How Will I Ever Get Over The Anger I Feel Toward My Child?

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Over the past few months, we've been inundated with emails asking this question. We get it. We've felt it. We've been there. And here's what we have to say about it.

Sometimes I nod feverishly when I read through emails from readers who pour their broken hearts out. Sometimes I forget to actually hit reply because I’m so engrossed in the pain they are sharing with me. Their son has pushed them to the edge with his behavior…held the entire family hostage…traumatized his younger brothers and sisters to the point of everyone needing therapy…disrupted any ounce of a normal life.

Their daughter chases after every toxic, superficial relationship…throws herself at an abusive boyfriend…takes money from people who just want control…bends over backwards to make sure those toxic people are happy, but rejects any sort of normal, genuine affection from a caring mom and dad who love her deeply and will never stop fighting for her heart.

And the result? Anger. Frustration. Exhaustion. Then an email in the middle of the night from a distraught mother telling me the full story of her son and concluding with, “I’m just so angry with him I can’t see straight!” An email dripping with heartbreak from a father whose daughter continually rejects him, saying, “I don’t know how to overcome these angry feelings I have toward her. I love her, but I can’t get past feeling this way! What should I do?” Hundreds upon hundreds of words poured out on a computer screen, longing for hope, searching for answers, wondering if there will ever be a day when they don’t feel this way.

And so, I nod. I grieve. I identify with these broken parents because I’m one of them. We’ve been there. More times than I can count.

I’ve been so angry with my son over his choices I couldn’t look at him…for days. There was a time I thought the darkest thoughts a parent could think about their child. Six years ago, out of my deep-seeded anger toward him and the way he had victimized my other kids, I actually told him I didn’t care if he went away and never came back. I hate that I said that. If only I could travel into the past and retrieve those words.

Much like you, I’ve shaken my fists at the heavens and searched for answers. I’ve stepped aside and given full reign to my anger but it’s gotten me nowhere. Also much like you, I’m certain. A few years ago, I almost concluded that I would always be angry with my child, until I discovered some truth that transformed the way I looked at him, and all of this. And because I get you, I want to share it with you…

  1. My anger was pointed in the wrong direction. I realized that everything my child was doing was a result of living in a world filled with brokenness. Yes, he was making these choices, but the root of those choices was something bigger than just a bad kid doing bad things (more on that in a minute). Instead of giving into my anger and always pointing it toward him, I needed to, instead, be angry at a broken world, where addiction, abuse, and neglect flow through the streets like open sewers.
  2. He’s speaking from a place of trauma I’ll never understand. Long before he came into our care, he was malnourished, neglected, and abused. This left a deep wound in him that I will never understand. He’s always in a fight for survival. I never went without food growing up. I always had a warm home with parents who took care of me. I never had to be afraid that my needs would go unmet. This place of trauma speaks out through our kids and it often looks like a poorly behaved kid who’s intent is to destroy every good thing. But it’s not…
  3. He may do bad things, but he’s not a bad kid. My child has one of the biggest, most compassionate hearts I’ve ever seen in any human being. He loves people genuinely. You wouldn’t believe it in the times where he’s flipped out, destroyed things in our home, called my wife every vulgar word known to mankind, or victimized my other children, but he does. Yes, he has done some very bad things in the past. But he’s not a bad kid with a dark heart. He’s a wounded kid with a broken heart because of his difficult past.
    He’s not a bad kid with a dark heart. He’s a wounded kid with a broken heart because of his difficult past./li>

Trust me, friend! I get the anger. I get the emotions you feel. I have felt them to the deepest degree possible. I have thrown my hands up, conceded that this is the best it’s gonna get, and concluded that my kid is just a bad kid. Frankly it’s easier to go this route. I don’t have to put any effort into drawing this conclusion. However, it’s a fight to believe in anything more. It takes the life out of you to continually keep your head up, and stay positive, about your out-of-control child. But I must believe this about him. I lose hope if I refuse to believe this.

When all hell is breaking loose in your home, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Even now, as you read this, you’re thinking, “Yeah…but….I really think my kid IS a bad kid and she DOES want to bring harm.” It may certainly feel this way often. But I promise you this- if you take some time to refocus your perspective, and consider the origin of his or her behavior, and the place they’re really speaking from, you may just discover some truth that will set you free from the anger you feel toward them.

Have you struggled with anger over your child’s poor behavior? Share your story with us in the comment section below.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.