Monday, September 24, 2012

Five Love Languages of Children - part 2 - the anger chapter

Hello all

It's so nice to have a 3.5 day weekend. I should have more of these just so I don't feel so frazzled sometimes.

The kids survived without us for a day :) As they were falling asleep tonight, I was eavesdropping on them and Kendra said, "Connor, did you tell Daddy we had big chocolates?" I gasped LOUD and went to tell D :)

Clearly Granny spoiled them!

Anyway, back to the love languages. Here is the first post I wrote a few weeks ago (and I subsequently discovered it could have seriously annoyed some people - totally not intended!)

I'm not going to go into each of them - I did that last year

Love Languages 1
How to tell your primary love language
5 love languages for kids
Example of the love languages in beautiful action

Nothing changed in my assessment of the kids' love languages BUT they highlighted something interesting - if you discipline a child using their love language it hurts much more than if you use another method.

I know that sounds confusing so let me explain.

To banish a quality time child to their room kind-of kills them because they "hear" love by being near and with you.

Same with a smack for a physical touch child.

I've seen it with my two.

Example 1

I was cooking about a month ago and Connor was all around me (right under the stove). I think I was stir-frying and I got nervous about the oil splattering so I said, "Connor! Go away!" and the poor child burst out crying.

I recognised that this LL thing was going on so I went after him immediately, gave him hugs and said sorry for telling him to go away but I didn't want him to get hurt.

I don't know if you remember my posts on time-out before.... I always said Kendra could not care less about sitting there but it KILLS Connor to be in time-out.

Example 2

The kids make excuses to get out of bed/ not go to sleep like they need to pee/ poo, want water, want last kisses/ hugs, etc. Kendra said one night, "Daddy, I want hugs" and he said to her, "Kendra, it's time to sleep now" and she burst out crying. Yes, we gave in. I didn't feel she was manipulating us.

So that was an aha for me. To be mindful of their triggers too. I know I have my triggers and they do too.

The things that stood out to me on anger

  • Everyone feels anger. We need to train how kids to deal with their anger in an appropriate way. How to deal with anger is is one of the most important things to train in a child. I do believe this.
  • The lowest form of dealing with anger is passive aggression!!! I was a tad shocked but of course I'd agree with this because I can't STAND passive aggressive behaviour. Don't shoot me :)
  • Further up this "ladder of anger" are things like getting angry and displaying that anger physically. In our kids this is like biting, hitting, shoving, pushing, etc. We want to get the kids away from this stage and using their words.
  • As we progress up the ladder, we get verbal expressions of anger. Now here's the thing that got me. 
  • I get really cross when I have kids (I'll let you guess which one :)) screaming things like "I don't like you" and similar. I used to think it's disrespectful and totally disregarding my authority
  •  However, this is apparently better than having that child slapping or hitting (me).
  •  If the child is verbally expressing themselves even if you don't like what they're saying (e.g. you're not my friend), they are working up towards the top of this anger ladder and getting more and more appropriate responses to dealing with their anger.


And then they say if your kids show respect towards you 90% of the time, then they DO respect you (so good to know!) because the in-the-moment outburst is just the anger speaking.

So really, I was so relieved when I read that chapter.

My child is not a hooligan but just a normal toddler who is figuring out how to deal with anger!

Since then, I haven't freaked out so much but I haven't totally gotten myself to say things like "are you cross because ___________?" It still feels like way too touchy-feely parenting for me.

But over to you.

Did any of this anger stuff resonate?
Have you read the book yet?

PS here is another excellent review of this book

PPS that's what the kids do when they don't want me to take pics of them. I think these two were particularly cute. Aren't they adorable? (I can say that - the cuteness has absolutely nothing to do with me :))


  1. This is some interesting food for thought Marcia. Nicola knows my very big trigger us throwing things or herself. She's allowed to moan and carry on but as soon as she throws something I will put my foot down solidly.She has her triggers and I have mine, we find ways to negotiate between them.

  2. I wish these tools were available when my kids were small. I giggled when I read your first sentence about the big chocolates;-) Grandparents absolutely don't have to tell their children how they spoil their grandchildren;-)

  3. This is FASCINATING! Clearly I have been doing the anger bits ALL wrong. No wonder it goes from bad to worse! I actually have very low tolerance for anger which I know is wrong of me - I send them to their rooms to sort out their feelings (with Joel who loves to writhe on the floor I just walk away) and then we can talk when everyone is calmer. I am going to have to get this book ASAP.

  4. The pictures are soooooo cute. Not sure their 3 year old "brain"s know that even if the shut their eyes or squeeze their faces the pictures would still be taken by their paparazzi mama and would still look good ;)

  5. I really need to read the book!

    And I am very tollerent - anger takes a loooong time to build up, but if it does, I totally eplode. Which happened with the kids the other day and totally devistated all 3. I felt so bad about it.

  6. Lesley12:59 pm

    Passive aggressive behaviour makes ME mad, lol

  7. Bahahaha....I have to process all this anger/love language stuff, but I'm cracking up at the "big chocolates"!! : )

    So should you use the punishment that affects the kid the most? Only when it's a big deal? Or do you avoid that particular punishment for that child and nurture that side of them? Hmmmm....


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