Why have I spent so much time discussing a variety of anger topics? Because unhealthy anger has the capacity to do incredible damage to our children, families, society and, yes, even our world. The news is filled with stories where anger has led to tragedy. In working with at-risk students at Lakeside, we recognize the role anger has played in their lives. We recognize the role that anger and shame has played in promoting violence in the prison systems throughout our country. And as we evaluate our public forums, we are constantly aware that poorly communicated anger is glaringly apparent in our world.
Raising awareness about anger in an angry world
I have attempted in the past few months to speak to issues about anger consistently and from different perspectives. It is my hope that in so doing, many who have been victims of anger have realized some ways to help others who are angry.
For those still struggling with personal anger, I do hope we have helped to raise awareness of why anger exists and persists. More than anything, I want to inform and empower everyone to be able to deal with angry situations in a healthy way.
Sometimes I receive messages from those who feel very trapped as victims of anger. There are also victims of domestic violence who cannot sense of a way out of the cycle. I urge each of you in those situations to discuss your experiences and feelings with someone you trust, or someone who is able to provide help. There are churches, organizations, professionals and caring others who are willing to assist, to help you deal with life-dominating circumstances.
Calling leaders to help break anger-legacies
I believe those in a leadership position over children and teenagers have an important role in changing legacies of anger. We have the opportunity to break cycles of anger in families by helping our children and teenagers deal with life frustrations and issues in a more healthy way.
Yes, we can be angry, but we must express it appropriately. We must establish relationships where there is trust and positive communication. This will take work, perseverance, patience and (sometimes) years of processing, but it is possible.
Protect children from messages that shame
I also urge parents, caregivers or those in charge of children to be particularly aware of messages that shame. We surfaced the fact that shame is a powerful influencer, often communicated through anger.
Children who live in shame will have much to deal with in life. The turmoil will affect their physical, emotional and relational health.
Keep learning and reading
I do appreciate each of you who have read this blog on violence and anger. As we have discussed the valuable research on this troubling topic, I hope it has been helpful.
I also hope you will continue to read, discuss, research and help yourself or those around you to discover new ways to deal with anger and its consequences. There is much to learn for all of us, and this vital topic has significant consequences to our world and relationships.
Another way to help in this process is to learn how to provide the right kind of discipline for our children and teenagers as we guide them through their journey of life.
My next set of topics will revolve around effective and healthy discipline. Stay tuned.
Thanks again for reading Lakeside Connect.
Gerry Vassar, President and CEO, Lakeside Educational Network