You just yelled at your kids.
The baby was crying as you prepared his food, the phone started ringing, you realized dinner should have been started an hour ago… and then little Johnny and Suzy did that one thing that you had asked for the umpteenth time that they stop doing.
SNAP! There’s went that last straw!
Any resolve you had to not yell or get angry went right out the window and you belted out frustrations and barked out orders. Afterward you felt sad and guilty, not sure what to say. Pretty soon the day moved on as usual.
Pssst… can I let you in on a secret? There’s a better way, mama.
When You Blow it With Your Kids
None of us are perfect. We are all sinners in need of a Savior, and when you put us all in a house with each other to live out life, surely, we will fall short.
Our goal and our hope should be a calmer and more reasonable response to the daily struggles with kids. But we can also remember that great blessings can come when we realize we blow it! All we have to do is seize that moment to point ourselves and our children to Christ.
Here are 5 things to do after you yell at your kids. I challenge you to find your own words for these things and to even practice them so that when you blow it (and we all will) you have this better, Christ-centered ending all ready to go.
- Humble Yourself Before God: Recognize when you have sinned against God by acting out in your anger. Remember that you are a steward of these children, and that anger does not bring about the righteousness of God. (James 1:20)“Lord, there it is again. I allowed my frustration to take over and acted out in anger, hurting my kids and our relationship. I know that’s not your desire for us. Please help me right now to anchor into You and make this right.”
- Apologize Well: Address their part in the situation FIRST and then apologize and ask forgiveness. Why? Because it prevents the scenario where you make it seem like your sinful response is their responsibility. It’s not!Instead of saying “I’m sorry I yelled but you disobeyed again!” Say “It’s not ok to disobey mama. I’ll discuss it with Dad first and then we’ll chat after dinner, ok? But sweetheart, that did not make it ok for me to yell, and I’m really, very sorry. We both acted wrong, here.”
- Confess and Repent: Confess in your heart before God, and then go ahead and confess it to your children! Demonstrate for them what it means to walk through genuine steps of confession and repentance, turning away from sin and toward God.“Yelling hurts our relationship and I don’t want that for us, and neither does God. It’s something you know I have been praying about and working on. I want be slow to anger and always have a gentle answer. That is what I’m going to keep working on, turning away from anger and toward God’s ways.”
- Make it Right: Nothing drains a relationship of it’s love faster than anger and bitterness. Think of it like the “love tanks” from that popular book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Their love tank is running low now! Take this opportunity to fill it up with a kind and encouraging word, hugs and snuggles, a fun activity together, or whatever will tie those heart strings in your relationship!
- Sit Together at the Feet of Jesus: True restoration and transformation happens by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. When you have a pattern of anger in your parenting, sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him. Find out what the Bible says about anger, gentleness, faithfulness, and more. Invite your kids to learn and pray with you!
Hope and Help for the Angry Mom
Of course, we want to avoid getting angry in the first place, right? Don’t you want to become a more gentle, joyful mom? I know I do!
Friend, there is hope for us. There is real hope in Christ for a life free from anger and outbursts toward our kids.
There is no magic bullet or formula to follow, but I can promise you that there are steps we can take toward calmer days, There are practices and prayers that will bring us to a place of real progress, with the ultimate goal of pointing ourselves and our children to Christ.
In No More Angry Mom: Becoming a Gentle Mom Through Practice and Prayer, I share with you a biblical view of anger, how to set yourself up for success, and steps toward becoming the joyful mom you’ve always wanted to be.
Don’t miss the rest of the posts in this series, click here or on the image below, to get to the landing page.