children and media / children and television / Early Childhood / Healthy Media Choices / Media / New Parents / Parents

Addressing Parental Anger: A Way In to Re-Wiring Habits



In the US, psychologists like Steven Stosny point to a link between anger and parental feelings of inadequacy. While the situations he cites will ring true to many of us as parents: the end of a bad day is likely to set off reactions, etc., I would advocate for a nuts-and-bolts, practical review of the unique situation in each home, which forms its own ecosystem.

In an article in the Guardian, Mike Fisher, an anger-management  who runs workshops for parents says:

“…we’re living in a world of information overload. Children have access to incredible information, such as social media and apps. It’s instant gratification and just another distraction from being present. That can have a catastrophic effect on children. They are consumed by social media and games, staying up later and becoming preoccupied. They are bored out of their skulls by real life. Meaning they are becoming less and less cooperative. And parents are getting angrier about it every year.”

Fisher’s  works within a British perspective and cites a culturally-reinforced reticence to share emotions and a reliance on impulsive action to respond to uncooperative children. The Australian study cites statistics from that country.

Sounds familiar, though. Media is not  the cause of behavioral difficulties or family dysfunction, but examining media habits and how we spend our time is  a way in, an on-ramp to look at habits that parents and children form and how to re-orient around the important relationships and narratives that we want to nourish.

Ideally, parents can do this orientation early in their child’s life, before habits become deeply embedded. If not, we can re-wire our habits and reactions to go toward all that makes life sweet.


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