Anger is a normal emotion that tells us something is wrong. There is nothing wrong with feeling angry. However, there is something wrong when we can’t control our anger in an appropriate way.
When some people get angry, they blow up immediately hurting everyone around them. Others hide their anger inside until they get to a point where they explode, sometimes over a minor incident. Neither way is very effective.
Many adults do not know how to control their own emotions and are not a good role model for their children. When their children are reacting in anger, often a parent will respond with anger themselves, which doesn’t teach the child a good lesson. I remember times when my children were asked to clean their rooms and when I went to check on them, nothing had been done. To me, they were being disobedient and disrespectful. I started telling them how lazy they were and how tired I was cleaning up their messes. When they just sat there and looked at me without moving to do anything, I got angry and started yelling. Then I would pick up their toys and put them in garbage bags, threatening to throw them away. After I had my own little temper tantrum, I would go to my room and lay down exhausted. I didn’t realize that I was acting very childish and all I had accomplished was to show an example of poor parenting. What did this teach my children? That is was okay to react in anger and that they were lazy and worthless.
It is important that we teach our children that it is okay to feel anger, but also how to deal with their anger. How can we do this?
- talk to them calmly
- be firm
- set a good example
- help them recognize that they are feeling angry
- help the understand why they are feeling angry
- help them deal with the anger in a positive way
Here are some positive ways to deal with anger:
- talk about it with someone who will listen
- write it down or draw a picture
- go for a walk or do some exercise
- deep breathing
- get up and dance
- do some work (cleaning works good for me)
- cry about it (this doesn’t mean you are weak)
- read an anger management book
- read the Bible
For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness. ~Author Unknown
Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath. ~Eckhart Tolle
No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched. ~George Jean Nathan