Anger Management

Angry BirdsMy son loves his Angry Birds, no doubt about it. He could play them all day long and still not tire of them. He has board games, t-shirts, hats, and various other items displaying his entertainment of choice as well. However, when my son started resembling a little too keenly his favorite characters, it seemed time to nip things in the bud.

Being six years old must be a tough age. You aren’t a baby, but aren’t quite able to do everything your mind can think up. Your coordination is still developing, you’re learning new lessons and being given more responsibility now that you’re getting old enough to handle certain new skills.

Now, compound that with having not only a mom and a day, but three older sisters trying to help you, teach you, redirect you, and often discipline you (even when they shouldn’t). This poor little guy can get overwhelmed very quickly!

I can understand being upset, really I can. There are moments all of us become overwhelmed by the situation or our emotions get the better of us. What I couldn’t allow to happen though, was for this to become a habit or for my son to feel he was allowed to act out in his anger. No, some boundaries needed to be set.

While there are no fool-proof plans to helping someone overcome anger, I think there are some basic steps we can take toward reaching our goal.

Understand the Problem – Until I diagnose the cause of someone’s anger, I cannot truly help them start to overcome it. Find the source and that will help lead you to the answer.

Walk Away From the Problem – If possible, I have learned to remove my child from the situation which is causing him to lose his cool. Sometimes just walking away for a moment helps clear his head.

Handle the Problem – If temporary avoidance doesn’t help us out, perhaps we need to tackle the situation together. Helping them see the problem through a different lens might bring about a change.

Deal with the Attitude – Sometimes the source of anger isn’t a situation, it is the heart of the person involved. There are various ways we have helped our kids deal with their attitudes: prayer, communication, time alone, and, when absolutely necessary, discipline.

Each day is a new opportunity for us to win the victory over our emotions. With every new circumstance, we can develop a higher tolerance to our own anger and chose to make the best decisions possible.

Have any of your children struggled with anger? What helped them?

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,…”                –  Eph. 4:26

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11 thoughts on “Anger Management

  1. I always give them situations/examples (fictional or real) and usually a story about a similar situation resonates better than anything else. Asking them to take deep breaths when angry and count to 10 1st before crying or yelling or screaming also helps.

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  2. We seem to deal with our fair share of anger. I agree with you that we must understand the problem before there is anything I can do to help them. My boys (ages 6 & 3) are learning to talk through their anger, but sometimes a few minutes alone to allow them to cool off is necessary.
    However, we find scripture to be our key for handling most of these issues. Our favorite verse for Anger is James 1:20 “because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
    This almost always speaks to us and brings the heat down. If my kids cannot control their anger I remind them that is why we have a savior. We talk about Jesus and that he experienced anger but we must know the difference between righteous anger and anger that leads us into sin. We also talk about how Jesus is with us and when we can’t do it on our own we can depend on Him to help us (Philippians 4:13) We pray and we try again.
    I find that if we can reach the heart issue, the anger or whatever outward behavior we are dealing with tends to melt away.

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    • That is where the discipline comes in for us. We don’t allow them to abuse one another.
      My husband will also try to cure the symptoms with laughter. He tries to make them smile and laugh, which helps them get over those angry moments.

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  3. I have three boys, they fight one second and laugh the next. Each one of them have their unique temper tantrum. Although I must say, removing them from the situation and letting them explain why they’re angry seems to help. On difficult days when I can’t just take it, I remove myself from the chaos. They panic when mommy is gone =)

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  4. We deal with this a lot with my daughter. When she gets upset we work on breathing techniques (in through the nose, out through the mouth). It calms her down and keeps me from getting worked up too! I get frustrated with her when I don’t understand why she’s upset. That issue is my own not hers, but I am working on it.

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