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Parenting Tip

October 21, 2012

Use Anger to Spark Creativity

We say, “Anger is good for identifying problems but not good for solving them.” Once you become aware of a problem, look for a more creative and productive way to solve it. When parents choose to reflect only anger, they limit themselves dramatically. Families benefit when they experiment with other emotional options as well.
Marilyn surprised her eight-year-old son after he put his feet on the table during dinner. She felt angry, but she chose to respond differently. “Do you know what the Bible says about beautiful feet?” she asked in a playful tone.
Expecting a harsh response the boy was shocked by his mother’s question and curious about the answer. “No,” he replied with question in his voice.
“The Bible says, ‘Beautiful are the feet of them who bring good news.’ Now I have some good news for you. Dessert is only served to those whose feet are under the table.” Marilyn made her point and she didn’t have to use anger to do it. During dessert, several minutes after the previous incident, she made a passing request, “Please don’t put your feet on this table.”
Her son responded, “Okay.”
This mom avoided what could have been an ugly scene by exercising some restraint on her anger and responding in a wise way. By stopping each time you feel angry and evaluating the situation, you can use anger to point out problems and then choose another strategy for your response.
This parenting tip comes from the book, Good and Angry, Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids, by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

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