My Kids Are Mad at Me

My Kids Are Mad at MeI like being liked, doesn’t everyone? The people I want to like me most are my family. So when my kids are having an off day and decide I’m a convenient target, an entire slew of emotions come into play. How did we get here, and why are my kids mad at me?

Just like us, kids have hard days. It can be all too easy to take on personal guilt when these feelings in them bother us. There is a series of emotions and steps my mind seems to run through every time this happens. Perhaps some of these resonate with you, too?

Getting Over the Hurt – My heart is immediately saddened. The kids are mad because I’m parenting them? My mind can’t seem to compute how they could be upset when I want them to brush their teeth, make their beds, study their schoolwork… The hurt turns to a moment of guilt, wondering if I’m asking too much or doing something wrong.

Seeing Past the Red – Then the hurt turns to anger. I know I’m doing my job and they are making it hard; very hard. My pride kicks in, hating the disrespect being shown and the sharp replies I am receiving when I’m doing my best to remain calm and collected.

Learning to Pray – It’s in the midst of the anger, however, I am filled with the overwhelming need to pray. I don’t want to speak out in anger – while it might be righteous indignation, my reaction affects everything – hurting my children and doing further damage. I’m learning to ask the Lord to speak to their hearts, softening them to His will and obedience. I seek His will in my response and calmness for my heart.

Extending Understanding – While my children shouldn’t have acted out, and consequences will need to be given, the Lord is helping me see through my children’s eyes. Perhaps they have had a busy morning and feel overwhelmed. Maybe they were already frustrated and I’ve unintentionally poked at them. Their actions are not justified, but it’s good to know why this happened so we can move forward and work on removing this barrier in the future.

Holding Firm – Once my children have calmed down, they inevitably feel sorry for their actions. It might take a while, but it always comes around. It would be all too easy to write off their consequences and call it a day; everything is good now. That would be a mistake on my part. While I appreciate their repentance, my children also need to learn justice. It hurts to follow through, but it is necessary and important.

Tying Strings – We could leave it at repentance – it’s not a bad place to stop – but I want more. I need to rebuild the relationship which might be torn or bruised. A hug might be the answer, working together on a project, reading a story, watching a movie, talking during a walk, and more. At times this is harder than others, but worth the effort.

More than being liked, I want to be righteous. This means I need to set a good example for my children in moments of hurt and anger. It also means I need to stand firm in building their character.

When my children are mad, I need to remove myself from the picture, take a step back, evaluate what is going on beneath the surface, and ask the Lord for wisdom. This is not a personal affront, but a personal attack upon my child. The question is will I help or cause more hurt?

“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.”
~ Psalm 103:13

Your Turn!: What is your favorite way to “tie strings” with your children?

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Am I Provoking My Child?

am_i_provokingLife can be challenging, especially for a child. There are so many things to learn, rules to follow, and people to obey. They have seemingly little control over their own lives and can often get frustrated when things do not go their way. One of the most frustrating trials a child can face is when their own parent provokes them. Whether we mean to or not, as parents we can push our children beyond what they are able to endure.

I find it beneficial to periodically reflect on my parenting; making sure I am not the source of my child’s frustration (and least not purposefully). Here is a list of ways that I can provoke my children:

  • Constant criticism and a failure to encourage
  • Double standards and/or being a hypocrite
  • Being angry and harsh
  • Lack of affection
  • Telling them what to do or not do without giving Biblical reasons
  • Comparing them to others
  • Embarrassing them (correcting, mocking or expressing disappointment in them in front of others)
  • Lecturing them and not listening
  • Failing to be humble and asking for forgiveness
  • Micromanagement
  • Giving them a greater burden than they can bear (whether it is homeschooling work, chores, or responsibilities)

The Bible teaches that we are not to provoke our children to anger. (“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4) While this verse speaks directly to Fathers, I am sure it must also apply to us moms.

Reflecting on my parenting and my relationship with my children, I am able to clearly see ways in which I am failing as a parent and ways in which I can improve. While I will constantly fail, I pray that I am getting better.

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so they won’t become discouraged.”
~ Colossians 3:21

📢 Chime In!: Upon reflection, do you struggling in this area?

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Triggers

“It’s my belief that there’s a literal epidemic of angry moms in and outside of the church today. Moms are struggling, they know they’re struggling, and they want help. But they have no idea where to start.”
~ Brooke McGlothlin, Co-Founder/President of MOB

TriggersIf you had asked me whether or not I was – am – an angry parent, I would have said, “NO!” I don’t yell at my kids. I don’t make judgements out of anger or cause them physical harm. But anger comes in many forms. No, I don’t yell at my kids. I take the high road, I use silence and distance. And that, my friends, is no better.

If we are to parent graciously, as God commands, we need to better understand what is causing our anger. Why are we becoming angry, lashing out at our children (no matter the form it takes) and causing damage in our homes? And what does God want us to do about it?

Triggers, written by Amber Lia and Wendy Speake, is a lovely book written to help all mammas Biblically overcome their anger, seeking God’s help in restoring their homes and relationships with their children.

Triggers is broken down into two detailed sections: External Triggers and Internal Triggers. We are being shown two essential truths. What our kids are doing that makes us go bonkers. And, what is going on within our own hearts which is causing us to sin.

Among the most poignant for me were the chapters on Backtalk, Disrespect, and the Ignoring of Instruction. Amber Lia and Wendy Speake gently reminded me that my anger stemmed from my feeling of being powerless. I was angry due to heartache. How dare my family take my heart and abuse it!

“My intentions were good, my words were joy-filled, my plan was love, and my offering generous. But when I realized, in no uncertain terms, that no one was listening to me… I broke down.”
~ Wendy Speake, Triggers

Other chapters which strike a chord among most moms include Exhaustion, Running Late, Lack of Personal Space, and Generational Habits/Patterns of Sin.  Here, yet again, we are graciously reminded we cannot change the hearts of children; this is God’s work. What we can do, is draw closer to God; allowing Him to do a mighty work in us!

There is a difference between anger for the sake of pride and righteous indignation. Even God became angry when He saw the sin of His people. (Romans 1:18) No, the sin is not in being angry. The mistake is in what we allow to anger us; the sin lies in how we respond to the emotion within. (Ephesians 4:26)

No, I don’t yell at my children. As I mentioned earlier, I tend to withdraw. While this might initially reduce stress levels, and allow time for the Lord to do a work in each of our hearts, this can also be a danger zone. I need to remember God wants our family to be united; as one. We cannot do this if mommy does not wish to even be in the same room as her children! If there is a need, pulling myself out of the situation – for a time – might be of benefit. However, I need to be using this time to pray; asking the Lord to do a work in my own heart, seeking assistance to guard my tongue, and planning ways to restore the broken bond. I need to put pride aside and remember that just as I do, my children need grace and mercy.

Triggers is an excellent book! If you have yet to nab a copy for yourself, may I highly recommend you do so today. You will be blessed to know you aren’t alone and encouraged to seek Christ above all. Triggers is well thought out, full of Biblical wisdom, and uplifting to the end. You won’t want to skip this read!

“… this book is not just for moms of little ones. It’s for all moms who are ready for a change, ready to replace angry reactions with gentle biblical responses…”
~ Brooke McGlothlin

📢 Chime In!: Is anger an issue you’re working on overcoming in Christ? Share with us Bible verses the Lord has given you in your mission to becoming a graceful parent.

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Well, That Was Provoking

Tunnel VisionLife can be challenging, especially for a child. There are so many things to learn, rules to follow, and people to obey. They have seemingly little control over their own lives and can often get frustrated when things do not go their way.

One of the most frustrating trials a child can face is when their own parent provokes them. Whether we mean to or not, as parents we can push our children beyond what they are able to endure.

I find it beneficial to periodically reflect on my parenting; making sure I am not the source of my child’s frustration (and least not purposefully). Here is a list of ways that I can provoke my children:

  • Constant criticism and a failure to encourage
  • Double standards and/or being a hypocrite
  • Being angry and harsh
  • Lack of affection
  • Telling them what to do or not do without giving Biblical reasons
  • Comparing them to others
  • Embarrassing them (correcting, mocking or expressing disappointment in them in front of others)
  • Lecturing them and not listening
  • Failing to be humble and asking for forgiveness
  • Giving them a greater burden than they can bear (whether it is homeschooling work, chores, or responsibilities)

Beach BumsThe Bible teaches that we are not to provoke our children to anger. (“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4) While this verse speaks directly to Fathers, I am sure it must also apply to us moms.

Reflecting on my parenting and my relationship with my children, I am able to clearly see ways in which I am failing as a parent and ways in which I can improve. While I will constantly fail, I pray that I am getting better.

Time to Chime In: Do you reflect on your parenting? What do you see?

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

Well, That Was Provoking

Tunnel VisionLife can be challenging, especially for a child. There are so many things to learn, rules to follow, and people to obey. They having seemingly little control over their own lives and can often get frustrated when things do not go their way.

One of the most frustrating trials a child can face is when their own parent provokes them. Whether we mean to or not, as parents we can push our children beyond what they are able to endure.

I find it beneficial to periodically reflect on my parenting; making sure I am not the source of my child’s frustration (and least not purposefully). Here is a list of ways that I can provoke my children:

  • Constant criticism and a failure to encourage
  • Double standards and/or being a hypocrite
  • Being angry and harsh
  • Lack of affection
  • Telling them what to do or not do without giving Biblical reasons
  • Comparing them to others
  • Embarrassing them (correcting, mocking or expressing disappointment in them in front of others)
  • Lecturing them and not listening
  • Failing to be humble and asking for forgiveness
  • Giving them a greater burden than they can bear (whether it is homeschooling work, chores, or responsibilities)

Beach BumsThe Bible teaches that we are not to provoke our children to anger. (“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4) While this verse speaks directly to Fathers, I am sure it must also apply to us moms.

Reflecting on my parenting and my relationship with my children, I am able to clearly see ways in which I am failing as a parent and ways in which I can improve. While I will constantly fail, I pray that I am getting better.

Do you reflect on your parenting? What do you see?