It is important for parents to help their children have a voice.
Many girls grow up with a blueprint of always having to please. This interferes with them setting healthy boundaries. This can be achieved by allowing your daughter to be frustrated or angry. Be in that space with her. Let her know that those feelings are OK. Let her know that you can handle her feelings.
There is a tendency to shut our children down if they express their feelings and it feels disrespectful. You may shut them down if their feelings are too intense for you to handle. The appropriateness of expression can be taught at a later time. The important thing is that they are expressing their feelings.
When you validate their feelings, you are validating who they are. That is another piece of them that then becomes OK. Not validating their feelings tells them that their feelings are not OK. Therefore they are not OK.
Boys may find their voice only through anger. Many times anger is the only feelings boys are allowed to have. Our society tells men that it’s not OK to cry or be vulnerable. When their anger is shut down, boys feel disrespected. Then the message is that anger is not OK. This means that they are not OK.
The anger is suppressed. Suppressed anger builds into rage. Rage can then become out of control. It may go the other direction and contribute to depression. After validating your son’s anger, you can then start to reach the hurt and fear that is under the anger.
Parents need to evaluate their own blueprints around anger. Parents need to understand their own reactions to anger in order to connect with their children when their children are angry. Otherwise the child feels rejected.
Ken Thom, MS, LPC is a nationally recognized Christian counselor and writer. He is available for parent and individual coaching. Ken is a Post Institute Certified Family Regulatory Therapist, Certified Coach and Great Behavior Breakdown Instructor as well as a certified BCI parent trainer. Ken's book Christian Parent Wisdom is a daily scripture based medication book for parenting children with challenging behaviors. Contact Ken.