Anger is a STRONG emotion. Like many emotions it does not have only an emotional affect on us but also a physical one. When you are mad your heart may pump a little harder and faster, your blood pressure may rise, your muscles can get tense, your face can get hot, and your adrenaline can get flowing. Trust me, I’ve been mad a time or two in my life.
It is OK to be angry. As a matter of fact it is even OK to be angry with me. Anger is normal and even can be healthy. How you express your anger is very important.
I understand that as a child you will most likely, naturally, go through a phase where hitting is how you express anger and frustration. Therefore, we will probably have a lot of simple and eventually more complex discussions of this issue. I still find it important to write down why I, on a personal level, think hitting is unacceptable.
1. As previously mentioned hitting is an immature child’s reaction to anger. When you are in your teens and twenties (barring medical condition) it will not be socially acceptable for you to suck your thumb, sleep in a crib, wear a diaper, or hit people. Hitting says that you have the mind of a child and not the adult you have grown into.
2. Hitting out of anger is a mark of unintelligence. To me, hitting says “I have not learned the words or gained enough understanding to express my anger without physically victimizing someone.” It says that you have the physical capability to express your anger but not the mental one. Sad.
3. Hitting out of anger shows that you have lost control. Hitting says that you have let your emotions win the control of your body. That you would rather hurt someone else physically than take the time to control your own mind and body.
Anger is a STRONG emotion. It takes time and practice (and lots of slip-ups) to learn how to control, channel, and express it. There are a lot of inappropriate ways to express your anger. Hitting is one of them. It makes you look foolish, it physically harms other people or objects, it (99.9% of the time) does NOT solve the issue that caused you to be mad in the first place. Over the years we will have lots of talks about anger. I want you to be angry–angry at injustice, angry at cruelty, angry at yourself from time to time–but I want to help you gain the tools and ability to turn your anger into action, into peace making, into something better than a physical uncontrolled outburst.