Parenting anger can be harnessed with a simple time-out….for YOU.
You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19
How do you handle your parenting anger? When your child defies you, lies to you, sneaks out after curfew, or doesn’t do his chores?
When I was in 7th grade, my dad caught me in a lie about a book I was reading that I knew he’d dislike. He told me to come see him in 30 minutes and we would talk about it. That half hour was tortuous, waiting for his punishment. I always thought that time-out was for me to stew and worry and think about what I’d done.
But I later learned that the wait was just as much for my dad as it was for me. You see, I always thought my dad never got angry. However, I learned when I was older that he did feel anger, but he never took it out on me, even when I did something stupid or rebellious. Instead, he’d send me to my room to think about what I’d done and at the same time, he was giving himself time to calm down and think through the situation. Actually, his motivation was more to help him than it was to give me time to mull over my actions.
If you struggle with controlling your anger with your kids, consider giving yourself time-outs like my dad did. When they are little, that time-out will probably only be a minute or two because your child may forget the infraction. But even in that short time, you can pray, think, and get a perspective that will keep you from spewing words that don’t benefit anyone, and could cause damage to your relationship with your child.
I’m pretty sure that what you would say to your children impulsively in anger and what you would say after a time-out when you are calmer will be two different things.
Do you feel stuck in a rut, and overwhelmed by the demands of parenting?
Not to mention wondering if you are doing the right things to help your children grow up to love and honor God?
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