I don't talk about this subject to many people. Only a chosen few know what my husband and I have gone through over the last few years. I as a mom have dealt with the emotional entourage that comes with this subject. And now I feel that I can share what I have learned over time.
Many parents out there suffer emotionally when their children experience rage. I'm not talking foot stomping, slamming doors, crying, temper tantrums type of anger. I'm talking full blown, mind blowing, blind rage. Stuff that can scare the living daylights out of you. Especially when it's your child.
For years, not only did I blame myself as a mom, but I was blamed for his episodes of destructive anger. There were women, even in my bible study group who blamed me, family members blamed me. I got the looks in the store, dentist office, stores. There were times that I was yelled at in public because of my son's rage.
With this blame came depression and an actual belief that it was me that was causing this. There wasn't a day that went by that I didn't cry. I felt so alone. I couldn't go anywhere without worrying when or what would drive him to it.
But after a few years of counseling, behavioral therapy school, medications, support groups, lots of great doctors. I finally have a handle on this. I'm no expert but our house is less stressful, happier, he's happier than we have been in a long time.
Tips for Coping with Childhood Rage
1. Stay Calm!! It can be tough to do. I won't lie. It took me a while to understand that getting angry myself doesn't help the situation. It can make it much worse. Count to ten to calm yourself even if you need to or go to the other room until you can stay calm.
2. I can't recommend a developmental pediatrician enough. Ask your child's doctor for a referral. A 15 minute appointment is not enough to get your child the help they need. Ours spent 8 straight hours with my son. Interacting and observing.
3. Join a support group. It's amazing how many parents truly believe that they are the only ones are going through this. You need to be able to talk about it.
4. Keep telling yourself , "IT'S NOT MY FAULT" . It's not, I promise. This kind of anger is not because of lack of discipline, too much sugar, or lazy parenting. You are a good parent. Don't start doubting yourself or it will eat at you.
5. Most importantly, make sure you let your child know that you love them. They can't help the rage. It's out of there control. They need to understand that you are there for them no matter what.
Eventually, you and your child will learn what triggers their rage, what works to calm them, and how to stop it before it starts. I will touch more on the issue in future posts. But for now, hugs to all of you. You are doing an awesome job. It may not feel like it right now. But you are!
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I'd be glad to help!