“Love and Anger: The Parental Dilemma” Introduction

Well, let’s kick off our new book to look at chapter-by-chapter.  This book is by Nancy Samalin and Catherine Whitney.    Here is a link to this book on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Love-Anger-Parental-Nancy-Samalin/dp/0140129928/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1301051202&sr=8-1

I think most of us can agree that staying home with our children all day is wonderful; we wouldn’t want to trade that for the world.  Our children are precious, they are funny, and to hear their joy and laughter just makes our hearts feel good.  All that love wrapped up in a small package of childhood.   I personally have so much gratitude that I can stay home with my children and homeschool them.

But there is often another side that seems to go with parenting these days.  I am not sure if it is due to a combination of economic stress, a lack of extended family and other support due to families being more transitory, a lack of a cohesive view toward childhood in our society, a lack of turning toward a religious or spiritual path to help support and guide the parenting journey – but mothers today seem more confused, more stressed  and yes, more angry by their children’s behavior than ever before.

There it is, that parental dilemma of love and anger toward our children.  I don’t think it does much good to pretend that anger in parenting does not exist or to even strive toward having a valium-calm household.  Peaceful and loving household, yes.  Sterile and without emotion just so any conflict might be avoided, no.  That is not life in my book.

Living with children is messy, noisy, sleep-depriving at times, joyous, fun, wonderful.  I have said it before, and I will say it again:  parenting will stretch your soul like a yoga pose you can’t get out of.

I have met wonderful parents over my many years of working with parents, parents who were so mature and had it all together and were so self-controlled.  They were centered, and calm, and whilst they didn’t always do everything “right” (and what is that anyway?), they seemed to raise children who became great adults.

I want to be like that, don’t you?

So let’s take a walk through the introduction of this book!

In the Introduction to this book, the authors write, “I use this example (there is an opening example of parental anger written by none other than Dr. Benjamin Spock, MD who found himself in a blended family situation) to demonstrate that there are no absolute guidelines forged from our own experiences and the experiences of others. ….This caveat –that no single expert has all the answers-  is important to note, for you will not find  a series of no-fail solutions in the pages of this book.”

The goal of this book, the authors write, is to “offer practical, positive ways to redirect [that] anger.”

Many blessings as we go through this book,


10 thoughts on ““Love and Anger: The Parental Dilemma” Introduction

  1. Hi Carrie. I bought this book about a year ago after you had recommended it on an even older post. It is a really well written and thoughtful book. I really worked with it and found it so useful. I recently donated it along with lots of baby clothes and gear to a program for young parents, thinking that it would help another mom, one who probably had less resources then me to deal with the challenges of parenthood. I was really surprised by the amount of anger that came up in me as a parent, but for me it is a complicated combination of coming from an angry family, and having a challenging child and very little local support. I look forward to going through the book again with you in these months! E.

  2. thank you so much for picking this book. I am actually reading it now, based on an earlier recommendation by you, and it has been a tremendous help. I look forward to reviewing it again.

  3. Hi Carrie

    I can only call this post serendipity as I have been composing an email in my head all day to send to you to ask for help. I have lately become very angry at my older child (three year old boy) and I don’t know how to fix it. Well, intellectually I do, but in the heat of the moment, I find myself so cross and childish too. I have ordered the book (will have to wait for international delivery as only available from the States). I really feel that my boy and I are drifting away from each other and my anger is part of that.

  4. Carrie, I love this book selection and plan on getting it from the library, since I gave up buying books (my vice) for Lent! One comment I have about parental anger, though, is I do NOT think there is more anger now than before at all. I think many of us have anger coming up because many of us were raised in a time and/or community when/where parental anger, corporal punishment, and blind obedience to parental authority were considered completely normal, even desirable. Our parents did the very best they could, filtering and softening what they received in their childhoods, but the society as a whole has been and continues to be in many respects, chauvinistic towards children. I believe parents have anger reactions in many of the same situations they would have received an angry response as children. I think our society is learning and evolving and I think we are all trying to do better, to understand our children developmentally and provide limits with love. I think there are some who were not raised that way, but many of us were, and it was normal, and we have some serious inner work to do to transform these experiences and give our children the love, the empowerment and the future they deserve (and that we deserved). I believe by doing our inner work and transforming our anger responses to loving responses more appropriate to the situation, we are releasing a tremendous amount of negativity and helping to advance the evolution of our world, both in the energy we carry, and in our children. This book is a valuable addition to a parent’s toolbox, especially if they were raised in a strict family. I am looking forward to seeing your perspective on each chapter!

  5. I ordered this book the minute that I saw this post, and it came yesterday. I am looking forward to reading along. This is something that I need to work on, probably one of the most important ones right now. Thank you!

  6. Pingback: “Love And Anger: The Parental Dilemma” Chapter One « The Parenting Passageway

  7. Pingback: Hybrid Rasta Mama: Take Pause Part 1 - Anger in Parenting; Consider the Impact

  8. Pingback: Take Pause Part 1 - Anger in Parenting; Consider the Impact Hybrid Rasta Mama

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