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20. Book Review -- She's Gonna Blow!

Book Title: She's Gonna Blow! Real Help for Moms Dealing with Anger

AuthorJulie Ann Barnhill

Year of Publication2001

PublisherHarvest House Publishers

Pages272 pages

Author’s Web-site

Full Book Available inEnglish

You should read this book if you…

If you tell yourself “I am not going to get angry again and loose my temper with my children.” Yet again, you find yourself losing your temper only to be left with a sense of guilt and despair. Also, if you are struggling with the joys of parenting and/or to enjoy your children.

“In a nut shell”…

This book is about one mother’s open and honest journey through her parenting experience and her battle with anger. She candidly shares, with a touch of humor, her own daily struggles and mistakes as a mother. She reassures, all mothers, that they are not alone in the struggles that come with raising a family. She offers useful and helpful advice to deal with the anger in your life and begin to take step towards change.

Key Ideas…

Julie Ann Barnhill breaks down her book into two parts.

In the first part, she explores the various reasons women may be dealing with anger, likening them to volcanoes. She focuses on understanding your “style of erupting.” She explains three styles of eruption. The first is a simmering anger often displayed in a negative attitude towards life. The second style is described as an eruption that spews “verbal cinders of sarcasm” (Pg 35). The third style is an explosive eruption generating both verbal and physical abuse. She challenges that any of those types of eruptions can cause our children harm; therefore, we should desire to seek help.

Julie also focuses on recognizing the warning signs and the underground issues of anger, as well as, when you’ve gone too far. She tells of three warning signs that may lead to an eruption. The first, she describes as “little triggers, big eruptions” (Pg 53), which are the many little things that can cause stress. The second is sarcastic language that we tend to emit when irritable and the third is your own physical condition (i.e. PMS) that can set off explosive responses. She then categorizes the underground issues into three pressures that women face. She explains that pressures from the past, pressures from within and mounting pressures can be the root to our anger. Lastly, she shares through her very own account, that if you have induced any bodily harm on your child when angry, that you’ve gone too far. She lovingly encourages women to seek help.

In the second part, Julie provides sound and practical advice to move towards change. She presents 14 insightful and helpful strategies to “keeping things cool.” In addition, she includes appendixes chock-full of information about depression, child development stages and a wide-ranging recommended reading list.

Action Steps…

In each chapter Julie Ann Barnes inserts Time Out/Tamers, which are practical tips, for moms, to help with anger management. Following are the Top Ten:

Times like this are good occasions to start repeating the sane mother’s creed: “This too shall pass.” Pg 21

Sometimes you can short-circuit a volcanic explosion by concentrating on your physical reactions. Remind yourself to breathe deeply and slowly… Pg 36

If piles of laundry – or any other visual annoyance – tend to shake your temper, find a way to put them out of sight until you can do something about them. Pg 51

Learn to recognize the physical signs of anger in order to gain control over them and stop your anger from escalating. Pg 60

In so many stressful parenting situations laughter really can save you. Take advantage of the fact that your children really are funny…and let the tension escape through a laugh instead of a tantrum. Pg 88

Never underestimate the power of a sincere apology. When you realize you’ve misdirected anger toward your children…admit it. Pg 89

We can lessen the stress and improve our relationships if we consciously choose to forgive the child that is “always” doing something that upsets or bothers us. Pg 95

Looking your child square in the eye and tenderly holding his face in your hands, say, “I love you just the way you are!” Pg 102

If the unexpected throws you for a loop and triggers responses of anger then take a few minutes to plan for the unexpected in order to prevent angry eruptions. Pg 122

If PMS is a problem for you, you can alleviate some of the discomfort by simply decreasing your salt intake. Pg 179


“Do you find yourself assuming that you’re the only mother struggling with anger toward your children? The mother that you least expect may be burdened with the most secrets of anger and rage.” Pg 26

“This is the nagging issue of mother guilt. And this one’s a real pressure cooker for most of us because we have bought into assumption that, whatever happens to our children ‘it’s my fault because I’m the mom.’” Pg 86

“You had high ideals…and you watch many of those ideals come crashing down and pile up in a heap of reality around your Cheerio-encrusted toes…But take heart, dear friend. There is light at the end of the tunnel…and this time it’s not an annoying blue engine named Thomas! No, this light of hope is the loving and satisfying relationship that you and your child will experience as a result of your acknowledging…and dealing with your anger. Pg 232

How this has changed my parenting…

In dealing with my own anger, as a mother, I was most relieved to learn that I was not alone. This book encouraged me to continue to openly share my battle with anger, as a parent.  I was able to share my struggles with my friends and build a support group, even if they didn’t necessarily have the same struggles. The greatest nuggets of wisdom that I gleaned from this book were learning to admit my mistakes, apologize to my children, as well as forgiving their little quirks, and loving them for their wonderful little personalities. Julie Ann Barnhill’s strategies presented me with some practical steps in anger management.

My top Five Strategies are:

Strategy # 3: Take care of you physical self: Make sure to take the time to visit doctors/dentist and exercise.

Strategy # 6: Have a plan for discipline: A little advance preparation can do a lot to reduce stress.

Strategy # 10: Childproof you mouth: Control your tongue and think before you speak.

Strategy # 12: Adjust your attitude: Learn to be content in all things.

Strategy # 14: Start a support group: Find three or four other moms that have similar struggles and meet regularly.

© 2011 The Family Project

Related Topics: Christian Home, Mothers, Fathers, Parenting, Book Review, Women's Articles, Parent Resources

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