You should read this book if you…

Tell yourself “I am not going to get angry again and loose my temper with my children.” Yet again, you find yourself losing your temper only to be left with a sense of guilt and despair. Also, if you are struggling with finding the joys of parenting and/or enjoying your children.

“In a nut shell”…

This book is about one mother’s open and honest journey through her parenting experience and her battle with anger. She candidly shares, with a touch of humor, her own daily struggles and mistakes as a mother. She reassures all mothers that they are not alone in the struggles that come with raising a family. She offers useful and helpful advice to deal with the anger in your life and begin to take step towards change.

Key Ideas…

The author explores the various reasons women may be dealing with anger, likening them to volcanoes. She focuses on understanding your “style of erupting” and explains four styles of eruption.

  1. Strombolian – an eruption that spews “verbal cinders of sarcasm” (Pg 35) and is short lived
  2. Hawaiin – a chronic, simmering anger often displayed in a negative attitude towards life
  3. Vulcanian – a loud, scary and dangerous anger
  4. Plinian – an explosive eruption generating both verbal and physical abuse.

She challenges that any of these types of eruptions can cause our children harm; therefore, we should desire to seek help.

It is important to recognize the warning signs and the underground issues of anger, as well as when you’ve gone too far.

There are three warning signs that may lead to an eruption.

  1. Little triggers, big eruptions – many little things that can cause stress.
  2. Sarcastic language that we tend to emit when irritable
  3. Own physical condition (i.e. Pre Menstrual Syndrome) that can set off explosive responses.

There are three underground mounting pressures that are at the root of mom’s getting angry

  1. pressures from the past – evaluating your past and how that influences your triggers for anger
  2. pressures from within – the little and big stresses of living life in the world
  3. pressure from our own children and their behavior

You can do damage by angry outbursts to those you love

  1. damages your child’s sense of security
  2. damages your spouses trust of you
  3. damages your relationship with God

If you have induced any bodily harm on your child when angry, than you’ve gone too far and you need to seek help.

Action Steps…

Some insightful and helpful strategies to controlling your anger

  1.  Take care of your physical self
  2.  Make peace with your past
  3.  Honor your child’s bent
  4.  Have a plan for discipline
  5.  Learn anger management skills (see below)
  6.  Control your tongue and think before you speak
  7.  Find a Godly role model
  8.  Adjust your attitude
  9.  Start a support group
  10. Journal your emotions
  11. Read the Bible

 Top Ten tips to help with anger management:

  1. Times like this are good occasions to start repeating the sane mother’s creed: “This too shall pass.”
  2. Sometimes you can short-circuit a volcanic explosion by concentrating on your physical reactions. Remind yourself to breathe deeply and slowly.
  3. If piles of laundry – or any other visual annoyance – tend to shake your temper, find a way to put them out of sight until you can do something about them.
  4. Learn to recognize the physical signs of anger in order to gain control over them and stop your anger from escalating.
  5. In so many stressful parenting situations laughter really can save you. Take advantage of the fact that your children really are funny…and let the tension escape through a laugh instead of a tantrum.
  6. Never underestimate the power of a sincere apology. When you realize you’ve misdirected anger toward your children…admit it.
  7. We can lessen the stress and improve our relationships if we consciously choose to forgive the child that is “always” doing something that upsets or bothers us.
  8. Looking your child square in the eye and tenderly holding his face in your hands, say, “I love you just the way you are!”
  9. If the unexpected throws you for a loop and triggers responses of anger then take a few minutes to plan for the unexpected in order to prevent angry eruptions.
  10. If Pre Menstrual Syndrome is a problem for you, you can alleviate some of the discomfort by simply decreasing your salt intake.

Quotables…

  • “Do you find yourself assuming that you’re the only mother struggling with anger toward your children? The mother that you least expect may be burdened with the most secrets of anger and rage.” Pg 26
  • “Rage that flares against our children is usually rooted in something greater than the children themselves.” Pg 64
  • “This is the nagging issue of mother guilt. And this one’s a real pressure cooker for most of us because we have bought into assumption that, whatever happens to our children ‘it’s my fault because I’m the mom.’” Pg 86
  • “You had high ideals…and you watch many of those ideals come crashing down and pile up in a heap of reality around your (cereal)-encrusted toes…But take heart, dear friend. There is light at the end of the tunnel…and this time it’s not an annoying blue [train} engine named Thomas! No, this light of hope is the loving and satisfying relationship that you and your child will experience as a result of your acknowledging…and dealing with your anger. Pg 232

How this has changed my parenting…

In dealing with my own anger, as a mother, I was most relieved to learn that I was not alone. This book encouraged me to continue to openly share my battle with anger, as a parent. I was able to share my struggles with my friends and build a support group, even if they didn’t necessarily have the same struggles. The greatest nuggets of wisdom that I gleaned from this book were learning to admit my mistakes, apologize to my children, as well as forgiving their little quirks, and loving them for their wonderful little personalities. Julie Ann Barnhill’s strategies presented me with some practical steps in anger management.

My top Five Strategies are:

Strategy # 3: Take care of your physical self: Make sure to take the time to visit doctors/dentist and exercise.

Strategy # 6: Have a plan for discipline: A little advance preparation can do a lot to reduce stress.

Strategy # 10: Childproof you mouth: Control your tongue and think before you speak.

Strategy # 12: Adjust your attitude: Learn to be content in all things.

Strategy # 14: Start a support group: Find three or four other moms that have similar struggles and meet regularly.

Book Information:
Book Title | She’s Gonna Blow! Real Help for Moms Dealing with Anger
Author | Julie Ann Barnhill
Year of Publication | 2001
Publisher | Harvest House Publishers
Pages | 272 pages
Author’s Website | www.juliebarnhill.com

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