Archive for November, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Anger in Parent-Child Relationships

Anger, yelling, shouting, sarcasm, and profanity are not what was intended for the parent-child relationship. However, this is all too frequently occurring in our homes today. Consider this scenario for a moment. You ask your child to simply sit down and complete their homework. You have asked your child three times to sit down and complete their work nicely and then as a parent you lose it and start screaming your head off. Anger is now permeating the room. As a parent, you feel gratified because you now see your child sitting their completing their homework, however your child has internalized the whole experience and is tense and frustrated while completing their homework. Unfortunately, your child is most likely not completing their work to the best of their ability. The parent is usually so angry though that they do not feel guilty about what has happened until they have had a chance to calm down.
The effects of this scenario are the following:
1.) This type of parent-child interaction whether it occurs frequently or infrequently decreases or diminishes the parent-child bond.
2.) The parent has just modeled very poor problem-solving and coping skills to deal with situations that arise. Your child is learning that yelling and screaming and anger will bring about results.
3.) The child now does not want to ask their parent for help in the future because they are anticipating a similar scenario to the one that has just occurred. Anger or belittling comments will bring about avoidance on the part of the child to go to a parent and ask for help or assistance. The child now feels alone and isolated when they have problems and need “to talk” to their parents.
4.) Anger festers and builds and the parent slowly builds an angry child. Of course, the outcome was favorable in as much as you got the homework completed, however the long-term results are poor.
As parents, we need to find other means to get our children to do as they are told. Yelling, anger, and sarcasm are negative means with very negative outcomes. Children respond in a more positive manner when a behavioral management plan is used and consistent boundaries with consequences are given for their behaviors/actions.
As a parent, if you require assistance please consider parent/child counseling as a means to resolve the situation with your child. In addition, there are a number of wonderful books out on developing and maintaining a good relationship with your child/teen.