Is ANGER an issue in your home? I mention the importance of not dealing with our children in anger at most of my workshops, and have had many parents come to me saying that they struggle with this. (especially those who have a difficult child!) Many moms have come to me in tears admitting they are really having a hard time with their anger, and they feel guilty, because no matter how many times they determine to not let it happen again, it does.
Before I say anything else on this topic, let me clarify that I am not talking about the parent who gets mad every once in awhile, and yells at their chidren. I think all of us would admit to having done that. Everytime I've lost my temper with my children, as soon as I realized it, I would go back to them and ask their forgiveness. I've never had a child respond to my apology in a negative way. Kids are very forgiving, and mine would always throw their arms around my neck, and say "I forgive you Mommy!", and "I love you." I'm talking about those who are angry more often than not, and those who don't go back and apologize when they've responded in anger.
Why do I keep stressing the importance of gaining control over our anger or an angry spirit? There are several reasons I think this is VERY important:
1. Anger (in the parents) is one of the biggest causes of rebellion in our children.
2. When we repeatedly treat tour kids harshly and don't make it right, it will cause them to harbor hurt and bitterness, and that will in turn cause them to close their hearts to us.
3. When we lose their hearts, we no longer have the opportunity to influence them.
4. Anger doesn't address the heart issue, and confuses the learning process. Instead of the child thinking about the fact that they did something wrong, they think they are in trouble for upsetting Mom or Dad. Their focus then changes from correcting what they did wrong to avoiding your anger. "If you examine the way you discipline, you may discover that you spend a lot fo time on behavior modification–getting your chidlren to do the right thing, but the heart is not touched. Parents who are content to focus on behavior may be teaching their kids image management: the ability to appear good, clean, and nice. But God is concerned with the heart." (from the book Good and Angry)
5. When we appeal to our children on the basis of love, rather than relying upon fear of our authority, their response will be much different. When we "intimidate them into subjection" we will only get outward compliance. Our goal should be to win their hearts into submission.
6. Anger is contagious! If one, or both, parents have an angry spirit, there's a pretty good chance that you kids have a ltitle bit of one too.
7. As Christian parents who are stiving hard to raise our children for God, anger can be the biggest obstacle that stands in our way.
The Bible tells us "be ye angry and sin not", so the anger itself isn't the issue. It's how we respond to that anger. Many of us were brought up by angry parents, and that's all we know. But it's not the way we want to raise our children. We need to look to God's Word for answers, and seek His help daily in prayer.
I try not to make my blog an advertising page, but on this topic, I feel that I really need to mention two very valuable resources that will help you in the area of anger, and I mention them only because the results of anger in the home are so devastating. I would encourage you that if you struggle with this, check out the resources below, and start applying some of the very practical tips they give to help you.
Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids!
Parents often feel angry when their children do the wrong things.
Responding to children in anger can be more damaging than helpful– but anger doesn't have to be the enemy. It can serve as a trigger to help you be an even better parent. Recognizing the very real emotions parents face, the authors give you a plan to deal with the current problems in your kids that will actually build lasting character in them. (242 page book)
Freedom From the Spirit of Anger DVD
by Dr. S.M. Davis
The most destructive force in family life today is the anger of one or both parents. But rebellion in youth seldom goes away until parents deal, not just with anger, butwith their spirit of anger. MANY PEOPLE WITH A SPIRIT OF ANGER DO NOT EVEN REALIZE IT. A spirit of anger is also very contagious, and often our children"catch" it from us. This is a great DVD to watch as a family!
On this DVD, Dr. Davis tells why man's anger is wrong, and also gives: 10 STEPS TO FOLLOW TO GET FREEDOM FROM THE SPIRIT OF ANGER.
Check out our other great Character Building Resources here: http://courtshipconnection.com/character/