Anger is generally viewed as harmful, damaging, and destructive. But I’d like to take another perspective- anger is motivating, energizing, and your mind telling you to take action because things are not right.
I’ve struggled with managing anger my entire life. At times it has gotten me in some fairly serious trouble. However, it has also helped me tackle problems, get stuff done, and stick up for myself and others when needed.
Self-mastery is the key. It is difficult to master your emotions, especially one like anger that at times feels like a train rolling downhill. By applying mindfulness and the principle of detachment, there is an opportunity to redirect that anger towards useful purposes.
It’s not easy and it won’t happen overnight, but slowing down and recognizing the source of that anger may help you channel it towards something positive. Something like hitting the gym or signing up for a boxing class.
Either way, don’t beat yourself up for being angry. There is plenty to be angry about. Just don’t let it cause you self-destruction.
It’s that time of year when we are supposed to recognize our fathers despite raising us under the inherent tyranny that is family life. Here are a few ideas to help you be the best dad you can be, whether your kid deserves it or not. Kidding! They all deserve the best you can offer.
Put the phone down and pay attention! This is perhaps the most important bit of advice I can offer. For at least a little while every day, spend time with your kids without any other distractions. None. Focus! You’re kid will appreciate it greatly and you’ll remember it for years to come.
Carve out one-on-one time with each kid regularly. This is obviously easier in some families than others, but try to spend that one-on-one time on at least a weekly basis. Maybe every Saturday morning or every Sunday afternoon. With some flexibility, of course.
Remember you are being watched. I was watching my 4.75-year-old eat cereal the other day and after he had finished scooping out and eating the O’s, he picked up the bowl and drink it down like a hungry orphan. This is something I learned my from father and he learned from his, no doubt. Anyway, everything you do is being watched carefully. And eventually, much of that behavior will be acted out. So behave yourself.
Educate yourself a little. There are more and more resources available to parents. In the DC area, we have a fantastic organization called the Parent Encouragement Program that offers dozens of classes online and in-person on positive parenting. I’ve taken a few. Very helpful.
Take good care of yourself. If you are responsible for others, whether financially or otherwise, it’s critical that you make sure they are cared for and supported. Eat healthy. Exercise. Go to the doctor. It’s not that hard and it’s very important.
Play rough with your boys. There is some evidence that ADHD is linked to a lack of rough play in childhood. There are some who argue that it may just be a sleep deficit. I’m on the fence. I have it. I’m just not sure what causes it.
Try to get along with the mother of your child. This may be the hardest one, especially in cases of divorce, but it’s important. Really try!
There are many, many benefits to yoga, but here are a few in particular that men should really take advantage of-
Meeting women. The first and most obvious reason to do yoga is the opportunity to meet lots of women. Every yoga class I’ve ever taken has had a ratio on the order 3 or 4 women per male yogi. This is kind of a joke. Don’t take this too seriously.
Real estate insights. There is some evidence that the presence of yoga studios correlates to rising real estate values. When a yoga studio comes into the neighborhood, young folks with money follow.
Strength & flexibility. Of course, there are many, many benefits in the form of improved strength and flexibility. Men with back problems should be careful, but if your doctor says okay it can really make a difference in your life.
Stress reduction. A yoga class can be a calming, meditative refuge from the outside world. Men REALLY need that.
An ethic of self-care. There are countless support groups and activities available to women to assist with self-care. Men rarely take advantage of these opportunities and it comes at a major societal cost in the form of stress, illness, and bad behavior. It’s time for men to do better about this. We will ALL benefit.