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My son has an Impulse Control Disorder. I have always been quick to anger. He doesn't listen, or hurts his sister when he is angry. I scream and yell and occasionally give punishments that may be unfair when I get angry.
I am an aggressive person and find myself using manipulation and insults to get people to bend to my will. I hate it because that and severe physical abuse was how my step mother dealt with me. She scapegoated me into a complete breakdown by the time I was 15 years old. I am afraid of doing this to my son.
Even though I yell and scream constantly I do love him very very much. Which I cannot say my step mother ever felt for me. It truly hurts to think that I am treating him even slightly the way she treated me.
Please, how can I fix this? How can I control my anger and help him to control his? How can I stop treating my son like he is a bad kid?
He is really a sweet boy when he is not over-reacting or not listening. I want to be a good mother but my family was so dysfunctional that I don't know how to be. I feel that if I can get a handle on my anger and his that we could make our family better.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Roariley. Thank you for telling your story on this site. You are a good and courageous person to reveal your problem in this way. It is apparent how much you love your son, and want to be a good mother and a good person, and no longer repeat the patterns from your past. I will help you, and the benefit you receive has everything to do with how seriously you follow my recommendations. I believe you're the kind of person who will follow through.
First, let's address your own healing from your past. That has to happen, as a first step to you becoming the kind of mother you want to be.
Here's what I want you to do for yourself:
1) Write a detailed account of all of the abuse and mistreatment you received as a child. Don't hold back or leave anything out. Try to describe every detail. This is for no one's eyes but yours, so don't worry about that. The benefit is how it will help you to revisit these memories from your present position.
2) Use the guided imagery healing processes you will find on this page to heal emotionally from the abuse.
3) Use the journaling processes you will find described on this page to begin managing your anger more effectively on a daily basis. This will include a daily journaling process of writing from your anger and then shifting to positive journaling about the good things in you and your son.
4) Moment by moment, day by day, every time you think of your son, think of his positive aspects--what you like, admire, and love about him. Use this to extend the benefit of the positive journaling process above.
Go the left side of this page, and select "Children" and you will find the help you need re. the parenting of your son.
Believe in yourself, Roariley. You can do this, if you set your mind to it. You get to choose, moment by moment, what kind of person you're going to be, and these exercises will help you make the right choices.
Never, ever give up on yourself.
My very best to you,
Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Child Anger.