man-23779_640Anger isn’t “bad or wrong”.

Jesus was angry, God speaks of his anger in the OT… so being angry is not the issue.

It is what we do with our anger that is important. When it comes to being a Mom of a Boy (MOB) helping our boys channel and express is essential!

Boys usually express their anger outwardly, while girls turn it inward.

So while angry boys can be harder to handle on the front end for us as moms, it is at least “out there” not festering away, w/o our knowing.

A few thoughts to consider when our boys anger is overwhelming or difficult for us as moms.

I talked at length with out son Zack (24 yr old) when he was home for the holidays and he said it was import at to be able to have a physical outlet for his anger that felt so big inside him. 

I remember having a punching bag in the basement, or telling him to go beat the tree or grass with a bat or golf club.  The physical release was important.

Sometimes I think I didn’t know how to handle his anger and I just wanted it to not be there- this wasn’t as helpful as validating his feeling and helping him find a constructive way to express it.

In my work  with male clients, we often talk about how they handled their anger as boys.  We explore the ways their family dealt with it and their current coping mechanisms.

Often the men were told “Not to be angry,” or “To get over it.”  Needless to say, this didn’t work. In almost every instance the men would comment, “I was so angry, I just wanted to break something!”

I remember advising a few male clients to go to the thrift store and buy some old dishes, then get a metal garbage can and throw the dishes inside – breaking, shattering, destroying them as he named the things he was angry at.  Does that sound a bit extreme?  I wasn’t sure it would work but it was the only “safe” way I could think of to allow him to “break something.”

This really helped my client “get it out” and release years of deeply buried fury buried that had been eking out in his tone of voice, demandingness and impatience.

So lets not be afraid of our sons being angry and the physicality of it.  Lets figure out creative ways for them to express their anger and listen to the why behind it.  Often it is driven by a feeling of powerlessness and futility. This is a feeling they will battle all their lives.  Learning to handle it well, to express it constructively, to resolve it will help them as they grow into men.

Being a mom of a boy is just plain hard sometimes, and while we won’t always get it right, we can learn from the men in our lives who are willing to share their stories and what I wish my mom had said/done when I was younger. 

Be willing to ask…the things I have learned from them has helped me understand our son and parent him with a bit more wisdom.

 

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