It's O.K. to Not Be O.K.

Kat:

I grew up in a home with seven siblings. Our home vibrated love. All the kids in the neighborhood wanted to be at our house. It wasn't the biggest house and we did not have a lot of fancy toys. What we had was love. My neighbor recently told me on Facebook that she never understood it but with seven kids and always a bunch more friends, and a whole lot of boys our home always felt peaceful.


Hannah:

Growing up, my home was so very much us. It was idiosyncratic and we liked it that way. My brother and I had a lot of freedom and I don’t remember any real yelling. We didn’t vocalise our love so much but it was a thousand percent there. Mom gave us heaps of hugs and so often I would keep my feelings to myself until faced with momma - then they’d come bursting out in a blubber of tears and she would just be there for me. This still happens.


Kat:

It truly was peaceful. She saw only the good in everyone including her children. I never saw her get angry. Remember, she had seven children…


Hannah:

My mom saw only the good in us - sometimes I think to a fault! She has the most amazing way of turning potential negatives into positives. I’ve felt pressure to be perfect, because that’s how we are in her eyes. Maybe that’s why I haven’t always felt comfortable expressing less than perfect emotions - like anger.


Kat:

I can't really explain it but my mom was happy all the time. Anger was something we did not express. We must have buried it deep inside ourselves. There was no modeling for a healthy way to release anger.


Hannah:

I’m not sure I knew what anger really was growing up. I don’t think anyone ever named it for me.


Kat:

I always felt that the reason my mom’s body was riddled with cancer was because she repressed her anger. Her body turned it into cancer. Louise Hay who wrote “You Can heal Your Life” often talks about the relationship of cancer to unexpressed anger and resentment.


Hannah:

I do remember my mom having a lot of emotions. They were never characterised as anything particular but I remember her being a big believer in quiet time to recharge. I always had my art (writing, drawing, collage, etc.), which my family really supported, and I expressed a lot of emotions throughout the pages of my many journals.


Kat:

I always say anger, like sadness is just a feeling. Children need to be given permission to release anger and the tools in which to do so. The most important thing a parent can do is to acknowledge the anger. “I see you are feeling angry”. Simply acknowledging it allows the child to feel seen and heard.


Hannah:

Two year olds get angry a lot, especially my little Scorpio star child! It is very en vogue in parenting right now to help your kids name feelings and I think with social media, it’s increasingly important to recognise what’s below the surface. I’ve gotten books and YouTube videos for Theo about emotions. They are so reductive but it’s still helpful to have a touchpoint. He can’t name his own emotions yet but we are getting there.


Kat:

Secondly give them some tools to express anger. Bake some bread! Yes, you heard me correctly. Make some dough and when kneading it, punch it and throw it down. Try it! You might find it fun and when the bread is done add some delicious butter and enjoy. That’s what I call a win-win!


Hannah:

I’ve tried to be prescriptive with Theo about releasing anger - get a drum! Hit the wall! Stomp your feet! Blow out ‘candles’ on your fingers (a trick to get them to breathe deep)! Draw angry lines in your notebook! By the time he is angry, it’s kind of too late to do anything.


Kat:

Next, make some fresh play dough on the stove. It's really easy. Then take the dough and punch it, knead it, roll it and throw it down. Then make something cool out of it.


Hannah:

Having a few things at hand during the “off hours” helps - meaning, when everything is fine. We do often have play dough around. Yesterday, he found an awesome stick and whacked leaves with it for thirty minutes. I don’t think he even knew he was angry but I did. Lockdown makes everyone angry.


Kat:

Remember to breathe. Watching your child get angry is not easy.


Hannah:

I always think of that Anger Iceberg and all the emotions that linger beneath the surface. Anger is a sign of something deeper and more painful and I try to remember this when I see Theo exhibiting ‘angry behavior’ like slamming doors.


Kat:

Take a few deep breaths and know that expressing anger is healthy and normal. It's just a feeling...acknowledge it, feel it, let it go.


Hannah:

Breathing helps everything and everyone, always, which explains so much trauma around the pandemic where breathing is controversial! Fresh oxygen, literally airing it out, helps neutralise any sh*tshow. Breathing tells your body that you are O.K. and safe. Theo and I take deep breaths together as he falls asleep before bed. Find a safe, low stakes space and breathe deeply with your kids.




WE LOVE HEARING FROM YOU!

Have a question for Kat or Hannah? Just want to say “Hi”?

Reach out via cell at 203.788.1993, or email at kathy@peaceplaceforkids.com or hannah@peaceplaceforkids.com

Facebook-drawn-icon.png
twitter-drawn-icon.png
Instagram-drawn-icon.png
YouTube-drawn-icon.png