Best Anger Management Tips and Quotes

Girl screaming in anger

If you kick a stone in anger, you’ll hurt your own foot
– Korean Proverb

Some people are angry. Most of them learn anger from their parents and are trapped in a vicious cycle. One of the saddest things is an angry family, in which the parents are angry at the kids, who are angry at their parents, who are angry at their kids…

Sounds familiar?

Anger always comes from frustrated expectations
– Elliott Larson

Some say anger peaks during the teen years. I am not sure this is true for everyone. I know many teens who are joyful and happy. I was angry until I became a teenager, so I believe anger has nothing to do with age and hormones and everything to do with awareness. I think anger is a mindset that clutters our thinking and we are angry because we have poisoned ourselves with thoughts of disappointment and frustration.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let’s face it, we are all angry at times. We are angry when things do not happen the way we want them to. Anger is a form of extreme disappointment that we think we are directing towards what we believe to be the source of the disappointment, but in fact, we direct it only towards ourselves. When I think of anger, I immediately see a bottle of poison.

Read the best tips and quotes on anger management

Kiss Your Kids

Young children kissingKissing is one of the best tools parents have in their parenting tool kit. Kissing has been known for ages to make miracles, to heal a wound and to get rid of worries and pain, particularly for children.

Would you not want the power to get rid of worries and help ease pain?

The real magic lies in what children think about the kiss. It is the same kiss you get when you are older, but it has somehow lost its magic for many people. Maybe we grownups need to re-adopt our childhood beliefs about kisses and to kiss more.

My family was not a kissing family. I have watched my mom kissing her little grandchildren constantly, which made me think she believed it was appropriate to kiss kids, but not grownups.

This belief seems to be similar in different cultures. One of my clients said to me once that every two to three years, when he meets his dad, who lives overseas, they shake hands.

Gal and I have always kissed each other when we to up in the morning, left home, came back and whenever we had a good time or wanted to make each other feel good.

When I was 27, we visited Gal’s host family in Connecticut (he was an exchange student there in his Junior Year of high school). Sally and Sam were an amazing couple. When they went to bed, they gave us a hug and a kiss as if they had not seen us for a long time, although we had come that same day. When they got up in the morning, they did the same. At first, I thought it was just for the first day of our arrival, but they continued to hug and kiss us every day. I loved it!

Read more about the importance of kissing children

Fathering Goodness

Father and son having fun Since this is a parenting blog with a focus on personal development, we normally post tips and advice that parents can use to improve their own lives and the life of their children. But today’s post will be a bit different.

Today, I want to tell you about some things that happened to me with my own kids and to appeal to both mothers and fathers to do the best you can to raise your children in balance and harmony, including giving them enough time with their father.

This week, we watched the movie “Brave”. I cried at the end (I will not spoil it for you). After the movie, it occurred to me that scenes in which parents and children realize how important they are to each other (sometimes when it is too late) make me cry every time. Maybe this is part of my inspiration for today.

Our family has lived in a good number of places around the world and has visited many others. In all of them, fathers mostly go to work in the morning, leaving their children with their mothers, and come back in the evening tired, stressed, preoccupied and unaware of what their family has gone through during the day.

This used to be my life too. For 15 years, I worked for large companies, spent long hours commuting, stayed late at work “just to finish something on time” and even traveled on business. Among our friends, I actually spent the least amount of time on the road or at work and the most amount of time at home, but for the most part, I was “missing in action” as far as my family was concerned.

Read more about why kids should spend time with their dad

Easy Divorce

Happy seniors hugging

Everybody also knows that divorce is painful to all involved. Regardless of your circumstances, both partners and all their children get hurt. Yet, the rate of divorce is soaring and being single again after having children is now part of many parents’ lives. Divorce seems hard to go through, but awfully easy to choose.

In the past, divorce was unacceptable in many societies. Once people got married, which was often by parental arrangement, they were stuck with their partners for life. Marriage was literally “until death do us part”. Being married for life was what everybody did. The average divorce rate was 0%.

Believing that ending their marriage while both partners were alive was not an option, the only available course of action was to make the marriage work. Sometimes, that was just as much fun as digging holes, but everyone dug 7 a day and kept their mouths shut.

Now, when you try to make a marriage work and you are committed to it for the long haul, you make decisions accordingly. You join bank accounts, split the responsibilities for best household performance and comfort, do your best to get to know your partner and try to be accommodating. In return, you could also rely on your partner to be there for you in times of difficulty, simply because he or she was as committed to the marriage as you were.

Read more about how to keep your marriage strong

Save your marriage (19): Best Marriage Quotes

Loving coupleMarriage today is not what it used to be. I believe some of it is due to couples believing that they cannot fix their marriage, heal from conflicts and overcome the challenges they go through as part of life.

Couples that are still together do not have fewer difficulties. They sort them out before they get out of control.

In my relationship coaching program, I hear many couples use statements that make fun of commitment, mock stability and relationships and encourage giving up the marriage as an easy, accepted and preferable thing. They have read them on the Internet, seen them in “funny” PowerPoint presentations or watched them in video clips.

One of my clients is going through a divorce over something that could be easily fixed if both partners could sit together and talk. They had an argument over money. She wanted 150K, he wanted to give her 90K and to sort this out, they have had to hire lawyers, go to court and pay the 60K the argued over in fees. So forget about it, because divorce is never easy!

If you check the beliefs of divorcées about marriage, you will find that they always have the wrong ones – those witty, mocking, sarcastic beliefs.

My suggestion is to make sure you swap them with good beliefs. To help you do it, I have gathered the best marriage quotes I could find. I hope you will find some you like and can adopt, and I hope you can make good use of them.

Read these inspiring marriage quotes

Quality Time: How to Have Fun with Your Kids

Now that you know what quality time is and what quality time is not, what can you actually do with your own kids? Here are some great things you can do to have more quality time with your children and help them feel loved and close to you.

Ask open questions

Bedtime storyWhenever you meet your kids after school and work, show interest in their day. Do not confuse asking questions with interrogating – one comes from curiosity and the other one from a need to control. So pay attention to the tone of your voice and to your intention and ask to hear the child’s answer. If you expect some “correct” answer, it is not quality time and your child will not trust you next time to answer your question. Instead, gently explore with your child his or her impressions, reasons and feelings.

Tip: when you ask a child “How was your day?” the answer is typically in the form of a rating, e.g. “Good”. To avoid this dead end, rephrase the question as “Tell me about your day” or “What happened to you at school today?”

Read more about how to connect with your kids

Quality Time: The Gift of Your Presence

Happy mother and teenage sonLove, as you know, is the most important thing you can give your children. Although you may not have any doubts about your love for your children, they often do. If you want to understand their doubt, think of your own doubts about your parents’ love for you.

Now, when I am a parent myself, I have no doubts about my parents love for me, but when I was a child, I had many doubts. It took me a long time to learn that what they called “love” was not my definition of love and I translated their behavior into “They don’t love me”.

In my parenting workshops and coaching sessions, many parents share the same feelings with me. There are things you discover about your parents’ love for you only when you have your own kids and when you get the opportunity to learn about “love languages”.

The great book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman describes 5 different ways to express and receive love:

  • Words of affirmation
  • Gifts
  • Physical touch
  • Acts of service
  • Quality time

This post and the next one are about Quality Time, because Quality time is very tricky for parents in this day and age.

Read more about how to have quality time with your children

Put a Little Love in Your Heart

Little girl hugging a womanLast week, Ronit and I saw a movie that made me think there are some people with no love in their heart. Then, we attended a wedding ceremony that was all about love, and that got me thinking about parents’ role in making the world a more loving place for their children. Since Christmas is coming and we will have a lot more time with our kids, the timing is perfect.

The film we saw was called The Whistleblower. It is a story of an American police officer who works for the United Nations’ peacekeeping forces in Bosnia and uncovers a women trafficking operation. We sat on big, soft cushions on the grass at a park by the Brisbane River, the weather was perfect, the atmosphere was magical, we were happy for the chance to get away for a bit in each other’s company.

Then, the movie started.

The level of brutality shown on the screen by the traffickers towards the women, the complete disregard for the law and the strong violation of every moral system I could think of disturbed me to the core. I had to struggle to keep watching some scenes and felt terrible for poor Ronit who is generally more sensitive than I am.

When we talked about the movie in the car on the way home, we both wondered what would compel anyone to abuse another person in such a way. Our conclusion was that these people had no love in their hearts. Not romantic love. Kindness, compassion, empathy, tenderness, comradery, friendship and understanding towards another human being.

Read more about how to make the world a better place with love

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Scene from Crazy, Stupid, LoveThis is NOT a film review. It is a post on love and romance and marriage and kids and family and parenting. But it is inspired by the fact that Ronit and I watched the movie “Crazy, Stupid, Love” this week and it has been running around in my mind to the point where I just had to write about it.

Steve Carell makes movies that are full of embarrassing moments and this usually turns me off. I see him as the American version of Mr. Bean. I also find his acting melodramatic and externalized and I generally prefer subtle and deep. In this film, he was not only the main character, he was also the producer, which should have had me running in the other direction, except I only found that out in the final credits, and by that time, I already had a lot of respect for him.

If you have not seen Crazy, Stupid, Love, it starts with a marriage breakdown and divorce, continues through the attempted recover of both partners and their children and at the same time, weaves in the generational difference between the old one-partner-from-a-young-age and the new ongoing-partying-and-casual-sex-until-thirty-something.

I came away from the movie with a lot of love in my heart. In the past few days, there is more love in everything I do, more softness, more attention and more respect. I checked the patterns of my life against scenes from the movie and compared myself with the characters in it.

I want to share my discoveries with you.

Read more about Crazy, Stupid, Love

Discipline in Question

The topic of disciplining kids is going to be forever hot for every parent. It is a hot topic because it bothers many parents and it is hot because too many parents find themselves in a huge conflict over it. Here is a question I got about discipline from a reader.

“Hi Ronit,

My husband and I do not agree on the right way to raise the kids. I spend most of the time with them and he works until late and on the weekends he needs to rest and goes out with his friends.

This week, he said to me that his job is to be the provider and my job is to discipline the kids and that I was failing as a parent. He said that if he was my boss, he would fire me. He thinks I am not objective towards my kids and I do not prepare them for real life.

What is your opinion about discipline?

Gina”

Dear Gina,

How to discipline kids, what is discipline and related issues are a source of friction almost in every home. I think your husband has expectations from you and your children that are probably based on his definition of good parenting and discipline, which I am not sure are healthy, although they were very typical 20 to 30 years ago when he was a child.

Read more about how not to discipline your kids