[PODCAST EPISODE 43] When Your Child Feels Angry (And It Makes You Anxious!)

Sep 09, 2021
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About the show:
There is no way around it...your child will get angry sometimes. And if your child's anger makes you feel anxious and wanting to eat everything in your kitchen pantry, you're not alone. Listen to this episode to hear a recent example from my own life. You'll hear how I handled it - which made the anxiety melt away and helped me stick to my meal plan.


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Read the full episode transcript below:

Welcome to the Weight Loss Before and After Pregnancy Podcast. The place you’ll get simple strategies you can apply to your life today to start losing weight. Strategies that’ll help you reach your goal, move on with your life, and focus on the things that matter most to you. I’m your host, Certified Life and Weight Coach, Andrea Scalici. Let’s get started.

Hey, everybody. Welcome to episode 43.

Today, I want to talk to you about kind-of a sensitive topic. It's when your child feels angry and it makes you feel anxious.

If you've been listening to my podcast for a while, then you know that I teach that when you have a thought in your brain, it makes you feel a certain way emotionally. And those emotions fuel you to either take action in a certain way or not take action in a certain way. So when you are feeling anxious, it's because of a thought in your brain and it makes you do something or not do something. Okay?

So with that in mind, I want to talk about this and I'm going to actually give you an example from my own personal life, because I got the idea for this podcast from a walk that I had with my family.

Now I know last week I did an episode on mixing up your routine. And I talked about a walk with my family, and this one is a different walk that I had with my family. But I guess I get a lot of ideas when I'm out walking with them. So it is what it is.

So let me just start with the example, because I think it will make more sense. I was out with a walk with my family. We were just walking around our neighborhood. My husband was pushing the stroller with my almost five-year-old son in it. And I was pushing the stroller with my four month old son, Nico. And we were just riding next to each other, having a wonderful time. And all of the sudden, my almost five-year-old son got very angry.

He wanted to get out of the stroller. He wanted to go home. He was hot, he was hungry. He was cranky. He was not in a good mood. And he started pretty much screaming in front of everybody in the neighborhood.

And when he first started to do this, I got very anxious. Very anxious.

But again, I wasn't anxious because of his behavior or because of him feeling angry or because of him yelling. I was anxious because of my thoughts in that moment.

And my thoughts were like, “Oh no, here he goes again. Everyone's staring. Everyone's going to judge. I don't know how to calm him down. What is happening? Ah, we're almost home. Couldn't he just wait til we got home?”

Like I was having all of those thoughts, which made me feel anxious. And because I was anxious, I would normally react in a certain way, like maybe yell at my son or get him to try to calm down or get him to try to change the way he feels.

“Stop feeling angry. You're wrong for feeling angry!” You know, any of those things, but that is not what happened because I did a quick model in my brain when I noticed I was feeling anxious and I was able to react differently in that moment. And it really worked out better than I could ever imagine. And I knew that I had to share this with you.

Now, as you know, I am not a parenting expert. I am a weight loss and life coach. But I do have two small children. And I do coach women who have small children. So I think that I have a pretty good idea of what to do in most instances. Plus, as you know, I do follow Janet Lansbury and I try to, she's a parenting expert, and I do try to incorporate all of her teachings in my own parenting.

Okay. Let me just stop here and just tell you exactly what I did.

So Enzo was screaming and he was angry and he was pretty much about to blow. And I started to feel anxious.

I noticed I was feeling anxious and I immediately figured out what thoughts were making me feel anxious. And I stopped blaming my child or thinking his behavior was wrong or thinking he, you know, was wrong for feeling angry and all of that.

I did this all in my head in the matter of seconds because I've been practicing this for years. I took responsibility for my anxious feeling. And then from there I really started to put myself into his shoes and I asked him one simple question.

I said, “Enzo, it looks like you're feeling angry right now. Is that how you're feeling?”

And instead of him yelling and continuously screaming and wanting to get out, it totally calmed him down in the moment.

And he said, “Yeah, mom, I am feeling angry.”

And I said, “Why are you feeling angry? What are you thinking in your mind that's making you feel angry?”

And then he shared it with me. And we just had this beautiful conversation from that point on until we got home, which was like five minutes later.

We talked about what he was thinking that caused him to feel angry in that moment.

We talked about his anger and how it's okay to feel angry. It's okay to talk to mommy and daddy about how he feels. You know, we'll always be there to listen. There's nothing wrong with being angry. It's not a problem. You know, we talked it through.

I basically ran a model with him right there, without telling him what I was doing because he's almost five and he doesn't really understand this model thing yet. Though, I am planning to teach him a little bit as he grows older. And I was really proud of myself.

It's like we spend so much time trying to avoid our feelings. We spend so much time trying to get our children to stop feeling angry, or stop acting out, or stop behaving in a certain way. Stop making us feel anxious. You know, we kind of put our feelings onto them and think that they're the problem. They're the ones causing it.

But if we can just do a quick model in our head or on a piece of paper, reset for a minute, we'll completely see the entire situation differently.

I noticed I was feeling anxious. I figured out what thoughts made me feel that way. Instead of yelling at him and making him feel bad for feeling angry, I simply asked him, you know, “Enzo, it looks like you're feeling angry right now. Is that how you're feeling?”

He said, “Yes.”

I said, “Why are you feeling that way? What are you thinking in your brain that is making you feel so angry right now?”

And then he told me. And instead of me trying to make those thoughts and those feelings, you know, wrong or judging them, or, you know, making him think that, you know, he's wrong for feeling them. We just talked about it.

I wasn't trying to fix him. I wasn't trying to offer a solution for his feelings or his thinking. I just was talking to him about it being open and honest and in doing so, we had this strong connection. And this strong connection literally made my anxiety go away because I was thinking different thoughts about him in that moment.

Instead of thinking, “He's doing it wrong. He shouldn't be thinking this way. You shouldn't be acting this way.” I was thinking, “Wow, it's interesting to see things from my child's perspective. It's interesting to see what's going on with him. I'm curious about what he's thinking that's causing him to feel angry right now. I really want to know what he's going through.”

And with all of that, the anxiety just melted away. And I immediately felt interested, connected, you know, curious, just wanting to hear what my child had to say. It was the most amazing experience.

The old Andrea, before I found life coaching, probably would have felt anxious, blamed my child or yelled at my child, gotten home and eaten everything in the kitchen pantry that I could possibly get my hands on. But that is not who I am anymore.

And I am so proud of myself. I am so proud of the way I handled that. I'm so proud of Enzo for being able to talk to me about his thoughts and feelings and being open and honest and just having that connection.

That's all I wanted to say. When your child feels angry and it makes you feel anxious, try this for yourself. And I really want to know how it goes for you if you do try it. Please send me an email, [email protected].

You can write a rating or review for this podcast. You can send me a DM on social media. Just, I want to know if you try this, how it goes for you.

Okay? Okay. That's it for this week. I will talk to you next week.

If you loved this podcast, I want to invite you to check out The 6 Stages Weight Loss Program. It’s my signature program that’ll teach you everything you need to know from start to finish to lose weight, reach your goal, and maintain it once you’re there. You’ll also learn how to have your own back through the process. Join me over at mcccoaching.com/join. I’ll see you there.


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