Kelly Counselor's Conversations

A discussion about life and how school counseling fits into it all

“But I WANT to stay mad!”

on June 27, 2014

My husband and I have encountered many frustrations as of late with our move- buyers of our house backing out at the last minute, unforeseen repairs at the new home, and flooding in our new neighborhood the first week.  Plus, packing and moving EVERYTHING just sucks.

Those who know me best know I have a temper; I was on the “waaambulence” in a tirade a few weeks back and told my husband, “I don’t want to calm down.  I want to be mad for a bit.”  I felt like just dismissing the anger was almost saying what was making me mad was ok.

This got me thinking about my approach with the students I work with at school, individually and in my “Bomb Squad” anger small groups.  Plus, I’ll have my own child in about two months.  What do we want to do as school counselors?  As parents?  Calm children down as soon as possible, which is valid to an extent; we certainly don’t want them to make distructive decisions and want to re-route them back to being productive as soon as possible.  But in doing this, are we inadvertently telling them they don’t have the right to be angry?

There’s some hard-core dissonance going on with me right now, professionally- “Kelly Counselor” tells the kids that anger is a normal feeling, like “happy”, “sad”, and “scared”, but also is the “go-to” person to get angry kids back to class and back to work ASAP.  I’ve realized the past few years I’ve been so engrossed with my tight schedule, the tight master schedule, giving as many strategies to them as possible I’ve lost sight of letting them really vent and telling them, “I understand.”

It’s a delicate balance, but one worth thinking about.

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