How to Manage Anger in Yourself and Your Kids RTC 73
Laurie Christine
Laurie Christine
May 27, 2023

Do you struggle to manage anger in your household?


Do you get angry with your kids? 

Do you struggle to control your own anger when your kids are off track? 

And more importantly, is anger a bad thing?? 

As parents, we often use anger to deal with all the problems in our families. We think the kids won’t listen unless we get angry. We feel like nothing will get done unless we are yelling. 

When our kids’ emotions and actions are out of control, it’s so hard not to join them in their big emotions. It’s hard to manage anger. But getting angry rarely solves the problem. 

In fact, anger is a great tool for identifying problems, but it’s NOT effective for solving problems. 

Well, there IS a better way. 

I have been trained as a Biblical parenting coach and seminar presenter for the National Center for Biblical Parenting. A lot of what I will talk about in this post comes out of that training.

Free Webinar: How to Manage Anger

I am going to be hosting a free webinar with Dr. Scott Turansky, co-founder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting. The webinar will be all about how to manage anger!  It’s called: Navigating the Storm: Heart Based Parenting Strategies for Managing Anger. 

Free webinar on how to manage anger

If you feel like anger is the only way you know how to get your kids to do what you ask them to do, or if it feels many days as if anger is the only emotion your kids are capable of, you won’t want to miss out on this free webinar

Dr. Turansky is a highly sought after speaker and parenting coach. He is a parenting expert and has written dozens of parenting books on the topic of heart-based parenting.

One of his most popular is called Parenting is Heart Work. He even has a book called Good and Angry – Exchanging Frustration for character – in you and your kids!

In the webinar, I will interview Dr. Turansky on the topic of anger, and then we’ll open it up for questions from all of you!

In order to receive an invitation to my live Q&A webinar with Dr. Turansky, all you have to do is order a copy of my new devotional book for boys, Rise of the Enemy, Book One in the Dragon Slayer Bible Series, which is available on Kickstarter only until May 31st!


At the time of this recording, my Kickstarter campaign is 130% funded. That means, I will be able to publish my book, and you will all get the book copies and rewards you signed up for! I can’t express how thankful I am for each of you who have supported this project.  

But there are only a few days left to get on board. Once the campaign ends on May 31st, you will no longer be able to get a copy of Rise of the Enemy (for a long time) AND you will miss out on this amazing opportunity to chat live with Dr. Scott Turansky and learn from his wisdom. 

(The time and date of the webinar is yet to be determined – probably sometime in September –  but there will be a replay available if you’re not able to attend live.  However, you’ll only have access to the replay if you first order your copy of Rise of the Enemy!)

BONUS!  If we end up reaching our NEXT stretch goal, we’ll be able to add an additional illustration to the book! 


Why Do We Get Angry With Our Kids

First of all, let’s talk about WHY we get angry with our kids. What are the underlying reasons?  

mom doesn't know how to manage anger

I think there are several reasons we get angry with our kids: 

  • Embarrassment / pride – We get angry at our kids when they won’t listen and then we feel like our kids are making us look bad and so we get angry.
  • Justice mentality – I am right, you are wrong, and by golly I’m going to make sure you know it.
  • Honor – We feel that our children are being disrespectful and dishonoring us by their actions, words, and attitude. (And anger may in fact be a justified response! … more on that later).
  • Control –We feel the need to be in control of all situations. When our kids act in ways that we have no control over, we get angry.
  • Unmet Expectations – We often get angry when our kids don’t meet the expectations we have set for them. 
  • Discipline – We use anger to discipline our children because we don’t know what else to do. Sometimes we feel like there are no other options. When we don’t have a plan in place we respond in anger. 

Is Anger a Good Thing or a Bad Thing? 

Proverbs can teach you how to manage anger

This is a tricky question!  Let’s take a look at what does the Bible says about anger.

  • Ephesians 4 tells us to “Be angry yet do not sin.”
  • There are many occasions in the old testament when the Bible says that the Lord’s anger was kindled against his enemies (or against his own people!) (Numbers 11).
  • And wouldn’t you describe Jesus’ reaction in the temple anger? (Matthew 21)

But the Bible also warns about the dangers of allowing anger to get out of control:

  • James 1:19 says: “You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” (NLT)
  • Proverbs 15:1 says: “A gentle answer deflects anger,  but harsh words make tempers flare.” (NLT)

So, it would seem that anger is not necessarily good, nor bad.

Anger is a red flag – it’s good for identifying problems, but not solving them. 

“Anger is a red flag – it’s good for identifying problems, but not solving them.”

Dr. Scott Turansky, National Center for Biblical Parenting

Anger is an indicator that there is a problem that needs to be solved. It MIGHT indicate a problem in your own heart, but it also might be an indicator of a problem you need to work through with your child. 

For example, if you find yourself always getting angry when you trip over your son’s backpack in the middle of the room, that’s a good indication that you need to work with your son and review your expectations for what he does with his backpack when he comes home.

What’s the difference between harshness and firmness?

I’d like to make a distinction between harshness and firmness. Some parents think that being firm and setting boundaries means they have to yell and get angry. On the other hand, some parents think that setting any boundaries will damage their child, and so they have no standards in their household. The kids rule the roost. 

If you want to dive more into the topic of firmness, go back and listen to episode 66.

But in general, firmness builds character in our sons. Firmness means drawing a line in the sand and saying, “we’re not going past this line.” The goal of firmness is to train our children. 

Harshness, on the other hand, pours emotional intensity on the situation, involves anger and ultimately damages relationships.

Here’s a key concept to keep in mind: 

You and your child are on the same team. You’re working together to solve a problem. It’s important that you show empathy and align yourself on the side of your child.

What does that look like? It means you care about your child’s development and heart qualities. You’re goal is heart change, not justice. 

What do I do when my kids are throwing a fit? 

don't get on the roller coaster. Learn how to manage anger

When dealing with angry children, it’s important that we don’t get sucked into their big emotions. You don’t have to join them on their emotional roller coaster. When we do that, the situation often turns into a power struggle, and now the focus has shifted from the initial problem in the child’s heart, to a problem that I am dealing with as the parent (lack of control, feeling dishonored, etc).

Don’t engage with kids who are angry or arguing. They first need to calm down, and then you can deal with the problem. 

One of the tools we use in the coaching programs for the National Center for Biblical Parenting is called the “break.”  

A break is different than a time out. A time out is based on a justice mentality where your son serves their punishment and then can come back after a certain amount of time.

Taking a break, however, focuses on heart change. You’re removing your child from the activities of family life until you are able to deal with the problem. We don’t have tons of time to get into all the details of what a break looks like, but I will give you the basics. And of course you’re welcome to join us for the live webinar with Dr. Turansky where he can answer more specific questions for you. 

When your child is upset or off track, you’re going to say to him:

You need to take a break. 

You need to:

  • Calm down
  • Change your heart
  • Come back and see me when you’re ready

Your kids might need help calming down. It’s okay to hold them or hug them while they calm down. Model for them deep breathing to help them lower their heart rate. Give them some ideas of activities that might help them calm down:

  • Jump on the trampoline
  • Pet the dog
  • Draw a picture
  • Squeeze some playdough
  • Run laps around the house (preferably outside)
  • Shoot some basketball hoops

Some kids just need time and space. The biggest difference between a break and a time-out is that the child determines when he is ready to come back and talk about the problem. It might be only a few minutes, but it might take an hour or more until he is ready to talk with you. That’s okay.

The important thing to remember is this: Don’t try to give instructions or continue trying to get things done when your child is angry. 

“Don’t give instructions or try to get things done while your child is angry.”

National Center for Biblical Parenting

How do I deal with an angry child?

how to manage anger in your kids

Here’s an example of a scenario that might take place in your home:  

Parent: “Son, put your dirty clothes in the hamper.” 

Child: “No, I don’t want to.” Child stomps and screams and dumps out the entire hamper of dirty laundry.

Parent: Yelling:  “You get back here right now and clean up that mess!”  

Child: “I hate you. You’re stupid.” Child runs away.

Parent: “Get back here right now, it is not okay for you to talk to me that way!”

And now suddenly the problem has gone from dealing with the child’s lack of cooperation in following instructions, to a shouting match that is all about the parent feeling disrespected.  (How dare you talk to me like that?).  And at this point, the child has probably forgotten what he did wrong in the first place. 

Instead, a heart-based parenting approach would look like this: 

Parent: “Son, put your dirty clothes in the hamper.” 

Child: “No, I don’t want to.” Child stomps and screams and dumps out the entire hamper of dirty laundry.

Parent: “Son, it’s not okay for you to react that way when I give you an instruction. You need to take a break, calm down, and come back and see me when you’re ready to talk.”  

Son: “I hate you, you’re stupid!” 

Parent: “You’re in a break right now. I’m not going to discuss this with you until you’ve calmed down. Why don’t you go do some jumping jacks to blow off some steam. Come and find me when you’re ready to talk.” 

Son: But it’s time to go play at the neighbor’s house! 

Parent: Life is on hold for you right now. You may not go out and play with the neighbors until after you’ve taken a break and we’ve talked about what just happened here.

Do you see how the parent is refusing to engage in the son’s badgering? Do you see how the focus is still on the child’s heart? 

When the child is calm THEN it’s time to talk. You want to use these three questions, and then a statement:

  • What did you do wrong? 
  • Why was it wrong? 
  • What can you do differently next time? 
  • Go try again. 

And NOW, once your son is calm, send him back to do the original task that caused the problem in the first place. So now he needs to not only put his own clothes in the hamper, but also clean up all the other clothes he dumped onto the floor.

If he doesn’t cooperate and gets angry again, you say: “Well, it seems like you haven’t had time to change your heart. I guess maybe you need to go back into the break. That’s too bad, your friend is waiting to play with you outside.”  (At which point you would either start all over again, OR more likely your son will be ready to do what you asked him to do).

What about consequences?

Taking a break does not always eliminate the need for consequences. In the scenario above, the natural consequence would be that he has to clean up the mess he made, and he also has less time to play outside with his friend. 

There are a lot of different choices you could use for consequences, and I may do a whole different episode on this topic at some point. But in general, if you see genuine heart change in your child, an additional consequence is likely not needed. 

None of Us Parent Perfectly

Also, I just want to put in a disclaimer here that we do not do this perfectly in our family. None of us parent perfectly. I still get angry and frustrated with my kids sometimes and I choose to use harshness to solve problems. Granted, it doesn’t work!  We as parents are learning and growing right alongside our kids.  

The point is, we are ALL in the process of becoming more like Christ and this process will continue throughout our entire lives. We all need God’s grace for ourselves, for our kids, and for each other, every step of the parenting journey. 

And remember, anger is not good or bad!  Don’t feel guilty because you’re feeling angry. Anger is a red flag that alerts you to a deeper issue that needs to be addressed, either in your own heart or in the heart of your child.  

Don’t Forget! Free Webinar on How to Manage Anger

So, this episode was just a preview of some of the topics we’ll likely discuss in our live webinar with Dr. Turansky. I wanted you to be prepared so you’ll be able to ask good questions. 

In our next episode of Redeeming the Chaos, we’re going to continue our discussion on how to manage anger and we’re going to focus more on our kids this time. We’ll answer questions like, “Why is my son so angry?” and “How can I help him manage his anger in a healthy way?” 

And don’t forget, you have until May 31, 2023 at 3 pm Eastern Time to get and invite to the live Q&A webinar with Dr. Scott Turansky, where you can ask him specific questions about managing anger in yourself and in your kids.

But you have to order a copy of my new devotional book for boys, Rise of the Enemy, in order to get an invitation to the webinar!



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New Devotional Book for Boys

Michael never expected his comrade, Lucifer, to rebel against the King of Heaven, let alone turn into a dragon. But Lucifer will stop at nothing in an attempt to overpower the throne.

Can Michael and his army of angels defeat the enemy or will Lucifer’s evil plan succeed?

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“Be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”



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