How do we stay gracious and empathetic when our child is yelling and kicking off? In the face of anger, it can be helpful to remember that there is usually more to it than meets the eye.
Just like the tip of an iceberg, anger is often only the visible face of more vulnerable feelings. Feeling hurt, disappointed, lonely, or scared can be very confronting to the person experiencing these emotions. Anger – while often destructive and unhelpful – feels like a much more powerful alternative. Yet when we do not see the ‘true’ emotion underlying anger we fail to address what is actually happening in our child’s emotional world. Not only does acknowledging these vulnerable emotions help children manage their anger, it can also help adults stay calm in heated moments.