Anger Management Strategies for Parents and Kids

Anger is an interesting emotion. God created us with the ability to get angry. The Bible tells us God himself gets angry. Jesus overturned the tables in the Temple because of righteous anger. On the other hand, the Bible also teaches us to not sin in our anger. As we learn from several stories in the Bible, anger can easily lead to violence, revenge, hatred, destruction and other sinful attitudes and actions.

The trick to avoiding sin while angry is to learn how to manage or control our anger. To turn furious into mildly annoyed. To calm ourselves to the point where we can think clearly. To uncover and deal with the root issue and not the surface problem. To put aside our anger at the disobedience of our children and give correction and consequences that are appropriate instead of abusing them in some way.

In today’s world, many adults need anger management as much as (or perhaps even more) than their children. Children aren’t born with anger management skills. They must learn and practice them. If they learn to manage their anger, they are also learning an import part of self control – impulse control.

There are lots of ways to calm yourself or to teach your children to use when they are angry. These are some of our favorites.

  • Take ten deep slow breaths before saying or doing anything.
  • Pray for God to help you have self control.
  • Count until you calm down. The angrier you are, the higher the number needs to be.
  • Give the level of your anger a ranking from one to five. Does what happen really justify the amount of anger you feel?
  • Identify your triggers and warning signs before your anger gets out of control and develop strategies to minimize your anger when triggered.
  • Make sure you are well rested, eat healthy foods at scheduled times and get plenty of exercise.
  • Notice what your body does as you begin to get angry (clinch jaw or fists, etc.). Use an anger management strategy as soon as you notice these signs (before you actually get really angry).
  • If you feel angry most of the time, exercise vigorously on a regular basis and seek professional help if needed.
  • Regularly do exercises that calm you like stretching.
  • Squeeze a stress ball.
  • Take a walk in nature.
  • Read or watch something that makes you laugh.
  • Make something.
  • Listen to calming music.
  • Talk to someone trusted about your feelings.
  • Play with a pet.
  • Journal about your feelings.
  • Learn to STOP before saying or doing anything. Stop. Think about what actually made you angry. List all of your options for responding. Pray to God to help you choose the appropriate option.

You and your children will benefit from learning how to manage your anger in godly ways. It will take time and energy, but it is worth it.

Published by

Thereasa Winnett

Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking.

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