We’ve been talking in this month’s Online Parenting Class about how to fight fair with your child. What do you do if a heated discussion escalates to the point where you are losing your temper?
Let’s say you come home from being away from the house for a few hours to find the kitchen a mess and your child’s personal belongings all over the living room. You have company coming over in an hour, and you were not planning on spending the next thirty minutes cleaning up! Here are some ideas:
1. Stop what you are doing. Rather than opening your mouth and immediately reprimanding your child for trashing the house, take a breath. Don’t say anything until you pull yourself together.
2. Plan what you want to say to your child. When you have calmed down, and perhaps after talking to your spouse or a friend, plan or write out exactly what words you want to say and what tone you will say them in.
3. Take action. Tell your child why you are frustrated and what he or she needs to do next.
4. Retreat. Once you’ve said what you planned to say, disengage from the fight. Give them space to respond to your request.
The Bible provides some clear instruction for what God thinks about fighting, and He’s not too keen on it. Colossians 3:8 says to put off all such things as anger, rage, malice, slander, and abusive language, and Galatians 5:19–25 refers to angry outbursts, conflict and factions (among many other character traits) as part of a person’s old, corrupt nature before believing in God.
Parenting is not easy; that’s for sure! And parenting children who lose their tempers and have angry outbursts feels nearly impossible. However, God tells parents how they are to respond: with love, joy, peace, and patience, with great gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22–23).
Hopefully, this Online Parenting Class has equipped you with a few tips for how to settle down before a discussion with your child becomes a fight. We understand how difficult parenting is, and are ready with resources and advice when you need it. We are praying for you!
Partnering with you,
p.s. If you haven’t checked it out already, this post goes with the original found in our Online Parenting Class! (click text to go to link)