I will start this off by saying this is one of the hardest posts I will write as it is admitting my worst flaw as a father, but maybe it’s what I need to finally overcome it.
One of the hardest things I have had to do as a father is control my temper. I always thought I was doing well with this until these last few years. Not only has my wife told me I am going overboard but I also am sensing my stupidity with my anger.
I let little things get to me, trigger words make me boil like “can you not”, even a simple huff under a breath can make me snap. Then dad is off on one of his rants, yelling and barking, completely over reacting to something most people wouldn’t bat an eye at. The other main trigger to my anger is back talk. I have told my kids as a parent my job is to correct when things are wrong, just listen and learn from your mistakes and that’s it. I don’t expect perfection as we all make mistakes, just learn from them. My oldest is the only one who pushes after the fact from talking back, not admitting fault, and a desire to have the last word all of which pushes my buttons as her father from being upset all the way to utter rage.
Now as you may see, my anger happens mostly when dealing with my teen daughter. Maybe it stems from being constantly lied to by her or the fact she feels no rules apply to her because “I’m almost 18 now dad.” Either way I know it’s wrong and there is no possible way to justify it at all.
It is extremely hard to control. Little things like repeating myself has always drove me nuts all throughout my life. I use my oldest daughter to showcase my anger because she is the one who sees dad’s anger the most. When my kids were little I could always pass off the little things by saying they don’t know any better or they are still learning etc which for me would diffuse my temper, but now with my oldest, a few short months away from 18, she should know better and I have a hard time explaining why in my head.
I get the teen years are filled with pushing boundaries and finding independence, I mean I was no angel to my mom growing up, far from it in fact. It just makes me crazy when you tell your teen child no and then catch them doing that same thing. To teach them not to do things so they don’t follow your mistakes only to have them make them. To try to show them their choices can cost money like with phone data only to have them not care and you end up paying more money. All these things bring out anger in me but should it be so much that I ruin our relationship.
Now once I blow up I immediately feel shame. How can I do this to one of my kids. I am fueling her anxiety and pushing away the one of the angels who saved me. Now I’m angry with my self and under a short fuse just waiting to be lit and explode. This is not the way for a father to be.
How can I let these little things go? How do I stop being so angry? Questions I don’t have an answer too yet. I try walking away only to be told that I don’t care. I come back later to talk when im calmed down only to be told it’s my fault she did whatever pissed me off. I get draged back into anger just as I had calmed down. I find though if I take the initial emotion away I can calmly speak to these issues. It’s trying to remember to calm myself before I speak that is the hard part. I vent to my wife which really helps and in return she has started to warn me when to walk away before I start. It is helping for sure but I also have to find out why I start in the first place.
Another big trigger for me, which is ironic, is her anger. She gets mad faster than I do (I wonder who taught her that) and in return so do I. I want to help her break this so she doesn’t end up like dad but how can I when I’m no different. Any time something is said to her she get defensive and angry, but how am I supposed to let her get away with that. She is showing her sister and brother this is OK to do and I don’t want to condone this behavior in any of my kids. I don’t want to teach my kids this behavior either, but that’s how I am showing them to react to situations. I am as much at fault if not more being the parent as my older daughter.
Don’t get me wrong it’s not only my teen that I get angry at. It happens from time to time with my other 2 kids and my wife. It happens at work and out shopping. I am using my teenager more for this post as dealing with her is where I’m at my worst. It’s daily as opposed to once every couple of months. I feel if I can get the anger I have dealing with my oldest under control the rest will be a cake walk.
I don’t want to be angry anymore. I don’t want to push my kids away. I also want my kids to listen and know that rules are ment to be followed, but anger on my part won’t help convey those messages. This is something I will continue to work on.
I will leave a couple of questions with you the readers. How do you deal with your anger? How do you get your child, especially a teen to stop fighting you over everything? Please let me know how you deal with this as I am struggling with anger as a father.