Topic of the day: kids and anger. Really it's more a question than a topic, and it's this: how should we handle anger when it arises in our children? And behind that one, this: how should we be thinking about anger in children? There are wildly different opinions on this in Christian parenting circles. Here are two contrasting quotes from Christian parenting authors, representatives of what I'd term the two "camps." The first is the feelings-can-and-should-be-managed-and-adjusted camp, and the second is anger-is-normal-and-shouldn't-be-suppressed camp.
“You CAN change your emotions. You are not a helpless victim of hurt feelings, irritability, and anger. We can and must learn to alter our tempers and deny our feelings, when necessary, and teach our children to do likewise… All they need to do is obey us, as we wisely discipline them and train them according to God’s word.
One cherished, but highly erroneous belief is that a parent should not correct a child for displaying a wrong emotion, because the child will ‘suppress’ the emotion rather than change it. Experience convinces me otherwise. Require young children to display the right emotions outwardly and their hearts will change, producing the right attitudes and emotions inwardly as well. Get him to smile on the outside and invariably he will smile on the inside… What you really seek is a child who believes it is wrong to be a sour puss, or angry, or fearful, or irritable, and is willing and able on his own, to...Read More →