“My dear brothers take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
“Mom, I want that gum, I don’t want to clean my room, I’m not eating that, please, please, please,” Sound familiar? Our kids are the most precious gift that God has given us, but that doesn’t mean this gift doesn’t come with it’s challenges! Our kids God bless their sweet little souls have a way of pushing us to our limits leaving us exhausted and exasperated. It isn’t always like this, but when the whining and disobedience starts it is easy to lose our cool. Our plates are full with work, parenthood, housekeeping, and a host of other things so our patience level may be low and when this happens just like the little teapot when we get steamed up it is easy to shout!
Shouting or becoming angry is a way to release our frustration that is neither productive or healthy for ourselves or our children. My grandmother always spoke in a kind tone, I literally can’t remember her raising her voice. I wish I had that trait, but I must admit I can get loud pretty quick. Yelling doesn’t resolve anything because it only raises our child’s anxiety level and the result is they react to what you are giving out. Respect is extremely important if we want a good relationship with our children. If they know we are listening to them and acknowledging what they are feeling they are more likely to communicate with you.
Lucky for us James gives us some great advice about anger. The next time you are ready to blow your top think about these 3 tips he gives us:
1. Be Quick To Listen– Really take time to listen to your child hear what they are saying to you. Even if they are whining, instead of immediately getting frustrated (which is so easy) try to initiate a conversation and eliminate the whine. Express that you want to listen to them, but that can only happen if they calm down and talk to you without the theatrics, of course word it a bit nicer. Once that happens really listen to their request before you formulate your answer.
2. Slow to Speak- I am quick to speak and this isn’t such a good thing. Before a word comes out especially in a high stress situation calm yourself down first. This may mean giving yourself a time out, by walking away until you can calm your own spirit. If you start talking when you heart is beating fast in anger than nothing good most likely will come out. Pray and ask God for patience and for a calm heart.
3. Slow to Anger- Anger is an emotion that all human beings experience. It becomes a sin when we use it to hurt others. Finding ways to appropriately handle your anger is not only beneficial to you but to your children also. When you discipline in anger it isn’t effective for your children. Take time to work out this emotion before doling out punishment or consequences.
Most of all we need to pray for ourselves and our children when these challenging times arise. We want to live a righteous life and model good behavior for our kids. Living in a home where anger resides only produces angry and frustrated children who become adults that can’t appropriately deal with their anger which then has a negative effect on their spiritual growth. Anger happens how we deal with it and teach our children to deal with it is what matters.