I’m embarrassed to say I have kind of a bad temper. Dad Q does not. Lots of my family (a very stereotypically German family-punctual, rule- and schedule-oriented, organized, perfectionists…*) have very bad tempers. When my Aunt visited, she mentioned that one of her kids was “just like her” in that he can be an angry little stinker. I don’t know if it’s learned behavior or some genetic inclination, but I’m trying to break the cycle!
It appears that I may have passed on some German Anger Genes to my Q Kids. I can’t really blame it on my husband or his family–they’re cool-headed and calm. When my husband’s family gets angry they actually get quiet! So when Boy Q’s lip starts to quiver, when he throws down his toys, when he stomps off to his room, and slams the door (and then continues ranting on the other side)–Dad Q always looks to me: “He gets this from you.“
He does. He totally gets it from me.**
The question is how to defuse anger while also instilling some parental-life-lesson. Teachable Moments and all that. Ignoring an outburst from Boy Q will either a) convey acceptance on my part or b) drive him to be louder and more horrible since he didn’t get my attention. When I was a kid (and when my dad was a kid), a tantrum or an angry outburst was met with either violence or more anger. In my experience, this only causes things to escalate. If I’m angry at either of my kids, I’ve learned (through making massive mistakes) it’s best that we’re all separated and allowed to cool down.
Right now my solution is to stay calm, be clear what behavior is not acceptable, and let Boy Q know I love him. Most of the time this works like a charm.
As for Girl Q’s Drama Queen moments (“I’ll never, ever, ever find Horsey again!!!“-cue wailing), I blame my sister-in-law. 😉
*I was a horrible child.
**Also stereotypically, it seems most people in my dad’s family also enjoy bratwurst and beer.