The rage stage

When one of the children gets angry and a bit snarky and starts raising his or her voice, you can guarantee that there’s a sibling on hand to say, in their best mocking tone, ‘ooh watch out ‘so ‘n so’ is getting the rage.’  We all exchange furtive glances and smirks and it’s a bit of a joke for everyone but the person experiencing the rage.  For this person it’s real and meaningful, an unwelcome symptom of growing up.  As boy H says, ‘everyone goes through the rage stage.’ As the eldest, he can say this with some authority; he’s been through it and has come out the other side. The other ones are either in it, or heading full steam ahead into it!


I remember my own rage stage very clearly. I was eleven when I decided to pack a bag with all my favourite things and run away from home. I slipped out the back door and with a strut in my stride and fury in my belly, I walked to the end of the road and parked myself under a big old chestnut tree to ruminate in the hatred of my parents. When darkness drew in and my fury turned to hunger, I concluded that my parents had been sufficiently punished and raced back down the street feeling pretty confident that my unexplained absence would have struck such a fear and panic in my mother that she would be begging for my mercy. As it turned out, she didn’t even know I was gone. It quickly transpired that I was only out of the house for 40 minutes. Apparently my fury is no match for my appetite.


Anyway, I digress.  Topics that bring on the rage in our house include: teasing about the opposite sex; questioning one’s honesty; threatening to embarrass one in front of one’s girlfriend; deriding one’s athleticism; mocking one’s sartorial choices … the list grows on a daily basis.  There’s definitely a fine line between participating in some innocent family banter and totally destroying one’s sense of self-worth. One minute we’re sitting around the dinner table enjoying a bit of circle time (that’s what the kids like to call our ‘old-school’ method of getting them to engage in conversation – we go round the table and each one, in turn and without interruption, gets a chance to tell us something they did or learnt at school that day), and the next a child is rising, shunting his or her chair away from the table on the verge of transforming from mild-mannered Bruce Banner into the Hulk.  After some gentle persuasion, the situation is diffused eventually and circle time continues, everyone’s eyes down and smirks semi-constrained. The way P and I see it, if this is the worst it gets with our teens, then we’re the luckiest parents alive.  Somehow, though, we can’t help but think that with 5 children there’s bound to be a big, green, mutated monster lurking on our horizon. (3046)

4 Responses to The rage stage

  1. Adrienne
    - January 21, 2013 Reply

    Oh I laughed out loud about the 40 minutes you were gone. Love the Hulk pic. my boys bicker too and it drives me crazy. But, what are you gonna do? I try to let them fight it out. I it out.

    • thatfamilyfeeling
      - January 22, 2013 Reply

      Thanks for commenting! Yes, I remember those 40 minutes like it was yesterday. When you’re that young it feels like a lifetime!! We do the same with our boys – we prefer them to communicate their feelings but sometimes there’s the odd sucker punch and elbow to the kidneys!

  2. Healthystepfamily
    - January 31, 2013 Reply

    This is a great blog, with lots of humor. I love this post!

    • thatfamilyfeeling
      - February 3, 2013 Reply

      Thanks so much! I really appreciate that you took the time to read our blog. I’m popping over to yours right now.

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