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Useful anger

December 2, 2011

How can I express my anger without hurting my children?


Here’s a great idea …

In his book, Between Parent and Child, Haim Ginott says, “Anger should be expressed in a way that brings some relief to the parent, some insight to the child, and no harmful side effects to either of them.” (p. 48)

In other words …

Sometimes we torch each other with our anger. But it doesn’t make sense to burn down the house to warm our hands. Instead we can show our strong feelings without attacking the person. We might say: “When I clean the house and you leave your things all over, I feel annoyed.” By expressing ourselves strongly and clearly, we can avoid the personal attacks.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life …

The next time you feel irritated about your child’s deeds (or misdeeds), try expressing your frustration without attacking or labeling the child.

To find out more …

about parenting, check out The Parenting Journey or See the World Through My Eyes programs at, follow us at or contact your local county Extension agent. You can also read Ginott’s Between Parent and Child.

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