“How many of you are surprised at the love you feel for your kids?”
All the moms and dads present at the parenting seminar raise their hands.
“How many of you are shocked by the anger and frustration you can feel toward those same kids?”
Most of the hands raise.
We are passionate about what and who we love, are we not?
It is no surprise frustration and anger are emotions we experience when we are raising out kids.
But none of us want to allow those feelings to rule our behavior and permeate our homes.
So…rather than fall into the Big Bad Mad we can do somethings to curb the heated rise of the Monster Mother or the Frightening Father.
1. Remind yourself and then say aloud, “My child is _______(years-old).” Kids think, talk , and reason like kids.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.1 Corinthians 13:11
2. Avoid replaying your angry responses in your mind. Instead think of how you can respond with kindness. Retrain your brain to approach frustrations with a new response rather than reinforce and rehearse the frustrated reaction in your mind. (Kids give us plenty of opportunities to practice a different way!)
We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5b
3. Change your self-talk. “I’m the worst parent. I have such a bad temper.” Rather say, “I am able to choose patience and kindness. I can demonstrate control. I am the parent.” OR change your self-talk regarding your child, “That kid is such a liar.” Instead focus on the action needed rather than the person. Say to yourself, “Honesty is a trait we need to work on.”
The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Romans 8:6-7
4. Be accountable. Ask a trusted person to pray for you. Ask that person to hold you accountable by checking in and asking how things are going. Be honest about your struggle.
5. Document your frustrated reactions. Is there a pattern? What is the catalyst? Be aware so you can prepare to make adjustments when similar moments arise.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
6. Wait. Wait some more. Delay your response. Be slow to anger.
7. Develop a Rage Interrupter. Have a go to reaction that you can implement that will refocus the mad.
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. James 1:26
Controlling our tongue (my tongue) can only be fully accomplished with God’s help. Here are some excellent verses to study and to pray:
Proverbs 10:14, 12:16, 12:18, 14:1, 14:29, 16:32
1 Corinthians 13:5
Anger is a secondary emotion usually caused by a primary emotion (frustration, embarrassment, or hurt) It gives us the heads up that something is wrong and it needs to be addressed. But…anger doesn’t fix the problem.
Let your rising mad clue you in that there is an issue to deal with, then move into problem-solving mode to effectively get to the solution side of the conflict.
If you would like more information on parental and child anger and what to do about it–check out these books: Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love. If you head over to the 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Store to buy them the proceeds from the sales go into the 1C13P ministry. Or if you prefer the books are also available over a Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.