#198: Family Culture Made Simple - Avoiding Anger
99% of parents struggle with anger....
“We think anger is blowing up at someone verbally or physically... but it can be through our glances, harsh tones, snide comments, or even sarcastic joking.” - Suz
If you choose anger often in you parenting, you are not alone. We believe anger is not inherently bad, but often used in the wrong way. The bottom line is anger, when not used right, creates disapproval. It exposes us as parents and ultimately shows that we (the parents) are reacting because we feel frustrated for simply not getting our way.
- Psalm 37:8 says, “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it only leads to evil.”
- Proverbs 29:22 says, “An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.”
- Ecclesiastes 7:9 says, “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.”
The reason we resort to anger is because IT WORKS!
We use anger to get compliance BUT THERE IS A BETTER WAY
Anger is a short-term solution but it can create a wedge in the relationship in the long term. There is a time as a parent to be forceful and express anger but if we react in anger, it can create the wrong outcome in our relationships.
As parents, we need to get to the core of our anger and stop – and understand why we are angry in the first place.
“Anger is in the non-verbal. Kids read our non-verbal words more than they hear our words. When we express the wrong form of anger it hurts our kids.” - Suz
“Anger produces fear in our children. It also creates aggressiveness. Anger does not produce the fruits of righteousness we deeply want in our kids.” -Don
As parents, we have the best intention when it comes to correcting our kids. Anger is a form of correction we most likely learned it from our parents or authorities in our lives. In our homes, we need to become aware of the things that trigger us and cause us to choose anger over careful correction.
LIE: YOU CAN’T BE FIRM WITHOUT BEING ANGRY.
We hear parents say, “I have to get angry to get my kids to respond.” We thought the same thing for a long time!
Here is what we say to parents who feel this way:
- You’re underestimating the intelligent of your child (oooff.... read that again..)
- Give them a chance to respond to something other than anger
- Calmly, present the consequence with firmness
- Stop looking it as "you vs. them" but think of it as a game of gaining their obedience
- Dissociate with anger and practice firmness and encouragement
Anger-triggering situations we discuss:
- Kids fighting over toys
- Your child lying to your face
- Kids are screaming at you about not wanting to obey (or throwing a fit)
- Kids are making you late for an event and moving in slow motion
- Kids won’t go to sleep when you asked and keep asking for things
Practical ways to STOP responding in anger:
- Stop reacting:
- Take a deep breath,
- Ask God for help and think about how you will intentionally correct.
- For littles – get on their level and see their eyes (eyes are the window to the soul)
- Ask for forgiveness. It heals angry outbursts.