Author Tricia Goyer says she never thought she had an anger problem … until she had to deal with children who had anger problems. She and her husband had three kids of their own and adopted seven others.
Their adopted children had emotions that Tricia didn’t know how to handle. They struggled with pain from their past. They were angry from being away from their biological families. Some of them had faced difficulties in foster care. All of that pain and anger came out against Tricia and her husband.
It was so bad, Tricia wrote this in one of her journal entries:
“I’m hurt by my daughter’s rejection. I give so much, and to have it rejected hurts. I feel abandoned and not good enough. I can’t fix this. I can’t fix her. I worry about the other kids. I want to be loved by her. I’m tired of being hurt. I feel angry to sacrifice so much. And instead of gratitude, I get defiance and rejection in return.”
Now Tricia considers learning to calm angry children one of her biggest achievements. She learned techniques for dealing with angry kids after she talked to a therapist who told her, “Your children want you to escalate conflict, because when you do, the problem is no longer about them, but about you.”
Tricia Goyer is our guest on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “How to Help Your Angry Child.” We’re discussing her book Calming Angry Kids: Help and Hope for Parents in the Whirlwind. It offers practical ways for moms and dads to help their children deal with their anger, such as a “calming bag,” an “anger log,” and the soothing effects of warm water.
She also explains tips for helping your child deal with anger:
- Be there for them.
- Be clear with your teen about your rules and expectations for the household, for social media, for friends, etc.
- Set consequences for angry outbursts.
- Help your teen identify healthy ways to release their anger.
In the meantime, I’d like to extend an invitation for you to become a special partner with us through our monthly “Friends of Focus on the Family”program.When you do, I’ll send you a copy of Tricia’s book Calming Angry Kids: Help and Hope for Parents in the Whirlwindas a way of saying thank you for touching others with the love of Christ.
To make your pledge, or for more information, visit our websiteor call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). Thank you for your support.