James 1:19 – Be slow to anger. What are the triggers or cues of anger? What are the early warning signs that indicate anger is approaching?
Their behavior increases in intensity.
They begin to cry or feel like crying.
Their tone changes to whining or sarcasm.
They begin to talk incessantly, often with greater intensity. They make noises like growls or deep breathing.
They squint, roll their eyes, or develop other facial expressions.
Take time to jot down the cues that each of your children demonstrates when getting angry. Once you’ve identified these cues, teach your children how to recognize them. Your job is to help your children recognize their feelings of anger and identify specific positive actions to take before the anger becomes more intense.
You can start by asking your children how they can tell when you are starting to get angry. If you use this method be sure to be honest with yourself and not get defensive. Remember we need to model the behavior and heart attitudes we want to see in your children. This is a good place to start because it is always easier for kids to see anger in others then themselves.
Another way of getting kids to recognize anger is to watch a kids video that deals with anger. Along the way asking questions like, “How can you tell that person is angry?” “What should they do?” “What would you do?” “Why are they getting angry?”
If your children aren’t ready to work on anger, you won’t get very far. Before you use an anger-management plan, you may need to whet their appetites a bit. This usually comes in the form of more consequences, tighter restrictions, and greater firmness. Eventually, your children will learn that their anger is their problem and that if they want to be happy, they had better do something about it instead of ignoring it or blaming their anger on others—or on life.
When children lack self-control to work on anger they need parental control to help them. Determine not to allow the child to bait you into an argument. If you start fighting back, he or she will escape the important lessons of anger management and learn to use anger to control other people including you.
Here are some examples of steeping back:
1) Take a deep breath
2) Walk out of the room.
3) Stop and Pray
The purpose here is not to avoid addressing what is going on,but to get some perspective before you discuss it.
1) Talk about it – Talking about it can help solve the problem without saying or doing something hurtful. When you did this it made me fill like this.
2) Get help – A third party can give counsel and advice and help resolve the situation without anger. This may be another child, a parent, or a teacher.
3) Slow down and persevere – Help your children slow down and process their emotions. Don’t solve problems for them.
4) Control Rage; Don’t Vent It – whatever you do don’t allow your children to vent anger by kicking or punching things you will be encouraging an unhealthy response pattern. When a child does rage require a discussion after it is over. Talk about a better way to respond next time.
5) Choose Forgiveness, Not bitterness – Bitter and resentful children need to see what their anger is doing to them. Holding on to offenses as a type of revenge is not helpful. People were not created to carry around thoughts and plans of revenge. They need to let it go. Children need a plan for dealing with ongoing offenses such as meanness, unfairness, and rejection. Confrontation can bring resolution to a problem, but justice isn’t always possible. Bitterness is a poor choice for coping with the unfairness of life because it turns the offended person into an angry person. The solution to bitterness is forgiveness.
What is forgiveness?
1) Forgiveness acknowledges the offense and chooses to let go of the desire for revenge, recognizing that God is the Judge. (See Rom. 12:18-19.)
2) Forgiveness means letting go and moving on, not holding the offense against someone any longer.
3) Forgiveness is a mature and healthy response that says, in effect, “You have done wrong to me, but I am responsible for my own actions and my response to you. I choose to let go of the offense.”