Place Your Rage

Parenting is a trip. Of late, I have been telling my daughter that my job is to help her become an adult and that is no easy task.

Yesterday’s lesson, absorbed with a glazed look in her eye, was about learning to place your rage where it should be directed. It is human to get angry and I am all too human. But how I express that anger is important.

This lesson was precipitated by the fact that I was pissed off at my wife about something and got angry at my kids. Did I rage uncontrollably? No.  I just let off some steam in their direction that was wholly undeserved.

This idea to place your rage has been with me for a long time. For a fairly happy go lucky guy I am also capable of being a rageaholic. I grew up with an angry father full up with insecurity and self loathing, and an unhealthy ignorance of both. He was pretty brilliant but tortured.

What kind of parent do I want to be? One that helps my children find their way towards a healthy adulthood. Getting angry at them when I’m angry at someone else is not necessarily the best approach.

I often see myself in my children which can alternately make me happy and powerfully sad. As an adult I forgave my parents when I realized that misguided as the were, they truly meant well as they embraced some horrible parenting choices.

I know I will need my children’s forgiveness as well at some point and I hope in the future they can express that anger or place that rage at me rather than take it out on a future mate that hasn’t done much to deserve a deep well of misplaced rage.