Anger management in parents – Stack until you crack

Welcome back to our PSC parenting inspirations
group videos. Today we are going to be talking about anger management. In one of my other
videos, I started to talk about the term I use – ‘Stack until you crack’. Now this is
where….. okay, let’s paint a scenario for you. I’m doing my dishes. I have set up 20
different tasks per child so they do not need to interrupt me so I can have 10 minutes of
solid alone time while I’m doing the dishes. So I run the kitchen sink, I get started.
30 seconds into it… “Muuum” or “Daaad, I need this.” It’s like, “What do you want now? Why is
it that I can’t have 5 minutes to myself. Why is it that you can’t just sit down and
do those tasks. Why do you need me all the time? I’m so over everybody treating me like
a slave. I’m so over… nobody listens to me. You always interrupt me when I’m trying
to do something. You have absolutely no respect for me. Why do you do this to me all of the
time? I’m so sick of this over and over again. Your father doesn’t listen to me (or your
mother doesn’t listen to me). The kids don’t listen to me. I’ve got to do these dishes.
Look at this house. This house is an absolute pigsty. Who do you think is going to do that?
Who do you think is going to clean up this mess all the time? All I wanted was 10 minutes
to do the dishes but No! I can’t even get 10 minutes without one little interruption,
can I? I’m so over having to deal with this shit, day in and day out. I’m sick of my life.”
One little interruption and all of a sudden, stack, stack, stack, stack, stack, stack until
we crack. We’ve taken so many different moments, feelings, emotions, and brought it into this
one little event. We had one label. We started off, we viewed an event with the five senses
– see it, hear it, touch it, taste it, smell it. The sensory information went into the
brain for evaluation. We evaluated that situation as being wrong. The interruption was wrong.
I had a picture in my mind of how this dishes process was gonna go and it did not include
an interruption. I set it up that way! Did you not SEE that I set it up that way?! (Laughs)
But the reality is, it didn’t happen that way and your brain evaluated that as wrong,
and what the brain does, is it looks for evidence of what you have your attention on. so you
see that as wrong. It was an interruption. Brain? What do we think about interruptions?
They’re bad! They’re wrong! They always happen to me! Why do they always happen to me? Because
nobody listens to me. Remember? Look at all these times that nobody listened to me. Bedtime
– they don’t listen to me. Morning routine – they don’t listen to me. Nobody listens
to me. And so we bring in these moments into our conversation. They don’t listen to me
then. They don’t listen to me then. They’re not listening to me now. They only give me
interruptions. I never get any time out to myself. Ooh! Time out! Time out category – what
do we think about time out? Oh that’s right! I don’t get any time out! That’s right. Let’s
bring that into the conversation as well. And we stack and stack and stack and curl
it up into a nice little round ball that gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger, until
the emotions inside us release. And sometimes what we do as well, if we are a stay at home
parent, and this is typically women often do this where we stack all of these things
that happened during the day and wrap it into our nice, neat little ball and throw it at
our partner the second they walk through the door.
How does it feel to be doing that? Recognise when you do that. Recognise when you’re bringing
all of these totally irrelevant judgements and reference points into this present moment.
Bring your attention into the reality of right now. Reality is you’ve been interrupted. Reality
is if you just dealt with that moment and then turned your attention back to the dishes,
then life would go on. Reality is life is full of highs and lows, and you cannot control
any of it. You can influence it by having 20 different tasks that hopefully gets you
10 minutes of uninterrupted time, but the reality is it doesn’t always work that way.
So bring your attention into the present moment and recognise when you are stacking lots of
irrelevant moments and just deal with the one that’s in front of you.

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