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How to Live With an Angry Person When You Are a Child

February 01, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 158

The Nightmare that won't go away

Living with an angry person is hard enough when you are an adult. When you are a child, the situation is not just difficult, it is terrifying. From an adult perspective you have access to experience and resources that can take you through the situation, you have likely learned from your past and what you need to do to make it through the situation. You have learned that situations will change and how to make them change. You may not always know that you know how to change them, although experience often guides you through such messy situations.

When you are a child, living with an angry person can be a nightmare. As a child, you do not have the experience in dealing with such situations and knowing how best to handle them. Not only do you lack experience, there are also limitations placed on children in terms of power. You do not have the power to do much about the situation.

Dealing with angry siblings When the angry person is a sibling, it can be a nightmare. Parents often feel helpless when dealing with an angry child. When it is your sibling, there are some unique challenges. You may feel torn between love and hatred. The mixed feelings make it hard to know what the best approach is. You want things to improve, you hate what is going on. You love your sibling, yet hate what they are doing to you or your things. The angry sibling comes into your space, your world and wreaks havoc. They not only create emotional craziness, they may also be destroying your things. There are few things you have in life and when your sibling comes into your space and destroys them, it may leave you feeling devastated. Adults know that things can be replaced. As a child, you have not learned that yet. It is as if your whole world has been destroyed by Godzilla.

The angry sibling issue is made worse by parents who either refuse to listen or blame you for what is happening. Your parents may even take a communist way of dealing with things by taking away your toys and things and giving them to your angry sibling, just to shut them up. It is amazing how parents want you to respect their property, yet disregard your property just because your brother or sister is angry.

Some parents expect you to have self-control. They may not be in control of their own emotions, yet they expect you to show self-control by not hitting, screaming, crying, yelling, choking or kicking your sibling. The angry sibling may be doing those things to you, but your parents expect you to not do those things to them. That is a double-message. That is confusing and crazy-making. If your are caught in one of those situations, remember that the rules they expect you to live under are what is crazy, not you.

Dealing with an angry parent Some parents are the angry person the child has to live with. When living with an angry parent, it is a nightmare. You may find yourself wishing they never come home, or hide to avoid having to see them. Parents with anger problems often have many crazy making rules. They have one set of rules for them and another for you. They expect you to handle them and yourself. The rules seem to flip-flop. You may feel like you are the parent and they are the spoiled little brat who is crying and pitching a fit. They also expect you to take the blame for what they do. They may often blame you for many things happening in their lives.

The blaming and crazy-making rules may leave you feeling powerless to deal with the situation. They expect you to do it right and not them. They expect you to handle your feelings, without complaining and to clean up their emotional and physical messes, often because...IT'S YOUR FAULT!

When violence occurs with an angry parent, it occurs across a wide spectrum. At one end there is yelling. Although many parents do not view yelling as violence, it destroys the peace of the home, rips you up inside and leaves you feeling shaken up inside. Yelling and name calling leave no physical bruises, but they certainly destroy your self-confidence and leave emotional bruises.

At the other end of the violence is hitting. Hitting and striking take many forms, from slapping to striking with fists or objects. When hitting occurs, things are out of control. The parent may justify their hitting by saying that they are mad, that God told them they can do it, to "I am your parent, so I can hit you!" type of thinking. It is one thing, if there is loving discipline, it is totally different when it is just downright violence. When a parent's only way of maintaining leadership and authority is their violence, they have lost it. At that point, their authority is no longer based on love, experience or special position, it is based on threats, intimidation, violence and power. Living under such situations is more like being a hostage. Violence in such situations weakens or destroys family bonds. The forces that kept the family together in terms of loyalty, love, honor, reputation are all destroyed when violence is used in an abusive manner.

What can a child do in such situations? Knowing what options children have is often a tough question. Children are often powerless to take action, which often makes the pain more unbearable. When the children are in an isolated community or situation, the options are even fewer. Some of the options include:

1) Talking with a family member you trust about what you are going through

2) Talking with your pastor or religious leader, IF you can trust them to listen

3) Talking with an adult family member of a friend that you can trust.

4) If you have exhausted all options within the family and neighborhood, then you may want to talk to a trusted teacher.

5) If your physical safety is at risk contact Children's Protective Services. It is better to contact them than to take things into your own hands.

6) Consider moving in with a family member with whom you feel safer.

7) Read biographies of those who learned to deal with their anger or had a situation like yours that they overcame. Learn from their experiences.

8) Find a place where you feel safe and use it when needed.

9) Know when to call the police or local law enforcement. When your physical safety is endangered, you need to take action.

Jeff Murrah, LPC, LMFT Has been dealing with relationship issues for over 30 years. You can benefit from his experience and obtain the help that you need and have been wanting

Source: EzineArticles
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