Handling Anger

A soft answer turneth away wrath"  Proverbs 15:1

"Be angry and sin not"  Ephesians 4:26

OK, so admit it.   When you are angry you are NOT your best self.  Pretty much, it's you at your worst.  For this reason, I think guilt is great.  It is so painful that it makes you want to do better- pushes you to become the kind of person you are striving to become.

So we've talked about some ways to prevent anger- improving your children's behaviour and your own, action not words (before you are angry),  making a well thought out plan for handling difficult behaviour and praying for patience.  All very important.

But you will still get angry.  So many opportunities!! (Another of those common mother feelings is to feel overwhelmed and tired.  Did you think it was just you?) If we learn to handle anger in a righteous way - "Be angry and sin not"- we can teach our children by example.

Here is a list of behaviours that people do when angry.

Handle problems before you are angry
Be a peacemaker
Co-operate
Negotiate
Listen
Admit fault
Discuss problems
Leave the room until calmer
Blame
Name-calling
Threaten
Argue
Silent treatment
Sarcasm
Revenge
Use cutting remarks
Yell
Say "I hate you" or other horrible things
Scream abuse
Swear
Throw things
Hit
Hurt
Physical violence

Somewhere on that list is you.  You at your worst, (or your best if you are up near the top of the list!)
Also on that list is your current standard- no matter how angry you are you never.....

So raise your standard.  Make it higher than it is now. If you, in the heat of the moment, for example, swear- make a goal that no matter how angry you are you will never swear or say "I hate you".This will be exercising more control, even during your anger, than you have now.

When you can do this- expect a few failures and some of that great guilt-raise your standard higher again.  "No matter how angry I get, I will not use threats and sarcasm".

Over time, you and your family will develop a high standard.  You will be able to handle alot and NOT get angry and when you do, you will "sin not".

Make it a family goal that you work on together.  We give a signal (eg finger on cheek) that means- REMEMBER!!- and if they can't do it, they are sent to their room.  I have been sent to my room.  I love being sent to my room.

This makes the situation a little less serious and tense- you can look at yourselves and laugh.  Gives all of you a chance to calm down and try again.

We have three children for whom anger has been a daily (or several times daily) problem- has affected their happiness very often.  (Anger is a very common child feeling-  you can help  them learn to handle their temper and to minimize it.)

One has grown out of it  (bless the child! It WAS just a stage), one has, through diligence on their part and encouragement on ours, turned the weakness into a strength (Ether 12:27), and one is a work in progress.  Aren't we all.


Anger outlets for children- oh alright, I HAVE tried them all myself.
Run- no FASTER!
Bang pans together
Throw a ball at a target
Punch a pillow
Climb in your closet and scream
Funny story
We have a steep gully in front of our house.  When the boys were angry they could throw rocks or sticks as far as they could into the gully, as an anger outlet.  Years later I found out why my carefully nurtured pomegranate tree would never bare fruit. The pods were batted into the gully.  "Oh! Was that a FRUIT tree?"

-Lisa

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