Family Ministry

advice, thoughts, and discussion

Why are you so angry?

on February 17, 2013

On a normal Wednesday night, we were playing a great game at church. We were having a great time and, out of nowhere – one of our kids who comes regularly, a “churched” kid and one whose parents are extremely involved in our church…totally lost it. “I hate this game!” “I hate everyone here!” “You’re all stupid!”

What in the world was going on?! Why was this child so angry, and why was there such a sudden outburst?

This got me thinking – What do I do in a situation like this and how can I figure out how to help this child? Here’s the important steps to follow:

1- Pinpoint why the child is angry

  • Are there biological causes? (allergies, learning disabilities, developmental disorders)
  • Are there life stressors? (school performance, moving, divorce, death)
  • When is the anger exhibited? (playtime, after waking up, with a particular person, particular time of day, since a specific event took place)

2- Don’t try to keep the child from getting angry

  • Anger is a natural human emotion
  • Many Christians believe it’s wrong to get angry, but the Bible doesn’t say we can’t get angry. It says we shouldn’t act upon our anger. (Ephesians 4:26)
  • Telling a child they are not allowed to become angry will create an emotionally unhealthy adult who suffers from guilt and who does not know how to accept their feelings, or how to work through what’s hurt them.
  • However, just because it’s okay to get angry, it’s not okay to handle anger inappropriately, and the child needs to know that.

3- Help the child find alternative ways to deal with anger

  • Changing a physical position quickly is a great help (stretch, make facial expressions, 10 jumping jacks, walk around)
  • say or write what you want in the current situation (I want to start winning the game. I want Bill to stop making fun of me. I want a piece of candy.)
  • Say positive phrases instead of negative ones (stop using don’t, no, and won’t)
  • Go somewhere where there’s light (darkness just plays into your negative mood)
  • Surrender (let go of your pride)
  • Circle of influence (be around people who are positive)
  • Gratitude (think of 5 things in your life that you’re grateful for)
  • Breathing relaxation (take 5 deep breaths)
  • Meditation (take a minute to pray)
  • Laughter (think of or tell a joke)
  • Forgiveness (say you forgive someone who made you feel angry)

Hopefully these steps will help you with kids that you teach, or your own kids with their anger! Let’s try to fix the problem of anger before it can arise in adult form!!!

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