As society in general gets more and more angry with the world around them, it’s inevitable that their children will follow suit. Its commonly acknowledged that children are products of their upbringing and if anyone is to blame for their children’s behaviour, more often than not, you can point the finger at their parents.
But is it really fair?
Aren’t we all in the same boat, doing what we can to survive this ride we call life? Haven’t the parents got enough to deal with, as much as their children? Too many questions maybe, but questions worth asking. What makes young people angry? And can we as parents help them find peace with the world and peace with their inner emotions and feelings? In my book the answer will always be, yes we can!
What makes young people angry?
It’s the same for children and adults alike, but just in a different context. Jealously, rejection, anxiety, pressure and stress are felt by children as much as their parents. Children express their anger and stress in exactly the same way too. Adults and children alike shout, throw tantrums, smash things, throw things, hit things and hurt things. The things are also the same across the age spectrum, be it their toys, themselves or their loved ones.
It can be argued that children get a worse deal than adults because children’s worries are dismissed without hesitation. We’ve all heard of the ‘Children must be seen and not heard’ rule of a more stricter age, and children are shouted down as a matter of routine. Stop it, shut up, don’t be so silly. Teenagers are tarred with the same brush as a matter of course too. Even wearing a hoodie provokes scorn and criticism.
Is it any wonder our young people are becoming more angry than ever before?
Young people have never been under as much pressure to conform and behave. Do this, do that. Don’t do this and don’t do that. And of course, smile while you’re doing it and appreciate it too. Young people from their grib to their last day at school, are bombarded with advice from adults who don’t necessarily know whether what they are advising is correct or not. Aren’t we all making it up as we go along?
What can we do to help?
Mike Fisher, founder of the British Association of Anger Management would say “If you really want to sort out problem youngsters you may need to start by getting help with your own anger issues.”
He goes on further to say, “A child learns from example, and the angry parent spawns the sadistic bully of a child we read about with alarming frequency in the media.” This stark observation demonstrates in no uncertain terms, that to help our young people deal with angry, we must first address our own anger.
Young people are the unseen and unacknowledged victims of their parent’s fury. While parents argue, scream and shout, its easy to forget that their children hear every cruel word being spoken, and with each cruel word spoken, an indelible mark is inflicted.
Is it any wonder the NSPCC’s child-line is being rung non-stop?
Leaving the last word to Mike Fisher, “A child emulates what he sees, angry behaviour rubs off in many ways. For example, a child from an angry household won’t respond to reason when he gets to school, he won’t understand relationships which don’t display anger. Education then suffers, leading to career prospects suffering and on into criminality. The cost to society is enormous.”
His warning is stark and to the bone, if the parents don’t deal with their anger, their children will suffer.