“When angry, count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” – Thomas Jefferson
As a mother, you nurture so many things in your life. How do you nurture your anger?
Many times anger creeps up when we’re close to someone in a relationship. Anger is a valid feeling and a necessary one. It reminds us of how passionate we feel about a principle, a standard or a belief. Allow the anger to come in, but remember to release it as well for your own good. In an argument, the balance of power and personal accountability can be quite difficult, especially for a mother raising a teen daughter.
As a blossoming young woman, your teen girl is developing her voice and she requires a lot more attention. Sure! She’s not a toddler anymore, but the attention she requires is more focused on her identity as a valuable, thinking human being, who has a view point that she wants known more now than any other time in her life. Her voice is beginning to take shape within her and she is now demanding more from herself and the people in her life; namely you, Mom.
You’re the closest one to her because you represent the woman she may become someday. This can be scary for her and exciting at the same time. The problem is, she wants to be heard and so do you. So, in the midst of battling for each other’s position in an argument, I encourage you both to consider the following steps to take to calm your anger.
1. BREATHE in a way that causes you to focus on the largest breath you can take in, and then release it as slow as you can. Do this at least 5 times and notice how your heartbeat will begin to slow down. You can do this while you’re listening to the other vent.
2. If the exchange is still too hot to handle, change the subject and REMOVE yourself from the situation temporarily. Make a commitment to revisit the issue at another time. Go unwind and take care of yourself instantly. You can take a walk outdoors in nature, turn on your favorite song, or run a nice bath to calm your spirit. Remind yourself, “This Too Shall Pass”.
3. Finally, ASK yourself what principle, belief or standard did you feel was violated during your exchange. Once you figure that out, recognize the feeling as the real problem, NOT the principle, belief, or standard. At the heart of every exchange lie our FEELINGS. Honor yours by not forcing them on one another, but instead present them from a place within your heart that desires them to be understood.
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