, too.>

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posted July 11, 2006 at 3:53 pm

In psychology grad school, one of my profs said we’re not responsible for the thoughts that come into our heads, only the reception we give them. It’s the whole rational-emotive therapy, cognitive/behavioral school, I guess. It’s not what happens to us that determines how we feel/act, it’s how we choose to interpret it. “My brother is a jerk, it’s unfair the way he treats me,” will engender a different reaction from “Brother’s being diffficult again; it’d be nice if he treated me fairly all the time, but who says he has to?” If you expect to be treated fairly all the time, you are indeed in for a world of disappointment.>

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posted July 11, 2006 at 7:58 pm

Talk about serendipity. I “mis-googled” Robert Thurman as Howard Thurman, and got this website link which should be of interest: Thanks, chattering mind. I will check out Robert Thurman’s works as well.>

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posted July 16, 2006 at 4:44 pm

Alicia, thank you for the link to Howard Thurman :-)>

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