|Re: Anger and Arguments||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: administration (adminmoonland.com)|
|Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 00:39:47 -0600 (MDT)|
>> It is possible to express anger effectively (for the angry person >> and the person at whom they are angry) by tensing the jaw and saying >> in a VERY low voice, "I'm really, really angry (or mad or furious) at you >> for >>The low, intense voice is often even more effective than yelling in my >> experience. >I'm sure this directed tension is as, or even more, "effective". But would >everyone prefer it? To me this kind of reaction is frightening. I agree with Sharon, it could very frightening indeed, especially to a sensitive child. I am surprised that during this exceptionally fertile debate no one actually talked about the impact of anger as a feeling rather than an *expression* of that feeling. Children -- as well as some adults -- are quite capable of directly perceiving their parents' emotions. Yelling or whispering in a voice full of hatred is not as important as what the intended message and its *effect* are. Anger is a violent emotion and it is the implied violence that is frightening, as well as the underlying message that you have done something so terribly wrong that mommy is now all contorted with rage. Most of the time we get angry because we feel out of control. Which means that *feeling* angry can be seen as an inability to effectively deal with the world. We all manipulate our kids into obedience using different methods that our own culture makes available to us. It is an everyday task of drop-by-drop ego destruction, so that by the time they are ready to face the world they are all obedient little solders / consumers / or whatever! And, to be honest, some of us, some of the time use our kids? pure feelings toward us to satisfy our own need for love. The power to scare someone into behaving your way, the expression of worry, terror, and love in your child?s eyes when you "clench" that jaw ? admit it, it feels good. I can?t see how being exposed people?s anger (expressed or otherwise) can be healthy for children. Especially, if they observe others to get frightened. If a child does something we don?t want him/her to do, why not just tell them it?s wrong to do it WITHOUT any anger, ie. without giving them a message that they are not loved or there is something wrong with them. Just say, please, don?t make that mess or you?ll have to clean it up. Period. But I still love you and the world is not going to explode if you do make a mess. You can say it, or you can even yell it but *without* anger, without getting them scared. As far as the community is concerned, if someone is displaying their culturally specific methods of emotional violence in front of my kids (or my neighbour?s kids)? I?ll just tell them this guy is an asshole but they are safe. The healthiest way to deal with any violence is to walk away. Not because we don't care, but because no one deserves to be hurt. If a grown person is so upset that they cannot express themselves without unleashing their rage on others -- a cold shower might help. Then come back and say what troubles you -- we are here to listen, maybe even give a hug. Helen Toronto
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