See if this scenario sounds familiar.
Your son is playing with his toys when you stop by and tell him it’s time to clean up his room. You walk away, but instead of complying immediately, your son keeps right on playing.
A few minutes later, you return and discover that your instructions have been ignored. How would you respond?
Many moms and dads respond by exploding in anger.
The question is why? There’s no reason for a child’s ignoring simple instructions like “clean up your room” or “take out the trash” to make a parent’s blood boil, and yet it often does. The answer to “why?” often lies in a deeper understanding of anger and the factors that trigger it.
Anger is a secondary emotion. That means it’s triggered into action by other things – either externally or internally. External triggers are things like a child’s whining, complaining, messy rooms, talking back, or sibling rivalry. Internal triggers are things like exhaustion, illness, or general life stress.
Triggers spark our anger in a way that makes it easier for us to respond to our children in ways we don’t like. On our next Focus on the Family Broadcast, authors Amber Lia and Wendy Speake explore a few of these triggers and will help you pause, step back, and think through a gentler, more biblical response that will draw you closer to your children and closer to God.
They discuss how to handle triggers such as:
- Mommy guilt
- Strong-willed children
- Crisis of faith
Amber and Wendy’s book is titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses. 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 Amber and Wendy’s book as 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).
We’ve also got a free parenting assessment for you at our website that will quickly give you an overview of how your family is doing in several key areas and offer suggestions for how you can improve the relationships in your home.