This is a story shared by Elly Z, a fellow Positive Discipline educator.  She gave me permission to share it on my blog, and I am so grateful.  It illustrates for me how important it is that we parents reach beyond our immediate emotional reactions to hurtful words and find that deep love we have for our children so that we can share it with them, even in their angriest moments. 


Whether our children are 4 or 14, they don’t always have the words or self-control to express their emotions appropriately in angry moments.  When we model for them, as Elly does with her daughter in this story, we can help them climb out of the black hole of anger and give them the reassurance they need that we love them, no matter what. 

Here’s Elly’s story:


It was over a year ago, one morning, my back-then 4-year-old
daughter, wanted to have certain breakfast that I did not cook. When she heard
me saying: “Sorry, I can’t cook it for you, as we are going to catch the
school bus soon”, she got upset and yelled crossing the room: “I hate
you! I am going to kill you!”

 

I was shocked at the first moment, almost went to grab her
arms and yell at her: “You do NOT say that, say sorry to me, right
now!”

 

Thank God, thank Positive Discipline! I have learned that
her “lid” was flipped now, and I should keep my “lid”
closed. “Make sure the love gets through” was the first thing I was
thinking: “How do I let her feel my love?”

 

I said to her: “Oh…… but I will still love
you.”

 

She kept yelling: “I will drown you!”

 

“I will still love you.” 

 

“I will compress you!” — she had just learned
this word

 

“I will still love you.”

 

She said: “But I don’t love you now!” Her voice
had become softer.

 

“I still love you.”

 

She stopped for a bit, and came to me, held my leg:
“Mommy, I am angry, and I feel I don’t love you now, I don’t like that. I
wanna love you, too.”

 

I held her up: “It’s ok to be angry sometimes. Your
love is always there even when you are angry. Sometimes you feel the anger
stronger than your love. Shall we hug it out?” (I had learned ‘hug it out’
from a Positive Discipline story, which was about a boy who threw toilet paper
in the toilet…..)

 

We hugged, and she ate the breakfast.

 

Now, one the thing we say very often is: “I still love
you even when I am angry.”