Frus­trated mom takes out her anger on her chil­dren

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FOOD/COMMUNITY - Abi­gail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am the mother of four. My chil­dren are won­der­ful, but they re­ally don’t lis­ten. In­stead of sit­ting down and talk­ing to them, I scream and call them names. Then, af­ter they go to sleep, I feel ex­tremely guilty.

My 12-year-old girl strug­gles in school. I have tried to be calm and help her. But I be­come eas­ily frus­trated and give up. Then I start to scream and tell her she’ll never get it.

I’m afraid I am dam­ag­ing my child in the long run. How can I con­trol my anger so I can help her suc­ceed? – AN­GRY IN EL PASO

DEAR AN­GRY: While both in­volve anger, you are re­ally ask­ing me about two sep­a­rate is­sues. Let me first re­spond to the se­cond one, your in­abil­ity to help your 12-year-old aca­dem­i­cally.

As you may al­ready know, not all peo­ple ab­sorb in­for­ma­tion the same way. Some of us are vis­ual learn­ers, oth­ers are au­di­tory learn­ers, and some may have a learn­ing dis­abil­ity that re­quires help from a trained pro­fes­sional. Your daugh­ter may be one of th­ese.

I’m will­ing to bet that when you scream at her, you are re­ally scream­ing at your­self be­cause of your frus­tra­tion at be­ing un­able to get through to her. I have a book­let that may help you calm your­self be­fore you get an­gry with your chil­dren. It can be or­dered by send­ing your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus a check or money or­der for $7 in U.S. funds, to Dear Abby – Anger Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.

Most adults learn from child­hood how to man­age their anger. How­ever, it is equally im­por­tant to learn to ex­press anger in ways that are not de­struc­tive. Be­ing in touch enough with your emo­tions that you can say, “When you do that (or say that), it makes me an­gry,” can help you calm your­self be­fore you ex­plode, and it will also earn you the re­spect of oth­ers.

DEAR ABBY: My hus­band and I have been mar­ried for 35 years. Ev­ery year, he takes a week off to go to an­other state and play golf. When he re­turns, he com­piles all the pho­tos he has taken onto a disk. He would let me see the pho­tos on the com­puter af­ter the first cou­ple of golf trips, but on this last one, he re­fused to show me any.

This is a big red flag for me that he’s do­ing some­thing more than just golf­ing. I might add that there is a lot of al­co­hol con­sumed, along with hot tub par­ties at the mo­tel where he stays. I’m in­ter­ested in what you think might be go­ing on dur­ing th­ese trips. – LEFT BE­HIND IN IDAHO

DEAR LEFT BE­HIND: Peo­ple don’t usu­ally be­come se­cre­tive un­less they have some­thing to hide. Since you asked, I sus­pect that if he was proud of what went on, he would have shown you the pic­tures.

DEAR ABBY: I am a woman mar­ried to a woman. Re­cently we at­tended her fam­ily re­union. Her first cousins (all fe­male) de­cided to have a meet­ing.

When my wife re­turned from the dis­cus­sion, her mom asked her what it was about. My wife replied that they were plan­ning a trip with just the fe­male cousins - no men. I feel hurt and ex­cluded, as I am a woman, too.

Am I wrong? I can un­der­stand not want­ing hus­bands on an all­girl trip, but am I not the ex­cep­tion? - OUT OF THE LOOP IN AL­BERTA, CANADA

DEAR OUT: No. This trip is for cousins only; no spouses. Al­though all the other spouses are men, you are not a cousin, so stop look­ing for rea­sons to be hurt. My ad­vice is to let it go.

Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillip, and

was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. For an ex­cel­lent guide to be­com­ing a bet­ter con­ver­sa­tion­al­ist and a more so­cia­ble per­son, or­der "How to Be Pop­u­lar." Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Pop­u­lar­ity Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. Ship­ping and han­dling are

in­cluded.

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