As parents work through the denial phase, they begin to feel anger, which can be expressed as outward pain. They may ask, "Why me?" or "Why my child?". Life can seem horribly unfair; intense rage and resentment can spill over to the nurses involved in the child’s care. Parents search for someone to blame for the terrible injustice done to their child, and may experience a crisis in their religious beliefs. The anger can be displaced on nurses who worked with the child prior to his diagnosis as parents ask, "Why didn’t you see this earlier? Why didn’t you tell us sooner?"

It’s important to recognize the real source of the anger, rather than personalizing comments from the grieving mother and father. Some parents are fearful of what will happen if the rage boils over, while others feel tremendous guilt because they recognize that they are angry at the child whose disabilities precipitated the anger. Nurses can provide an invaluable service to the family by listening in a nonjudgmental way, acknowledging that the parents have feelings that are valid and normal, and helping the family move toward the next phase. They can also encourage the family to make use of their anger by channeling the energy and vitality that it engenders. Naseef, in his work with families, discovered an important truth: "Many parents have told me that they didn’t know what they would do, who they would be, or how they would function, without the anger." (Naseef, p. 35)

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Anger can be very useful to parents after their child is diagnosed with a disability.