Be nice. How many times do girls hear that statement before the age of 18? Quite a bit I believe. The expectation of girls to be nice is asking them to ignore their emotions, to act in a way that will make others feel better with no guarantee that their “nice-ness” will cause someone in their vicinity to feel better.
Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. All humans feel angry sometimes, even girls. It can be detrimental for girls to suppress their emotions including their anger. Holding in your anger can have a negative impact on your physical health and your emotional well-being.
How secure can a girl feel if she is in a friendship/relationship in which she feels she has to hide her anger in order to keep the relationship, to not upset the her mom or not lose her dad’s love? If you hide your anger, you hide yourself. We all get angry sometimes. It is okay to feel that feeling. It is what you do with your anger that is important.
How to teach our girls to express anger in healthy way:
What do you do when you are angry? How do you express it? Do you yell, lash out, throw things, get quiet, retreat, sulk? Are you proud of how you act when you are angry? Would you want it on video for the world to see? If the answer is no, then I would invite you to think more on this.
How would you like to react when you are angry? Would you like to take a moment to figure out why you angry, what triggered the anger? Is it really that person that said that thing or is the thing they said reminding you of a time in your past that really hurt you?
Would you like to take a few minutes to calm down, sort through your anger and then decide how you would like to express your anger? This would be a healthy response. I understand that we are human and sometimes act / speak before we think. This can be area of growth. Set an intention to sort through your anger and think about how you would like to express it.
Be your daughter’s anger coach. Show her how to handle her anger. When you get angry in her presence:
This exchange shows them a healthy way to respond when they feel angry. When you are ready to have a discussion about what triggered your anger, use “I” statements.
Example: “I felt angry when you rolled your eyes at me and told me that what I said was dumb. I wish that you would have said that you don’t like my rules and want more freedom in a kinder, more respectful way.”
Make a promise to yourself and your children to learn how to feel and show your anger in a healthy way to role model it for them.
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