Mom blog: Because I Said So! Teen anger (a little goes a long way)

Mom Blogger JacquelynIf you are patient in one moment
of anger, you will escape
a hundred days of sorrow.
—Chinese Proverb

There’s no doubt that anyone parenting a teen, or a pre-teen, or pre-pre-teen post-plain-kid knows about anger and kids. It’s WAY too large and complicated a subject to get at in a blog (or, for me to get into in this blog, because I’ve got a few years’ worth of experience on this one, and if I get started, neither Canadian Living or WordPress will have space for it).

Anger in action
Put succinctly, the person in my house with the most anger issues at this time gave expression to that anger last night. Knowing for certain that no one was in the room, or even on the floor, this person grabbed the closest thing at hand—a new bottle of colourless nail polish—and drilled at a door. The bottle hit, ricochetted to the side and broke up during the flight across the length of the room, leaving the pieces of bottle everywhere (the largest collection of pieces was stuck to the bottle’s label, although the label isn’t very big). The bottle pieces and breaking up blob of colourless nail polish traced a trajectory across a solid mass of clean folded clothes, clean clothes being packed into storage boxes for next fall and winter, clean clothes being piled for the resale shop, a local daycare and Goodwill. Little blobs and beads of clear nailpolish interspersed by flecks and splinters of glass. Everywhere. I was so angry, and so overwhelmed, all I could do was close the door, remembering this “Anger is only one letter short of danger.” —Unknown.

My anger translated to three liquid Advil and a fresh coffee. Had I been alone, and had no further responsibilities that night, it might have been a glass of good wine (but only if my neighbours were home, because they know wine, and have lots).

I was thinking of bagging everything—clothes, baskets, bedclothes, books, magazines, toys— and heading to the back of a warehouse where I could don a tunic made of garbage bags, and shake out all the glass where no one would be walking with bare feet. A good friend with an evener head than mine made the suggestion I pull the curtain all the way across and do the operation in my bathtub—contained, easy to dispose of little bits, no big loading of the car. I might still do the tunic.

And my angry teen? Trust me, we’re working on that.

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