Uncovering the Truth About Anger with Peter Sacco

Most men struggle with anger daily. Our tempers flare at work and at home with our wife and kids. Some of us are like Bruce Banner. Some of us turn into the Incredible Hulk. Canada’s psyche doctor, Peter Andrew Sacco tells us the secrets to where anger comes from, how to manage it, and so much more. You don’t want to skip this mind-blowing episode!

We are full-time workers, dads, and husbands. As men, it’s sometimes hard to control our anger. Discovering what type of temperament we have will help us find better ways to manage our anger, improve our relationships, and set an example for our kids on how to deal with their emotions too.

Peter Sacco

Peter Sacco, author of What’s Your Anger Type? is a psychology professor, a former private practitioner and is a regularly featured guest on television and radio. He is also an award-winning executive producer and has hosted many documentaries on relationships, psychological issues, and children’s issues. Peter Sacco has done extensive work in support groups and in anger management, especially with dads who are abusive towards kids and spouses.

Anger is a normal

Anger is a normal emotion. It’s how we deal with it that can be destructive.

Anger makes a person seem more authoritative and powerful, but the truth is that people with an anger problem actually feel they have no control in their lives. A lot of this aggression comes from unresolved issues in childhood and from shame or rage from being rejected as a kid.

Anger can be addictive

Anger is like a drug. When a person gets incensed, they experience an adrenaline rush. Being angry gives the sensation of dominance and control. It overpowers the fear that lies beneath it and gives a person a sense of power because it’s a stronger emotion than depression.

Is there hope for men with anger issues?

Some men who’ve come from a chaotic childhood feel doomed. They believe they’re broken and can’t be fixed. But Peter Sacco says there is tremendous hope for people with anger issues, but they have to do the work.

“You’ve got to want to be the change in your own life”

The Anger Cycle

Just like a soldier who has experienced PTSD, a person with a traumatic or abusive past might cope with unresolved emotions in different destructive ways. Some may use drugs and alcohol, some might vent their rage on certain races, others will withdraw or play the victim.

“Today’s catchers are tomorrow’s pitchers.”

A person who has anger issues will be more likely to take it on one his family. If your relationships fall apart and your work life is full of turmoil, the common denominator is you. It may be time to seek help.

Anger and bullying

Bullied kids lack self-esteem and confidence. They suffer from anxiety and depression. Some overcome it through counseling and become normal. Some cope by learning to be helpless and withdraw. Others develop a superiority complex and become bullies themselves, using aggression, rage, or passive aggression on others.

Why Kids are Suffering from Anxiety and Depression

Parents spend 2.5 to 6.5 minutes talking to their kids each day. In this small amount of time, the communication is usually corrective or punitive. It’s not at a deep intimate level because parents shy away from intimacy from their kids. ADHD has gone up. Divorce rates have risen. Peter Sacco believes it’s this lack of intimacy that’s more responsible than toxins in the environment or ingredients in food. Communication is the key.

Tips for improving communication with your kids

  1. How to start the conversation – If you feel uncomfortable speaking with your kids, find a situation where you’re most comfortable. Dinner is the best and most traditional forum for families to talk. Sit at the table. Make your kids accountable. Every day, ask them to give five things they’re grateful for. Then tell them to talk about one or two things they didn’t like. This will open up communication.
  2. Don’t start out questions with WHY – “Why” pushes someone in a corner. Be a facilitator, don’t treat kids as miniature adults. Don’t say why was your day bad? Say, if your day could go anyway you wanted, what would that be?
  3. Be more creative with questions – Do not be so direct. Maybe some things they’re facing will come out.
  4. Make yourself the go-to guy – Fathers are the breadwinners, and many feel that as long as they provide for their children, they’re doing their job as a parent. Most dads will plan adventures or bond over sports, but these activates focus on the event, not the father/child relationship. Dads should sit down with their kid and ask, “I’m Dad and you’re my child – let me ask you a question. What do I mean to you as a father? How do you see me? The all-knowing problem solver? Nagger? Coach? Disciplinarian? Teacher? How can I be a better dad?”
  5. How to talk about bullying – Kids won’t talk about being bullied because they’re afraid their parents will be ashamed of them. If you suspect bullying, don’t think that nothing’s happening and wait for it to go away on its own. It will wreck a child’s self-esteem. It’s crucial for kids to know that bullying happens in all walks of life. There is nothing to be ashamed of and that they can talk to you about it.

When Dads Get Angry

Even on our best days, our patience will run out. Peter Sacco says that the best way to communicate anger is to tell your kids you’re not feeling well. Tell them you just need a few moments. Instead of making it worse, treat anger like you have an upset stomach or like you’re going to vomit. You don’t want to talk about it. You want to be left alone. You’re not lying by saying you’re not feeling well because anger is a feeling. In a half hour, the emotions pass, and you’ll be in rational mindset to talk.


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eliminate negative emotions

How to Eliminate Negative Emotions by Targeting False Thoughts

Our thoughts and emotions can tear us down if we don’t know how to manage them. When waves of stress repeatedly hit us, our emotions can override our brains and take over our behavior, leading us to perform badly and make poor decisions. We may experience overwhelm or feel like our life is spinning out of control.

In this quick episode, I discuss the difference between an emotion and a thought, and how we can use the dynamic between emotions and thoughts to eliminate unnecessary stress, depression, anger, and overwhelm.

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Grab a copy of The Dad’s Edge AUDIOBOOK on iTunes or Audible


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sports performance anxiety

4 Fundamental Strategies to Alleviate Sports Performance Anxiety – GDP014

“4 Fundamental Strategies to Alleviate Sports Performance Anxiety in Our Kids” Episode Overview:

Larry Hagner and Shawn Stevenson talk about 4 fundamental strategies to help our kids get the most out of sporting events. At times, it can be challenging as parents to know exactly how to help bring the best out in our child when they are competing. Shawn and Larry not only offer four strategies to help Dads, but also share some of their own stories and experiences.

Key Take-Aways

  • Focus on progress and not necessarily the results

  • Be extremely mindful of your words when giving feedback about sports performance

  • When it comes to sports performance expectations, don’t set the bar too high

  • Ways to talk to our kids after a sporting event

Progress vs. Results

At times, we can be so focused on the ultimate result of winning vs. the level of improvement. When it comes to sports performance anxiety, we can help alleviate stress by giving our kids techniques to improve it.

For example, instead of telling our kids to “hit the baseball”, we can help them work on their stance or the speed of their swing. Giving kids these small steps for improvement will vastly improve their enjoyment of competing in sports. After all, it’s not whether our kids win or lose. The main objective is to ensure our kids enjoy themselves and learn to improve.

Be Mindful of Your Word Choice When Giving Feedback

Kids hang on every word we say when it comes to critical feedback. Some of the word choices we use sound extremely positive and supportive from our point of view. However, they can have the opposite effect on our kids. As a result, our word choice and feedback can actually increase sports performance anxiety.

For example, the statement “Let’s make sure we go 3 for 3 today!” can sound uplifting to us. However, for some kids, this can create a great deal of pressure and anxiety. Keep in mind, pressure and anxiety at a young age can be the opposite of fun.

Setting the Bar Too High

Youth athletics is meant to be fun and competitive. For the most part, there is a very small percentage of kids who will go on to the professional level. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of expecting our kids to perform at the top level each and every time. Just like us, they will have bad days. Even the best youth athletes (and professionals, for that matter) have bad performances from time to time. The main focus of each and every event is simply to ensure your little athlete tried their very best and enjoyed themselves.

Conversation in the Car Ride Home Will Be Forever Remembered

For the past two years, I have had the privilege of hosting “Dad Workshops” to help other dads be their best. I have had several conversations with other dads who talk about memories of “the dreaded ride home after a game.” In other words, if the performance was not ideal, the conversation was not a good one. Moreover, the conversation would forever become a memory that was less than optimal.

The car ride home is a perfect opportunity to mention all the positive things you noticed about the game regardless if the performance was good or bad. Asking questions like:

  • What was your favorite part of the game?

  • What position did you enjoy playing the most?

  • What part was the most fun?

Questions like these bring our kids into a positive conversation about the highlights of the game. Ultimately, it will help alleviate sports performance anxiety and bring the fun back into sports performance.

Free Resources:

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS


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