"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.
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. John 3:20
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.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19
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.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
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.
Lori is now scheduling for the 2016-17 school year. Click here to contact her for a speaking event, parenting seminar or workshop, or for parent consulting and coaching.