Diary of a MAD 7 Year Old - Effective Anger Management Strategies for Children

Updated on June 5, 2019

She's mad!


"If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape one hundred days of sorrow." ~Chinese Proverb

Improve Your Childs Mental Health

I am the mother of a 23 year old woman. I am also the mother of 10 and 12 year old girls. There is a reason for a large age gap between them. Being a parent is hard. Being a good parent is harder. I call the eldest - the experimental child. I feel so sorry for her! Laurel served as my learning curve and in truth it is she, that made me a better person. She saved my life. She was the "something bigger than me" that showed up and made me get all responsible, to a point.

I learned quickly that little kids do not do exactly what you want them to do just because you tell them to. It doesn't even matter if you explain to them why it is reasonable. A child might scream at you because the rain has ruined their day. This is when I found it is necessary to begin to teach them that rain just happens. It doesn't matter if it makes you angry or not - it will happen again.


Nathan gets in trouble


Little Kids Get MAD!

Children are tiny little people. They have thoughts. Maybe about you and they might not be pretty ones but they still must be expressed. If I tell my child she can not go outside when she wants to go outside - this would probably enrage her. This is melt down time. Expect it.

Try to cope with it calmly remember YOU are the role model. "Monkey see - monkey do!" How you cope at a moment like this is how your child is going to learn to react to anger. Do not tell them it is bad to be angry or express it. They need to learn where to dump that anger so they do not let it build until they explode. Babies turn into toddlers, who turn into children and then - TEENAGERS! You don't want a pissed off teenager running lose out there - then we got worse problems, an unhappy kid and endless ways for them to pay you back with all that boiling rage.

Baby Gets Angry

Why Blame ends with M - E....



Anger is a natural human emotion that we will all experience. To BE angry is also not a bad thing. Anger is bad - when you let it control you and you do bad things. Anger in and of itself is pretty relative. Some people spill it on the road and make everyone else potential victims. Some people bottle it up and never become happy adults.

Anger needs to be expressed appropriately and if you help your child learn to cope with this at a very young age - it is very beneficial for their mental health.

Babies get angry and they learn to express that. In the video clip you can see that this child is having a temper tantrum. The mother appropriately leaves the room. The child realizes he has no audience so he stops crying, gets up and heads off to find someone to watch the fit - spots his mother and immediately drops to the floor and resumes screaming and rolling around. Proof that even little babies know that they can be powerful.

I heard it said once, that if a little child exhibits behavior such as this, one approach may be to ignore it and the unwanted behavior will dissipate. In other words - if it is a small irritating thing just look the other way. Soon the child may realize that it is not getting the attention he/she hoped it would.

Guess Nick musta made her mad!


7 year old has a so-so day....


Her teenaged sister's friend....


Handling Temper Tantrums

Express Anger - Age Appropriate Techniques

As soon as your child is able to hold a crayon, you can begin to use this method of channeling your child's anger in a more positive direction. If your three year old is screaming about something - deal with the issue calmly and redirect their attention with coloring books.

Make sure to get the most simple coloring books possible for young children. Going out of the lines was a pet peeve and used to piss me off. Glad I got that off my chest. For this reason I stick to the KISS principal until the kids develop better fine motor control.

Color with your child and ask about what they are drawing. Do not miss these moments to connect with him/her. Ask them how they feel about what they are drawing. Ask them what their favorite color is. As they grow you can add harder questions. I found out that one of my children used RED when she was mad. She had assigned emotions to colors. If I looked especially hard at some of her drawings - I could read a lot into them - what mood she was in or who she was angry with.

Research has proven that the effects of anger can be deadly! We know and feel the effects of anger - we breathe faster, the heart rate rises. It has been found that anger alters the brain's chemistry. Now many psychologists and physicians know that increased anger can and does shorten the life span due to the negative effects on the body.

That was interesting!


Mean Mom!


"Anyone can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way...that is not easy." ~Aristotle


Many adults understand that Journaling helps them to express their feelings. For some people putting their thoughts on paper helps to work things out. Personally, I have always been that sort. My hand seems to be an extension of my brain. It acts as the filter between my mouth and speaking. It can be as beneficial for your child and for you because your child learns to cope in a positive way.

The minute my girls learned to write a sentence I bought them their own diary. I explained that when they were angry they could write whatever they wanted in the diary. It was a safe place to say bad words or express thoughts they otherwise know are ugly. I promised them Dad nor I would ever peek so even if they thought mean things about us it was a safe place to go ahead and write that down.

I was not certain if either of them would stick with it or how it would help them. This was just an experiment - I hoped they could learn to use writing as a postive outlet.

Hmmm....Someone was mad...


Yes, but I am not Eardon's mommy....


Coping with rude behavior?


I was reading a fantastic article written by Melovy. I read about Bryon Katie. When I got to the part about how she discovered writing as a tool to express herself I was a bit saddened to think she did not learn this as a young child. I am not certain that it is as highly encouraged as it should be.

I quickly remembered how I had given my children journals at a very young age. I had never read them as promised. Knowing my now 12 year old daughter Sydney keeps everything highly organized I knew she would still have her first one. With her permission the whole family sat around the table reading it and laughing hysterically. Sydney also gave her permission for me to share it so that we might all learn from it. All of the pages included in the capsules are from my 12 year old's diary from 1st grade.

These are the thoughts of a 7 year old girl straight from her diary. Things that make a 7 year old mad might be trivial but anger is relative to each individual. Getting to the root of what makes us mad is how we will be able to resolve conflict and be happy adults.

Anger must be directed at those who have caused it or it will never disappear - it will only return with a vengeance in another form. It might keep you awake at night or destroy your relationships. It might be the driving force behind that next beer, making the next bet or having sex with your secretary. Anger is tricky and it won't be ignored. It finds ways to seep out that can be very unhealthy.

All children have their own personalities and not every tactic works for every child. It is the job of the parent to seek out ways to connect with their child to find out what does work. Journaling was a very effective tool in helping my young girls express inappropriate angry thoughts in an appropriate way.

Seeing these thoughts in writing will help your child begin to acknowledge and recognize what it is that does make them mad. In doing so - it will provide a positive way to deal with their anger and learn to employ effective coping strategies for life.

Dad calming the storms....


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers


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    • Insightful Tiger profile image

      Insightful Tiger 

      6 years ago

      This is a great hub with useful advice. I like the KISS reference. Keep it simple stupid/silly. A friend taught me that acronym a while back and it helped me a lot back then. Thank you so much for sharing this hub.

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Teachable Moments - thank you so much! Those are the statements of a true mom to me:) I think in many cases we have to put the needs of our children first. I always tell my kids - it's no fun to always be the grown up! haha! Sounds like you are doing a great job! wink wink!

    • TeachableMoments profile image


      7 years ago from California

      Voted up, useful, interesting and beautiful.

      You had me hooked at "Being a parent is hard. Being a good parent is harder." My daughter is also the "something bigger than me" person that changed my life for the better. Thank you for such an inspiring and motivating hub.

    • littleguides profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a great article, funny and useful. I love the handwritten images.

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Music - Thank you so very much!

    • Music is me 24 profile image

      Music is me 24 

      7 years ago from Virgina

      This was a very nice and helpful keep up the good work

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Myth - I know the girls will look back and laugh about these. Ok well we already did! lol In fact we were all hysterical - remembering the events that correlated to her entries. Little kids have memories like elephants!

      I never thought I would be using her little diary in this way - so it is double fun! I had such a hard time choosing pages to share - they were all SO funny! I could really see though that she was coping with her angry feelings some days. Thanks again!!

    • mythicalstorm273 profile image


      7 years ago

      I kept a diary when I was a child. I read it just a few years ago and it was so funny looking back on my feelings and writing methods. I swore a lot in some of the entries and I was quite young... but I rarely let a swear word slip in front of my parents still to this day. It is interesting to see how we can use writing as a release in a way that few people really enjoy! Loved this and the truth behind it!

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Ruchira! Thank you so much! I admit - it makes me laugh to see her little drawings so long after she wrote them:) lol What was going on inside that little head was funny!

      Thank you so much for the votes, read and sharing!!

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Susan! Thanks so much!! It means a lot to me - you being a teacher and a great mother:). I swear - some times it is just trial and error. I mean I don't know about anyone else...but my 3 girls are so different that you can't believe they have been raised in the same home...their favorite stuff is different, foods, colors, behaviors, responses, attitudes...even their physical bodies are way different. So I finally realized their personalities and the the way they think and operate - all different!

      I guess - I worry so much about my kids bottling up feelings of rage and anger because when they do act out in anger - we tend to punish them! I wanted to find a way for them to spit the ugly thoughts out and forget them. But - it was another mere experiment:) lol. Maybe even out of desperation! I don't rememeber! Lol. Hey I'll link you back:) thanks so much again!

    • Ruchira profile image


      7 years ago from United States

      wow...how did i miss this hub, Kelly.

      This is such a hilarious hub and made me feel that I wish I had a daughter to be writing all this cute and heart warming stuff...lol

      my son has all these weird characters that he plots/imagines and all they are doing is fighting...dhisoom...dhisoom...lol

      loved reading this...awesome!

      voted up with all the buttons and sharing it!

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 

      7 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Kelly, this is great! I know exactly how you feel with your oldest. I felt my oldest was "the experiment," and he is the best kid/man. I was harder on him than I have been on my daughter, who is 7 years younger. He was my little trooper, though. Sometimes in a respectful way, he would say things like, "Are you sure you think I can do that, Mom?" Whether I did or not, he was willing to try for me.

      Your tips on dealing with anger from a young age are wonderful. I love the journal shots. Your kids express themselves on paper and to you. As parents, we need to know where we stand from our kids' point of view.

      Votes across and shared! Linking to my Child Rearing hub. :-)

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hey Sharon! Thank you so much! I had a step dad whom I loved dearly until he died and he was a yeller! I could not and still can not stand loud voices! I learned very early on to ignore his yelling because it was all he did. So by the time I was in HS - I would do whatever I wanted knowing he would yell for a few minutes and it would be over:). I hate it when I'm reduced to talking loud when I want to be heard...or yelling. It solves absolutely nothing and is a terrible coping skill. I say - the quietest one wins! LOL. The diary was sweet luck - I did not know what it would help or if it did but I feel great now revisiting those days and I do think it worked great for my kids! They have safe place to spill all the hateful feeling or words that come to mind...I just remember thinking...now how can I teach them to get their anger out (pillow punching was really really ineffective:). You have to get rid of that stuff so it doesn't fester. This seemed to be a pretty good outlet and I tell ya - I was laughing so hard and in shock about the things she wrote! And look how great her writing was in 1st grade! Hahaha! I love it!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 

      7 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      ^^^^^ This friend is quite impressed with this article Kelly. Really awesome work. I love the excerpts from Syd's diary. When I was growing up, anger was always shown with the mouth. Mean words being yelled was obviously a huge release for my Mom especially. So anger did not come out physically for the most part. Although I do remember a night that my Mom was SO mad at my Dad, and threw tomatoes at him in the kitchen. Ugh, that was a huge mess to clean up. But for me, I did write in a journal fairly early yet more so as an adult. I have a box filled with probably two dozen steno note pads written on both sides. Oh, that would be scary to visit those again. Writing is a great release of anger. YOU ARE AN AWESOME MOM! EXTREMELY WELL WRITTEN HUB KEL!


    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hey Ardie! Lol I did not even come close to keeping a striaght fase (haha) while I read that! I was dying laughing! I really never read it - nor did it occur to me to ask to read her diary knowing I've always promised not to peek:) lol. She readily handed it over - I DID notice she scratched out one word in an entry she had made - but I could see through it :-0 and it said "Dave is a bich.". Hahaha! She remembered it too and she was talking about a neighbor named Dave who yelled at her one day:) haha! But I knew little kids probably think that stuff...glad she write that down and didn't call him that! LOL.

      I'm no award winning mom I tell ya - but I'll do:) haha! I do tell the girls I'm nowhere near perfect - no mom is really but I'm what they get! I promised when they graduate I will pay for psychotherapy if they need it:) haha!

    • Ardie profile image


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Oh. My. How did you keep a straight face reading these journal entries?! Too funny but still you write about such an important issue. So many kids arent taught how to express and deal with anger. Sadly they just become teens and adults who also can't express or deal with anger. And that's not healthy. I always used a diary or journal and writing has always been my form of venting. Good for you - you're such a great mom!!

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Kelleyward! Thank you so very much! Yeah stuffing it is what our generation did and as we see - that didn't work out so good! lol I mean - I don't ever remember having people with road rage when I was younger, or school shootings? That has gotten to be almost a regular event in the world. What is going on!

      Thanks so much for the votes and share!!

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Melis Ann - thank you very much. I agree - sometimes being creative can raise ideas that work. As a parent of 3 girls - sometimes a little creativity goes a long, long way!

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi SW - thank you so much! That is a huge compliment and I adore you:) lol I love my kids and I want them to be healthy adults - not carrying a bunch of anger and in therapy when they are 35 because it is unresolved. Anger is one of the harder emotions to deal with I think, people can reach out in a moment of anger and change the course of their lives or someone elses for lack of self control. I often watch the news - or read an account of some fight and one person gets killed or road rage? I wonder how many people are in jail regretting moments like that?

    • Melis Ann profile image

      Melis Ann 

      7 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      Useful info ~ getting creative is a benefit to everyone when it comes to anger, parenting and children's happiness!

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      7 years ago from Isle of Man

      You have written a great hub giving people solid useful advice. Many people just fumble along and get through the experience as best they can but you have put a lot of thought into it and this is just a reflection of the love you have for your family.Thank you.

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi DzyMsLizzy - ha! So interesting...I did have 2 sisters and the older one and I used to argue constantly! I totally expected it from my two that are close in age. It isn't easy to deal with that part so much but I did expect it!

      I gave each girdl their own notebook to start with - they were pretty and brightly colored. I told them just to try tomwrite one sentence. Then they added as they felt like it. Making just one sentence can be hard work! Haha!

      That's a great idea! I mean writing out your comments or angry thoughts before you tyoe them! I bet it really hels to organize your thoughts - I'm gonna try that next time I want to be super careful about my comment! Lol. Thanks for that too!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great approach to teaching kids how to deal effectively with their anger. The old just stuff your anger method does not work and can cause long term problems. This is a great idea for helping young kids express their thoughts in words. Voted awesome and Shared!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      7 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Wow-- what a good idea. I don't know why I never thought about using this idea. Although, it might have only worked for my eldest; my youngest didn't like to write...

      I don't recall journaling, necessarily when I was young, but I think I did now and then write down comments on scraps of paper.

      I was lucky--my parents were very patient with outbursts, and I don't remember my mother every saying that I had any real meltdowns. Mostly, they found childish outbursts humorous..so if they laughed or snickered, it served to diffuse the anger.

      One time in particular, I am told, I was mad at my father for something, and told him, "You're as grouchy as an old English Penguin that hasn't had his supper!" My poor parents..they could not help themselves, and just bust out laughing with that one.

      I was an only child--so I was not prepared for how siblings interact when I had my kids. I don't think I was gifted with the tact and patience my folks had. I tended to be in the habit of answering objections to instructions with, "I didn't ask if you wanted to; I told you to! Now go do it!"

      Today, I don't "journal" per se, but if I have a letter of complaint to write, my first draft is a madder-than-mad chewing out, telling off, foul language diatribe. That out of my system, I can put it aside for a few hours, then come back and compose a reasonable and more polite letter to the offending party.

      This was a great hub...voted up, useful, interesting and shared.

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hey Stacy - that video was cracking me up! What a perfect example of how little babies even - learn how to push their mom's buttons. Obviously - the tantrum worked before....! LOL. You can tell he's like whoa - hey nobody's looking! Haha!

      Isn't that diary hilarious? I just got them small ones - I mean it was great they could even make a sentence - you can see how she was spelling phonetically...I can just imagine her little tongue out while she sounded out "underware!". Hahahaha! I wish I could have included every page of it...there were only a few blank pages left! She got more creative with drawings and words as she went on...it was really interesting to see!

      Max does NOT act like that! Lol. He's batman!

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 

      7 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      NOt only was this a great article... but it was absolutley hilarious. I love the diary from a 7 year old... in fact, I am thinking I need to go get one for my kids just so they have these treasures to look back at. I want them to love writing as much as I do!

      BTW - that temper tantrum video was hilarious... yet, for some reason it really reminded me of Max! Ha ha

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi MissOlive! Thank you so much - all this validation is giving me a huge head:) haha! I knew it made me feel better - and I really hoped it could be something they did for life - good habits early and all. I told them - nothing is wrong to write about - so huh! It looks like it worked pretty good! So funny - we just kept laughing - some pictures were illustrated:) haha! That's great - thank you again teach!

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      WOW!!! This is awesome! I'm all for journaling and writing at any age. I still have my writing journals and I encouraged my daughter to write as well. She has a box full of journal spirals that she loves to leaf through and reminisce. So your oldest was your 'experimental child'? LOL, Kelly you are too funny. You've done a great job with your girls and I really like how you laid everything out here. Writing is a great outlet for anger management and for sorting out one's thoughts. Great tips and a fun hub - voted up and across.

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi thebookmom - I like your hub name! I LOVE books and have been working on collecting enough for my own library since I can remember. All the other kids were selling their books back in college and I could not bear to part with mine. I lent one out - it was Entre Ami! I never got it back...but I might just see if I can get another copy from Ebay - thanks for making me think of that! lol

      Oh oh - my child just said she wrote a 24 page note about how angry she is with me right now! (I had to cancel her follow up doctor's appointment for tomorrow because her sister has been running a fever and she has to go instead)...I know...I am a bad mommma! LOL You just never know how these things are going to help!!

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Drbj! Thank you ever so much! Ahhh those tweens are tough...and my oldest one was harder so I learned a lot through trial and error with that little gal. One of the most vivid memories of her 4th year is when I spilled a glass of soda all over the table...she was watching and if she would have done that I would have complained and said "oh be careful!" so I complained at myself for her sake - I said out loud "oh I am so messy sometimes! Why couldn't I be more careful?" and she quickly patted my back and said, "it was just an accident!" Now - after that - it humbled me a whole bunch...stuff like that. I guess the little ones don't realize how much they should be thanking the older one:) lol

      Thanks so much - it is nice to do stuff right sometimes too! And I hardly ever get to be right around this house! haha!

    • thebookmom profile image


      7 years ago from Nebraska

      Really good article. I loved the idea of drawing and keeping a journal with kids. I thought it was great the way you point out the difference between how it is ok to feel angry and not letting angry feeling lead to bad choices.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      If you ever want to join me in long-distance consulting, Kelly, I will assign the tween and under crowd to you based on this meaningful and informative hub alone. Remarkable, outstanding and realistic. Journaling helps anyone with almost any problem from youngsters on up to assist them in expressing their anger meaningfully without harm to others. Brava, brava, brava, m'luv. Voted way, way up!

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Amy and thank you so much! Anger is one of those tricky emotions - you need to feel it but it has to be dealt with appropriately. It is hard to send that message to a kid. I struggle to be a good parent every day. I win somedays and I lose somedays but there are way more good days than bad if that can be used as a measuring stick:) lol

      I am lucky - my kids are pretty good! When they get mad though I found myself saying "that is not appropriate!" or "would you like me to give you what for?" lol I was trying to figure out then - well then what IS appropriate? You can write anything down and erase it, throw it away or hide it away and it hurts no one. Helps the angry one put it somewhere I thought.

      Don't give me too much credit - haha! But if this helps someone else short cut a problem - I am glad to pass the info along:)

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I believe, RealHousewife, that those parents that end up hurting their children, or worse, have never learned how to directly express their anger. It is an emotion we are all familiar with. Your idea to teach children early on that it is not "bad" in itself, that everyone feels anger and how to deal with it tells me you were taught well as a youngster. I think not dealing with the reality of anger, stifling it, pretending it doesn't exist or reacting with rage when it is encountered, is a big part of the problem of abuse, domestic violence and babies that are permanently silenced from "crying too much." I think many mothers are exhausted and surprised by the anger they feel in taking care of a newborn, toddler or teenager. Adults, too, die at the hands of someone who never learned how to address their rage. You have tackled an important societal problem with enlightening suggestions. The ideas you put into practice are very thoughtful, kind and make you a model for those that struggle with anger management. Thank you, Kelly, for something every parent should read. Your advice would make the world a happier, kinder and more peaceful place.

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi algarveview - thank you! Just an idea I stumbled on and wow! I was PRETTY surprised to see what was going on in her head in 1st grade! We were laughing so hard - and she can remember exactly what was happening to make her write some of those things. Now she can see how silly some of that stuff is - which helps me to hammer home some of the middle school stuff she is going through right now - will be just as silly by the time she gets to high school! lol

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Writer20! I didn't figure out until about 6th grade or so that this was something that could make me actually feel better. I learned pretty quickly after that though - that I would be so mad sometimes when I started and by the time I wrote out what I was angry about I didn't feel so mad at all. Good therapy! lol

      Thanks so much:)

    • algarveview profile image

      Joana e Bruno 

      7 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Very true, very interesting... Loved the journaling, one can really learn a lot with that... Great idea. Will certainly try that when my kids are old enough. Thanks for sharing.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      7 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Your hub is great for anyone with children. I started writing in a dairy much later but for the same reason.

      I always had my Dad to run to when Mum was at war.

      We are all years apart my younger sister is 10 years younger, my brother was 7 years old and another sister 10 years older.

      Voted up and awesome, Joyce.

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Susan! Thanks - ya I was always afraid I was going to get in trouble just for even showing I was mad about stuff. I think our parents were raised that way too...

      I am so glad I got girls they aren't as stong as boys. They only chip the paint! haha! I do still have a nick in the mirror of Laurel's old bathroom - bad hair day! haha!

      I am not gonna win any contests for parenting I tell ya, I curse way too much! haha! but I did figure out that I can say, "I do this wrong - don't you do things like this!" My loudest message to my kids just might be "DO NOT EMULATE ME!" haha!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I was always afraid to express my anger with my parents. I would let it bottle up inside me, which is never good at any age. I think I started keeping a journal when I was about 7 or 8.

      When I had my own children I made sure that they knew that being angry was okay. Boy can they ever get mad. I have a few holes to still fix in the walls.

      Great hub and I think you're a fantastic parent!

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Austin! Ha - the generation our moms were from is when the term "comfort food" was thought of though. I lived with my gramps early on too and kids were to be seen and not heard. You were NOT allowed to be angry - but I was!! I was damned mad some days at that old man! He didn't even believe in childhood period. (I don't think he ever was one) but he wanted the best for me and I knew he loved me so I stifled my anger so I could be a good girl, yanno. lol That is why I got hammers laying around! lol

      I findally figured out that I was trying to raise Laurel to be like me - and that was wrong, wrong, wrong! I knew I wanted her to be BETTER than me...not be pissed off so the anger has to go somewhere - that whole hit your pillow always seemed stupid and not effective to me. I quietly wrote about huge feelings when I was a kid and then I hid it away so I wouldn't get in trouble for all them bad words I wrote in there:) haha!

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Lady G! Thank you so much - I think you are a really good role model! I am taking that as a huge compliment - I know how patient you are - and how you look for answers to make life better for yourself and your family.

      Writing has been key in helping me all my life and I am so excited that one of my kids seems to be that way too!

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Justateacher! Ahhh! Thank you! I have seen those comic strip stories - I remember one in particular - a bee stung someone in the behind:) lol They were to write the words to go with the strip! haha!

      I do think those kind of things are invaluable - and I was glad to see the school involved in this too because many kids don't get that kind of theraputic stuff at home. I have put a lot of volunteer time in at my kids school and you can so tell which kids learn appropriate coping skills and help with behavior. I see lots of those kids that are little "mini me's"! haha!

      Thank you SO much!

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hey Mo! Thanks you so much! That diary to her was ages ago! Haha! We laughed so hard when we went through it! Hilarious! Me and Dave love those kids and we do want them to be productive adults. We talk a lot about what we should do - how we should handle things.

      I have seen adult children that still live with their parents - or struggle to survive...I don't want that! Lol. So far - so good! Laurel's almost done with her Bachelors in Science...and I think she would be mortified to ask me to borrow any money so cool! LOL

    • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Ta da! Really, thank you Melovy! I just knew Syd would have that journal still - she is meticulous and saves everything! Lol. We had so much fun looking through those pages. She could even remember exactly what she had written about too! LOL.

      I love seeing how she was using phonetics to sound things out:) haha!

    • Austinstar profile image


      7 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

      I SO wish my mom had allowed my anger to be a positive thing. Instead, she shoved candy in my mouth to 'comfort' me. What a waste.

      Of course, as an adult, I now know to handle anger by taking a hammer and beating something with it.

      Excellent parenting tips. Thank you for sharing.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      7 years ago from West By God

      All I can say is that we must be on the same page with child rearing. LOL

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 

      7 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      This is awesome advice! We use journaling and "comic strip stories" (stories written in comic strip form to express feelings and behaviors) all the time in my classroom. It really helps the children understand their feelings a little better!

      voted up and SHARED!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is great, Kelly! Wise words for anyone who deals with children. And, tell Syd that letting you read her first diary and share it with others is a really, really brave thing to do. She's an awesome kid, you know...probably because she has awesome parents. :)

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 

      7 years ago from UK

      Wow Realhousewife! This is great.

      What a lovely thing you have done for your girls by letting them know it’s okay for them to express anger and giving them a safe way to do so. So many children are given exactly the opposite message, with consequences that are sometimes grim.

      I think what you have written here is also a great gift to other parents, because it gives them an easy strategy to guide children in anger management.

      And thank you for linking to my article, I will now link to this one!

      Voting up and sharing.


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