We love our kids with all of our heart, don’t we? But when we’re caught in the heat of anger, we can forget how delicate they are. It’s as if a strange veil comes over our eyes, and we can’t see their pain; we can only see our own anger.
But our momentary feelings of rage can cause a soul wound in our kids that lasts a lifetime. We will probably forget our own scowl (if we’re even aware of it) moments after our anger dissipates, but the image of that scowl can be burned on their memories for years.
There’s a line between being firm and being harsh. Our kids want us to be firm; it makes them feel safe to know that we have placed secure boundaries on their lives. We have to be clear in our expectations and consistent with correction, but the great challenge for us is to stay calm and gentle, even when we’re angry.
If you feel anger begin to rise, pause. Go in another room and ask yourself which of the five causes of anger you’re dealing with in this situation. Just taking a few minutes to unpack the anger can help minimize it.
Remember that anger is a red flag to let you know that there’s a problem. Ask yourself what the root of the issue is and what correction tool would do the best job of helping your child learn and grow to overcome the problem.
Stay calm, and remember that in these moments, you are shaping their hearts and their character. So be firm, but don’t be harsh.