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March 24, 2006

THE IMPACT OF RAGE IN THE HOME OF A CHILD

Rage from a parent destroys a child’s soul. It infuses children with shame, fear, depression, and often more rage. Children raised in homes where anger is out of control, learn that love hurts. This sets them up for a lifetime of relationship struggles, much insecurity and often a lot of pain.

Anger that is out of control is terrifying to little children. It rocks their world. The child learns the world is a scary place and that the people who are supposed to love you the most, are the ones you need the most protection from. That’s a horrifying lesson for a child to learn.

If a parent rages one minute and the next minute is kind and loving - - that is crazy making to a child. Apologizing after every time you annihilate a child does not take away the pain you inflicted. The child knows the apology doesn’t mean anything because the parent continues to rage at them. The contrast just leaves the child feeling guilty for being angry with a parent s/he has every right to be angry at. Then the child turns this anger inward or onto others.

Rage turned inward leads to depression, addictions and self-hatred. Rage turned outward leads to generations and generations filled with “loving-violence”; that, is crazy-making. Love and violence is a lethal combination for children, adults, society and ultimately our world.

If you are out of control with your anger, chances are you learned this from your own parents. Remember the terrorizing fear you felt as a child and imagine how your life may be different if you were taught about gentle love. Don’t pass on the toxic legacy. Do your work so your children won’t have to.

If you are with a partner who is raging, your first priority is to your child. You allowing your child to stay in an unsafe home is just as toxic as the raging of your partner. No amount of hugs, apologies or “I love you-s”, are going to make up for leaving a child in a war zone. Get help and provide a safe environment for your child to flourish in.

CHALLENGE: If you struggle with your anger seek help from a therapist and take any steps necessary to stop harming your family with your toxicity. If your children are grown, know that you need to make ammends for the harm you caused them. Seek help to heal your wounds so you can help them to heal theirs.
If you are with a partner who rages, stop making excuses for his/her behavior and start setting limits on it. This will be the biggest gift you will ever give to your children. If your children are grown, apologize to them for not protecting them and allowing them to live in a war zone.

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apologize to them for not protecting them and allowing them to live in a war zone.

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