How to Help Angry Children

Children are moldable. While they have their own wills, they do respond to people and to their surroundings.

When parents structure their home according to God’s Word, children learn to turn their destructive anger into constructive problem solving – they learn to be loving instead of angry. “Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.” (Proverbs 10:12)

Things to do to help an angry child:

  • Listen with your ears and your heart: If you have an angry child, ask, “Help me understand why you are angry – would you please tell me?” Listen carefully. Repeat what was said. Then ask, “Did I get it right?” And, “Is there more?” Get to really know the heart of each child. Ask them about their dreams and desires, their feelings and fears, their likes and dislikes. Listen without judging them, with the hope of understanding them. “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19)
  • Model repentance and forgiveness: The best way to teach a child how to repent and ask for forgiveness is to show it in your own life. When you do something wrong against your spouse in the presence of your children, you should ask for forgiveness in front of your children and then demonstrate your change of behaviour. When you do something wrong to your children, ask for their forgiveness, and then change your behaviour toward them. “I realise I was wrong in ……. Would you forgive me?”   Matthew 5:23–24 “If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”
  • Organise your family God’s way: If your children control your family, they will tend to demand their own way and become angry when they don’t get their way. When godly parents control the home many of the dynamics that create anger in children are removed. “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” (Proverbs 1:8)