My mom had big time anger issues and I swore I would do better. But do I really..?

Kat - posted on 02/26/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )




So, my mom has an anger problem. She would never admit it. But this is not the point. I remember very good myself hating my mother. She never apologized afterwards, or admitted she had exaggerated.
Now, I have a 7 year-old son whom I love dearly. For the most part, I do good. I promised myself I would try to be a good mom and a friend to my children. I support him, when no one else does and encourage him to express himself even if it is not something I would choose to do.
My biggest worry is that sometimes I have this anger that I now think my mom had. It lasts for a few seconds and I try to get away from my son, going outside the door or in another room, just to let it go over me. I get caught in a moment sometimes, and this horrible anger gets expressed in a form of screaming. I always apologize to my son, when this happens, as guilt eats me. Even if there is a reason to ground my son, I know my behavior is unacceptable, because I still remember myself as a child.
I have never been in a therapy and hope not to get there soon. I read self-help books and do yoga instead. I am wondering whether this "angry mom" past can really harm my child through me. And I would like to hear from parents with similar past experience.
Thank you!


Jill - posted on 02/26/2015




I have an anger management problem derived from childhood trauma. Like you, I apologize and debrief my kids when I lose control which is thankfully getting far less often since I have been doing much more self-management in the last 8 years.

I use EFT (emotional freedom techniques) the most (www [dot] emofree [dot] com) and I combine it with the Enneagram so I can better understand my personality type and my current level of self-development related to that personality type. Each of the nine personality types has nine levels of development. Check out www [dot] enneagraminstitute [dot] com. First, figure out your type and then sign up for the daily "Enneathoughts" (not the newsletter). These are short little snippets about your personality that come to your email account each day - less than 50 words, usually. Some are incredibly inspiring and others are pretty hard hitting, but they help me build my strengths and lessen my weaknesses. I have been receiving them for two years now. I actually do the EFT tapping on the ideas presented in the Enneathoughts

I follow the nine levels for my type and I try to stay in the top 2-3 levels as best I can. When I see myself dropping to level 4 or at really tough times down to level 5, I know it's time for a personality overhaul. These times are getting less and less and with each passing year, I feel more and more in control. But it's all about education and self-empowerment and the problem never really goes away.

It's easy for parents without this problem to say that yelling is unacceptable, but we all have our burdens.

Here is what the science says (over 600 scientific studies on human success):

A child that is exposed to early stressors can grow up to be stress hardy and resilient, which are the two main factors for achieving health, happiness, self-motivation and success (thriving and flourishing in life). It is better if the stressors are constructive and controlled, but even more chaotic stressors (like a yelling parent) can still help a child become stress hardy and resilient. However, the two key factors that make or break the early stressor situation is if the child has access to a rock solid support person who loves and supports unconditionally and if the child has a strong internal sense of purpose. Check out Paul Tough's "How Children Succeed" and Salvatore Maddi's "Resilience at Work."

With these two things strongly in place, there is almost no damage to the HPA axis in the brain and the other biological stress management centers, but, if these two things are not in place, then there is considerable damage to the brain that can leave a child with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

So, it's up to you to manage the situation. You must manage yourself and you must manage the damage you do when you lose it. There is no place for ego in this situation and guilt really is a useless emotion. For your child, the only thing that matters is your actions.

Good luck!

1 Comment

View replies by

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms