Handling Anger and Teenagers

Life, Motherhood  /   /  By Rica Espiritu  /  47 views

This is not a how-to. This is a lesson I learned as I grew up.

I lived in a household where 10-year-old mistakes are brought up everytime there’s an argument. It never ends. My mother kept on bringing up the past – why? Because according to her, she may forgive but she never forgets. She also makes sure that you never forget what you did.

I learned that if you don’t forget, it means that you never forgave. You still remember the hurt, the humiliation, loneliness and everything else that situation caused. That’s something I resolved to fix in my life.

Whatever upset me, I write about it and forget about it. Yes, I would write about the situation and the lesson. But I usually forget it. Unless it is a recurring action. Then, instead of being angry about it, I would just change the way I think about it. It makes life better. It also makes the people you live, think more about what they did and both of you get to move forward.

Which is why I always try to resolve issues within 24 hours. If it can’t be done in 24 hours, I’d keep at it until some sort of acceptable arrangement can be made. That makes everything, workable.


My son and I were talking over dinner about parenthood.

“My friend’s mom was acting so immature. She’s showing my friend that she’s still angry – like making dabog (muttering, yelling, slamming things down). When you’re angry and upset, you don’t have to show it all the time,” he said.

“Have they talked?” I asked.

“Yes, they talked yesterday. The mom just wants the daughter to know that she’s still upset about the situation by doing these things,” he said.

“Not everybody handles anger well. Only a few people know how to be angry at a situation, but not at their child,” I said.

“Well she’s doing a good job of alienating her daughter,” my son said.

I looked at my son squarely, “While people have a lot of opinion on how parenting should be, each child should be treated differently, just as each parent should be treated differently. You weren’t born with a set of manuals – just as kids weren’t given an instruction sheet on how to handle their own parents.”


What my son meant here is that he was hoping that his gf’s mom would be more sensible – like me (yes, I was flattered).

When I am angry at something, it stays there. I keep to the topic. If you switched the subject and talked about something else, my tone changes and I can talk ‘calmly’ about other issues. If the first issue hasn’t been threshed out yet, I’d go back to the topic and talk about it until a resolution is made. No, being ADHD has nothing to do with it. I just want to resolve things as they happen. I also make sure that something can be done about it. If it is beyond our control, then there’s no use being upset about something you can’t control or change [eg: I can’t change people, how they think or will react – but I can change how I can react to the situation]. That’s how I deal with situations. I think that’s how my son is learning to deal with things in his life as well.

It’s more like, I learned to deal with feelings the way I deal with problems. If you’re passionate about something, do it, talk about it – until the feeling dissipates. Then move on to the next issue. I learned that it applies to everything. If I can do something about it then do it. If it is beyond your control, then getting angry, upset or worried is just a waste of my time and energy.

Art. Projects. Managing people. Relationships.


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