As homeschooling parents who are striving hard to raise our children for God, anger can be the biggest obstacle that stands in our way. I would go so far as to say that uncontrolled anger is a homeschool destroyer.
By the way, just to be clear on this, I am not talking about the parent who gets mad every once in a while, and yells at their children. I think all of us would admit to having done that. In this post I’m talking about those who are angry more often than not, and those who don’t go back and apologize when they’ve responded in anger.
Why is anger so damaging?
1. Anger (in the parents) is one of the biggest causes of rebellion in our children.
2. When we repeatedly treat our kids harshly and don’t make it right, it will cause them to harbor hurt and bitterness, and that will in turn cause them to close their hearts to us.
3. When we lose their hearts, we no longer have the opportunity to influence them.
4. Anger doesn’t address the heart issue, and confuses the learning process.
Instead of the child thinking about the fact that they did something wrong, they think they are in trouble for upsetting us. Their focus then changes from correcting what they did wrong to avoiding your anger. Their behavior may change temporarily, but it’s not going to be a lasting change because the heart issue wasn’t addressed.
5. When we appeal to our children on the basis of love, rather than relying upon fear of our authority, their response will be much different.
When we “intimidate them into subjection” by our anger, we will only get outward compliance. Our goal should be to win their hearts into submission.
6. Anger is contagious!
If one, or both, parents have an angry spirit, there’s a pretty good chance that your kids have a little bit of one too. This makes for an unhappy home, with lots of contention, rather than a peaceful home.
Remember, anger itself isn’t the problem. It’s how you respond to that anger that matters. Recognize anger as a signal that there is a problem that needs to be solved, or a situation that needs to be handled.
How to respond to your anger:
- Ask what you can do to solve the problem that is causing anger. (find your triggers)
- Take a few minutes to think and calm down before responding, to avoid reacting. (and then regretting it)
- Don’t try to win the battle in your own strength. Ask God to help you gain control over your anger
- Apologize to your kids whenever you do lose it and get angry. (See: 10 Ways To Restore Relationships Damaged By Anger)
- Look to God’s Word for answers, and seek His help daily in prayer.
Don’t let anger destroy your homeschool. Let it serve as a trigger that shows you the problems or issues that need to be taken of in your family.
Want to remember these steps AND have Scripture on hand to help you stay calm?
As a special bonus for our subscribers I have put together a printable with the five ways to respond to anger, as well as TEN Bible verse cards to help you control your anger.
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Hi Jemma! I’m glad the article was good for you, and came at a good time. Hope your first week went well! If you have any questions, feel free to email me! ~Kathie
This is very eye-opening. I’m (thankfully) one of those parents who doesn’t respond in anger very often. I just started homeschooling my child this week and it’s challenging but I can already see that it is so much better than regular school. This was exactly the article I needed to see. Thank you!
Anger is one of the biggest challenges many families are facing today. The worst part about anger is that it damages or even destroys relationships. Don’t let that happen. Thanks for offering such good input on how to manage anger and save those valuable relationships.