Â Welcome to my weekly Bad Mom Advice column where I attempt to answer all of your parenting questions as only I know how — with zero degree in early childhood development, but with the experience of raising four kids and not having any of them in prison – yet! Plus, I back all my advice on numerous scientific research, which may or may not include me making fun of your dumb kid behind your back and drinking a bunch of wine! Welcome to Bad Mom Advice!
I was at the supermarket and I could not help but overhear a mom’s cellphone conversation with her boyfriend/spouse, Tony.Â It wasn’t so much a conversation as it was a one-sided verbal-shellacking of Tony.Â Trust me when I say she left no aspect unabused – the entire frozen-food section got to hear all about Tony’s manhood, lack of social skills, deficiencies in communication, living situation with his parents, poor income, and all around general hygiene.Â I felt bad for both of them.Â But I felt even more remorse for the daughter who had to bear witness to this and most-likely several other episodes just like this in a public grocery store.Â Bottling this stuff up doesn’t seem to be a good alternative, either.Â My question is:Â Is it okay for your kids to see you cray-cray angry?
Tony’s ladyfriend sounds like a class A douchetool. I guess this depends on how you were going to express your cray-cray anger. Were you going to hit Tony’s ladyfriend upside the head with a bag of frozen peas? Give her a good talking to about how she should behave in public when there are children present? You didn’t specify whether you had your daughter with, or Tony’s ladyfriend had her daughter with, but I assume you are talking about your daughter. I probably would have said something snarky to Mz. Tony like “Hey, there are kids present. Save the drama for when you are in your car.” and stalked off. Then I would have told my daughter that there are sucky people on the world who have zero manners and believe that the frozen waffle-aisle is a good place for airing their public laundry to innocent bystanders. Kids need to see their parents angry because this is how they learn that anger is a normal human emotion and there are healthy ways to express it. My kids know when I am angry because I always walk around yelling “I am so pissed off right now! Not at you guys! You guys rock but I am in a bitchass mood and Mom needs to go angry-garden!” or something. Â And then I either pull weeds or clean compulsively or else if it is something that is kid-friendly, I will explain to them why I am pissed off. Everyone gets angry, kids aren’t dumb, showing them you are angry and explaining to them why is much better than bottling it up.