New Series: Anger and Children Part 1


Do you ever get angry with your children?  I do.

I hate it.  I hate it when I lose my temper.  Or yell.  Or speak with a mean tone in my voice.

I don’t want to do that.  It’s part of this whole FunMom thing for me.   As I become FunMom, I lose AngryMom.   As I become FunMom, I read and I study and I learn how.  How, exactly, does one become fun?

I don’t mean fun as in “play-a-wild-raucous-game-of-Duck-Duck-Goose” fun.  I mean fun as in peaceful.  Laughter.  Enjoying my children and my life and my role.  Happiness with myself.

As in, not angry.

Although come to think of it,  what if every time we felt angry we played a wild raucous game of Duck Duck Goose?  I bet that would do the trick right there.

I think it’s a good time to try my first series.  A series on anger.  I can write a lot about it because it’s one of my biggest downfalls.

I know I know.   I’ve read it too, “they” tell us not to focus on what we’re bad at, but on our strengths.  Well, sadly, anger is a strength for me.  But we’re not going to talk about how to get angry.  We’re going to talk about how to avoid anger.  Actually, how to fight anger.  We’re going to be on the offense.  Proactive.

No More Anger.  That’s my motto.

The First Post Will Come To Press on Thursday.

We’ll go from there, with “anger” posts on Tuesday and Thursday.  Until we’re all out of thoughts on anger.  Then we’ll go to something else.

As we go, I’d absolutely love your input:

  • What situations in your home can get you boiling?
  • How do you avoid spewing your anger at those closest to you?
  • What have you learned about dealing with anger?

I’m all ears.

Also in this series:

My Struggles With Anger

Realization #1:  Acting In Anger Is Wrong

Also check out our Anger and Children Page.  There’s info on the giveaway and a link-up.

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Christy can be found at the beach chasing naked toddlers and cheering on her young surfers. She founded One Fun Mom to share her imperfect life and encourage moms to love how God made them. She's delighted to have you join her and her fabulous writing team as you all journey closer to God and learn to love others through His example.

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  1. I’m SO glad you are doing this series of posts! Anger is definitely a “strength” of mine as well (unfortunately). I have four kids: 10 yrs, 8 yrs, 6 yrs, and 5 weeks. I mostly get angry when they don’t do what I tell them to do, back talk, or when the house becomes a mess and I explode b/c no one is helping me. The one who causes me to boil the most is my 8 yr old: she has the sweetest heart, but she will also lie and not listen the most as well. I really don’t even know what to do with her at this point. I’m praying that God will guide me and help me with my anger issues… it’s also helpful to know that I’m not the only one! Another thing that helps me is to just stop and really pray. Like I REALLY pray for the Holy Spirit to come help me b/c I’m about to explode with spankings and cuss words! And when I really take the time to pray and open my heart to Him, it does work. But there are times when I don’t stop and pray… and then my anger takes over me.

    Thanks for taking time to post this – it really is a blessing to me to know that I’m NOT the only mom out there struggling with this issue!

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  2. I’ve got a lot to say… Maybe I should write another post 😉
    Anger is a valid emotion and we don’t do ourselves or our kids any good surpressing it. Angry all the time- not good.
    I *try* to tell the kids when I’m getting angry. I try to name my emotions, tell them why I’m feeling that way. It’s a work in progress.
    I think kids need to learn that the less fun emotions are valid and be allowed to feel them.
    Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli recently posted..Campground Deliciousness: Bannock Bread.My Profile

    • I agree that anger is a valid emotion, but I should have been more clear. I’m talking about reacting in anger. Just because I feel angry, doesn’t mean I’m justified in releasing it – especially at others.
      We will talk about ways to work through our emotions, as well as ways to help our children with their anger.
      And I am totally not a “professional” anger counselor – just a mom sharing her journey with God and anger!

  3. Funny you are dealing with this right now, becuase this last week I have been thinking a lot about this as well. I have a neighbor who never seems to get angry and I spend a lot of time thinking about how she does it. Getting angry seems to come natural to me and I come from a long line of strong, snappy, yelling Latino women, so figure what my temper is like. But as a Christian, knowing the fruit of the spirit consists of gentleness and patience, I spent a lot of time feeling guilty. Hmmm….sounds like a post. Why don’t you do one of those dealies where you invite people to write about anger and link their posts to yours. It sounds as if Kristin and I both would write something to link. That would be fun!
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  4. Jennifer3 says:

    A few years ago I read She’s Gonna Blow by Julie Ann Barnhill in a small group. I don’t know if I learned any great advice from it, but just talking about the anger we feel as moms and acknowledging it was helpful. One big realization for me was to look at circumstances around when I get angry. If I haven’t eaten appropriately or if the house is an overwhelming disaster I am much more likely to lose it! I am looking forward to what this series brings!

  5. Oh, I’m spool glad you are doing this series! This has been on my mind a lot lately and I need help!!
    Jennifer recently posted..Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  6. Sad moment for me is when my oldest unknowingly recorded one of my “fits” while he was playing on our computer with the webcam feature. Although you could not “see” me, you could “hear” it all and it brought to mind a cross between Mommy dearest and Sybil…When I heard it played back I shuddered and felt humiliated for my outburst. I gently asked my son to delete the video and “I love you”…I pray for better control over my emotions, how else can I expect my children to learn self control if I don’t live it. Another pertinent lesson in this, but not a justification, is learning to apologize and let our children see us admit out weaknesses, repent for them and humble ourselves enough to ask their forgiveness.
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  7. April Hill says:

    excited about your upcoming posts! I’m so tired of my anger problem.

  8. I discovered your blog from “I’m an Organizing Junkie.” I’m following to see your series on Anger.

    I grew up with lots of yelling, etc from my mom. Although we have a good relationship now, that wasn’t the case until I was an adult and moved far away. I really don’t want to have that kind of relationship with my children.

    I’m fairly calm overall, but there are sometimes when I loose my temper with the kids. I’ve noticed that I get frustrated when I’m trying to work on something, and they are constantly interrupting-especially if it’s anything dealing with numbers, finances, etc where I’m worried about making mistakes. I’ve learned that sometimes I have to set things aside and give the kids my attention, then go back to it once they are in bed or otherwise occupied.

    If I’m frustrated with other people or circumstances in general, it’s easy for me to be impatient with the kids.

    The other thing that makes me angry is when they deliberately disobey. I think that part of it is that they are disobeying, but part is that I don’t want to stop what I’m doing to discipline them.

    As far as things that help me- I’ve found that taking a deep breath and saying my child’s name before responding can give me enough time to collect myself and speak nicely. I also have to remind myself not to be realistic about my “to do” list. Some things are just going to have to go. (Sometimes everything on my list seems vitally important. It help if I know what my priorities are, so I know which things I can let go.)

    I also know that if I stay up too late, I’m going to be cranky the next morning. It’s still hard not to fall into that trap of doing “just one more thing.”

    Looking forward to the series. :)
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    • Wow Anna, I think you nailed many of my “triggers”. And it’s often so hard to stop what we’re doing to discipline appropriately.
      I like your idea of saying your child’s name, first, it will probably help me, too!

  9. I also struggle with anger, being slow to listen and quick to speak… I have James 1:19 and Proverbs 16:24 posted on my bathroom mirror. I recently read Loving the Little Years which has helped me refocus in my mothering job. I underlined lines in the book that spoke to me and reread them OFTEN! Also, I have begun to ask God to help me remember that “my” children and not “my” children — they are HIS. I would NEVER even think of yelling at someone else’s children (my niece/nephew or my friend’s children) so why would I yell at God’s children?! This has possibly been the most helpful thing I have done. THANK YOU for sharing your heart and thoughts on this topic — I think most moms who struggle with anger find it hard to admit and to talk about it. Blessings…

    • It’s true, our children aren’t ours! What a good thing, to remember to speak to them like they’re God’s children. Thanks for the reminder!

  10. I’m also really looking forward to this. I’ll never forget one thing my pastor said in one of his messages- “we can control our temper, we just choose not to”. Meaning, when we are at home, alone with our kids and get angry, we yell and scream and throw an adult-sized temper tantrum. But when we are in public, we can control our temper and speak calm and rationally. That is so true with me, when I’m at church and my kids are misbehaving I speak calmly with them. But when I am at home and my kids misbehave, the yeller in me comes out. So, obviously I can control my emotions at church and in public, and I’m choosing to lose control at home in private.
    Can’t wait to see what you have planned for this series!
    Julianne recently posted..Summertime routine for your kidsMy Profile

  11. Rebecca W says:

    I am excited to have found your site, Christy. Earlier this week I was researching books to buy that could help guide me through the process (Biblically) of dealing with my anger and lashing out issues. Someone said to me, “All you need is the Bible!” While that is true, I see it like this. If I’m walking through unfamiliar territory (learning how to deal with anger), following a path hacked through the wilderness by someone who made the journey before me would be a great help, and I would feel I was not so isolated in my trouble. I am looking forward to your posts!


  12. Rebecca W says:

    Almost forgot. Not every day is like this, but my bad days are as follows: 1.) The almost impossible expectations from my spouse to keep an immaculate home (we have 4 kids, 12, 8, 3, 1 yr and I homeschool). Every conversation we have is about how not clean the house is, no matter what I’ve done during the day to improve it. I just get pushed to the point of boiling and it’s hard not to lash out. Nothing is ever said about how much better it is, just pointing out what I didn’t do. I’m trying to learn submission and to be humble and meek in my responses but so far that is an epic fail. lol 2. ) My children bickering with each other. I have absolutely zero patience for this and a good day goes bad fast when my fuse is short and they are at each other’s throats. Im at my worst when trying to deal with this. 3.) My children resisting when it’s time to get chores done. I hate having to baby them and persuade them to get up and get things done. It is exhausting.

    Like I said, not every day is like this, but bad days are just…. bad. I need to learn how to control my anger and to learn a different approach, consistency, and who knows what else. 😉 Im ready for a change!

    • I am just finding this series, but your comment really resonated with me. As for a clean house, I keep telling my husband it is like trying to shovel snow that is already a foot deep, in a blinding blizzard. I think he is starting to understand, but I have made it a point to tell him that when he criticizes the house, it makes me feel like ALL the work I did that day (including the stuff that WASN’T cleaning) wasn’t important or wasn’t enough. I also made a running list one day. I wrote down EVERY thing that I did from the time I got up to the time I sat down with him in the evenings, including diaper changes, mediating arguments, answering thousands of questions, and what I cleaned or did (including the bathroom trips that served double duty, too – because we all know that we never get to JUST go to the bathroom). THAT day was eye-opening. I presented it to him in a way that was still respectful of his need for orderliness and to be the leader, while also offering some suggestions of ways I thought we could accomplish a clean house and all the other things TOGETHER. He really just needed me to tell him what I needed from him, explicitly. It has helped. We haven’t found the solution to a completely ordered house, but we have grown our relationship by addressing the concern in a healthy manner instead of me blowing up at him or the kids. I am looking forward to the rest of this series for sure.

      • Jaime and Rebecca, It’s hard when there often isn’t any tangible evidence of the job you’ve done during the day. I am learning a lot about communicating exactly what my concerns are before I get angry, thanks for sharing that Jaime!

  13. I am so happy to have found your blog (via Women Living Well).

    Now that Mardi Gras is over and I am focusing on Lent, yelling at my children is what I would most like to give up this season – in hopes of giving it up for good!

    I look forward to reading and learning more from this series.

    Thank you for your blog. I see I’m in good company by the previous posts. :-)

  14. I can’t believe I am just now getting around to checking out your site, but I am so glad I did!! I think I might be up all night reading these posts. You are amazing, Christy!!

  15. I think a big part of snapping at the kids has to do with how sleep deprived you are. For me, if I didn’t sleep well for a few nights in a row, my patience wears thin very quickly. So I think preventative measures like sleeping an eating well can help.

    Some coping tips that I use:

    If you are angry and happen to be standing up, then stop to sit down.
    If you are angry while sitting then go lay down on the couch for a minute or two before reacting. Something about changing you physical position really helps!
    If that doesn’t work, then try washing your hands and face with warm water to relax you. Also camomile tea helps me calm down when I’m having a rough day.

    Hope that helps!

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