There Needs To Be Another Outlet

We told you recently about that group of parents in Massachusetts who were getting together outdoors in the pandemic. It wasn’t to socialize. It wasn’t to let their kids play. It was simply to scream—to shout out into the void their two plus years of accumulated frustrations from the pandemic.

It seems a little crazy…but also perfectly sane. We’ve all been through much, but even if the last couple years had been totally normal, it doesn’t take much to imagine yourself getting a lot of relief from something like that. Certainly it’s better than shouting at home or venting that frustration on your kids or the person who just cut you off in traffic.

The point is: We all need an outlet for the accumulated stress and difficulty of life. Scratch that—as parents we need outlets plural. We need somewhere to channel that energy, that anger, that exhaustion, that how is this my life feeling that we all get. It’s like toxic sludge, the byproduct functioning in the modern world, and it needs to be disposed of.

It doesn’t matter what it is, but you have to find something or somewhere. Anne Frank famously said that paper is more patient than people—so maybe for you it’s journaling or painting. Maybe you like long bike rides. Maybe your frustration is so intense you need to take it out in a kickboxing gym. Maybe it’s long walks on the beach. Maybe it’s literally shouting into the wind.

But find something. Use it safely. You are responsible for your sludge, not your kids.

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