There are times when we say hurtful things we wouldn’t normally voice out of anger. I am especially guilty of this.
When I lose my temper and say something nasty or am unreasonably punitive, I always apologize. Sometimes the apology is as half-hearted as the kids’ apologies. Maybe not right then and there, but in a minute or two, or at the very least, before the child(ren) go to sleep. I expect them to apologize to each other when they cross the line out of anger, so fair is fair.
“I’m sorry I called you a dumb dummy head. I was frustrated at the way you were acting, but I shouldn’t have called you names.”
I have explained to each of them at different times that there is nothing they can ever do that will make me stop loving them, but that sometimes I don’t appreciate their behavior.
Talking to the kids when the occasion arises about saying hurtful things out of anger helps them understand their feelings.
One thing I have promised myself that I would never tell them is, “I hate you”. Even though they have never heard me say this, I have been told this by them. I was pretty taken aback the first time it happened, but I managed to keep my cool.
“You don’t hate me. You are angry with me. You love me and I love you. I’m sure tomorrow we will both feel better.”
Angry or not, my kids tend not to listen unless I’m yelling.
These poor guys are used to me blowing my top, but I try to refrain from saying hurtful things out of anger. Number 7 as a brand new infant, actually fell asleep in my arms with me yelling at the other kids to get showered and ready for bed almost every night… his own personal lullaby.