7.20.2009

Anger Management

I never knew the dimensions of my anger before having children. I didn't know how QUICKLY and THOROUGHLY angry I could become in far less time than it takes me to tell you about it. Much of my anger comes from my own frustration of not knowing what the H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS I am doing. I was used to being the Master of my time and could arrange my life to avoid that which annoyed me. NOW, however, that which annoys me is with me constantly... Not just the children, but my own changeable mood swings... Some days, we're like marbles in a small bag, rubbing each other the wrong way, taking everything personally, all of us falling apart emotionally. Other days, we're like marbles in a small bag, with lots of hugs and kisses and family games and general good feelings.

I love those days. I think we're seeing more of those days as we join our hearts and minds into a cohesive and working family. I have not raised my voice in several days, partly due to book I'm reading, and partly because it just wasn't working for us. My son yells at me. I'm told not to take it personally by several books. I have remained calm while Habtamu's emotions come out of frustration and turn to anger and yelling. I'm not saying he SHOULD yell at me, but while he's in the yelling state, my yelling at him telling him not to yell... well, surely you can see why that wouldn't work. There has been some improvement since I started this... he is quicker to get over his anger and quicker to genuinely apologize. When we talk later after he is calm, our talks are at least productive and I can tell him how his yelling makes me feel and how anger should not be his first response to every. little. thing.

So. Things are plugging along here at Chez Gardner. We're planning to homeschool next year. We have our reasons, and all of them have to do with what we feel is best for them and us. I know homeschool vs. public school can be a powder keg subject, but I don't think it needs to be. I think we can all agree that if the child in question continues to learn and desires to learn throughout life, then hurrah! I won't fully address the "socialization" that people say we are denying them, but when I see my children interacting with people of all ages, colors, creeds, I'm not worried that they are missing anything. Anyhoo, if anyone has something pressing to say about homeschool, etc, leave a kind comment... one that doesn't indicate that I have not been an adequate (or "exceeds expections") teacher for them this past year. :)

That's all I've got for now... I'll try to get birthday pics up soon. I have to say, as lousy as this weather has been for July, it has been phenominally overcast for pictures. Oh! How wonderful not to have direct sunlight. In truth, I prefer this temperature to the normal "I'm meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelting!" weather in which I decide daily if shorts are really an option for me anymore. My thighs say "NON!" (They are French, you see.)

9 comments:

Lisa said...

Hey, I feel the same about public schooling... :)

jur said...

My comment isn't about schooling at all except that you do what works.
My comment is that yes, yelling at his age is normal, and I think the "not yelling back" will definitely help keep from feeding his yelling.
Good mom.
I am sure there are lots of ways that jumping right in has left you shivering in the deep end, but i think you're doing a great job with a tough situation.
I have lots of marbles rubbing each other wrong days, too, and am trying to get MY anger under control on those days too.
Hugs.

ethiHOPEia said...

Well said! I feel the same way so often! I think the Lord really had these children come into my life to refine me...and sometimes it isn't fun.
Homeschooling will be fun! I am glad you will be trying it out.

I have been dying to see photos of your daughter's hair when it got straightened a while ago... :)

Blessings,
Hilary

Team Dragovich said...

Thanks for sharing your honest comments about anger management-- AMEN!! :) My new little ones (almost 6 and 2 1/2) just came home-- week 2-- and I am already over their random screaming... not so random to them... but it seems so to me :) All I know is that ever since the kids came home, I understand now more than ever the complete and unselfish always acting love of the Father... and how very, very selfish I am.

BTW-- we are a homeschooling family; getting ready to start our 5th full year-- yikes!!! Just kidding... we love it.

Take care,
Shari Dragovich (from AWAA ET group)

Anonymous said...

Very well put. I have lived what you wrote - and there were a LOT of marbles in my bag. I wish I could have been so eloquent. As for homeschooling...
there is no perfect way to school - each system has pros and cons. Homeschooling is great for special circumstances, and you certainly have some. When you see that the cons start to outweigh the pros, then it will be time to reconsider. Hang in there dear!
Let the friction polish you - you always were a gem!
~G

McEvil One said...

I see you aren't so tired anymore. :)

ABG said...

Yep. Do what works. And I bet you've achieved an "outstanding" in some of it and a "troll" in others. That's the way I feel at the end of every school year in my classroom, anyhow and anyone who says differently is lying.

As for books...um...you probably don't need more of these, but seriously, this book is TRANSFORMATIVE for us and most of the adoptive parents in our agency. It's called _Coming to Grips with Attachment_. It's practical, practical, practical.

Love that you acknowledge the anger here. That helps me. I feel like such a s&%$head when I'm furious at my kids, but it just erupts sometimes and most of parenting has been me learning how UNREFINED my character is!

Yarnsmith said...

So glad I'm not the only one getting angry out there. It helps me to know that it's a human dilemma and not just ME. Ha Ha. Drat that humanity. Double drat.

Amen, ABG. The way I figure it is that if my kids see that I lose it and apologize to them, then that gives them permission to be human too, and seek forgiveness. Sometimes this forgiveness happens every day... sometimes me forgiving, sometimes them. It brings us closer ultimately and doesn't break the relationship.

It's as if God were showing us a small taste of His forgiveness for us.

Sarah said...

Thanks for your honesty about anger. Me too. And turning ugly in the heat. Me too. :-)