I regularly receive calls from distraught parents who cannot make sense of their child’s anger. Over the years, personal as well as professional experience has taught me that rage is often – if not usually – a cover for fear, sadness and grief.An effective one at that! So I wrote this piece for FamilyFriendlyHQ and maybe it will assist you in deciphering your child’s anger. Especially so if you’ve had a recent bereavement or loss. It might even assist in understanding your own anger – after all, we’re all adult-sized children! Click on the pic to read the article:
Christmas has a way of jerking those tears right out of us doesn’t it? It’s a time where the pressure to be happy is really on – HO HO HO! Jeepers. It’s a cheer fest, that’s for sure. One that would make the calmest people want to gouge their own eyes out if they are also trying to cope with feeling of loss and loneliness. Feelings that don’t “match” with how we are ‘supposed’ to feel Christmas.
Here’s the thing though:
October. It’s infant and pregnancy loss awareness month as designated by Ronald Reagan in 1988.
Did you know?
What strikes me this week is how quietly it’s slipping by, we’re nearly in November. And not much has been said. Is it par for the course? Child loss is one of those things we don’t talk about – that women (and men) often “bear” in stoic silence and secret, private agony. One would think, given the referendum and outpouring of grief and concern for women and their babies that there would have been more said this month. Or maybe it’s because so much has already been said – maybe there is a collective compassion fatigue? Are we just exhausted from it? Because loss is exhausting, there’s no doubt about that. Or maybe there are just too many other things going on this month – it certainly has been busy in the media.
Is it that?
Some people woke up this morning feeling dark, empty, hopeless. Maybe they didn’t sleep, again. They feel desperate, crazy even, from lack of sleep. Not being able to think straight, not even knowing that they’re not thinking straight. Some people today can see no value, no point in being alive. There is no joy, not even peace. A quiet mind would be enough. But how to get that…
“Maybe you saw it coming, maybe you’re in shock. Either way, a separation is extraordinarily painful, even if it’s also a relief.
Sanity and loss aside, your worries will quickly turn to your kids – How will they cope? How will this affect their future relationships? Will they hate you or your spouse? Perhaps themselves? How will things change financially? How will things change?”
Christmas, warm, fuzzy and fun as it is, can also be painful, lonely and sad. For many of us it’s all of these things together, swinging from one to the other, day to day, hour to hour.
This piece is dedicated to those feeling loss around this time of year – particularly parents of younger children. Another piece will follow soon for younger people themselves. Sign up over on the right there to get an email from me when that’s posted (or scroll down to underneath this post if you’re on your phone) Don’t forget to check your junk mail to complete the sign-up!
I was interviewed by the Health Supplement for this article which looked mainly at my work in Barnardos , as well as my private practice.
Sally O’Reilly, a child and family bereavement therapist with Barnardos, says children are good communicators once you learn their language. Sally feels there is less of a stigma attached to the idea of therapy for children.