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My 5 year old hit me!

"I have a question for you. What is the best response to my 5 year old hitting me and calling me names. I get so angry. I feel like it's okay to get angry, because it's not okay to be hit or called names. But I know yelling at him isn't very productive. But stuffing down my emotions isn't correct either. So what do I do? I feel so disrespected when he does this. In addition to physical pain. It's like a bomb going off of big emotions. I want to hit him back so he knows how it feels. I want to scream at him. I feel so small and like an utter failure at parenting when my kid treats me with such little respect. I have yelled back at him. And then gone back later to repair and talk about it. But it's not changing his behavior either. He does it on impulse when he's mad about something." ~ Parent of 4 in Aptos.

It is hard when you are both triggered at the same time and all those big emotions are being felt so intensely. Yes, super healthy to feel the anger. The challenge is to own it and send it to the sky or the ground or the dammit doll and NOT at the stimulus (your son). Yes, you get to set your personal safety boundaries, "No, it is not OK to hit. You seem really angry and frustrated. How can you let out your big anger to the sky or the ground?" (have an emotional release as it sounds like you both need it). Can you jump and stomp on a designated 'permission to feel everything' spot in the room, like a mouse pad? Can you shout to the sky..."I am so angry. I am a volcano exploding! I want... power in my world!" (Or we parents may want... safety, respect, kindness, ease, partnership! Just allow your son and yourself to feel and don't worry about getting the 'correct' values/words.