As a parent, I make my children angry more than I care to admit. If you are honest, you do too. So, a couple weeks ago, I disobeyed Ephesians 6:4, a clear command in Scripture. I provoked my second born, Micah, to anger by putting too much pressure on him during wrestling season. As a result, he checked me, and I became defensive and tried to justify my actions. But, I was unsuccessful because I was wrong. This incident got me to thinking about others ways parents provoke their kids to anger.
A few days after our incident, I came across a list that someone gave me that I had tucked away in a folder. I am sure there are more ways, but here are 18 common ways we, as parents, provoke our children to anger.
- Placing unrealistic expectations on our children. 1 Corinthians 13:11
- Giving our children too much freedom. Proverbs 29:15
- Being too strict on our children. James 3:17
- Ridiculing our children. Job 17:1-2
- Failing to affirm our children. 2 Corinthians 2:6-8
- Abusing our children – physically and emotionally. 1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7;
- Calling our children names. Ephesians 4:29
- Finding fault, constantly, with our children. Job 32:2-3
- Disciplining our children in anger. Psalm 6:1; 38:1
- Refusing to admit our faults to our children. Matthew 5:22-26; Job 32:2; James 5:16
- Being inconsistent with discipline with our children. Ecclesiastes 8:11
- Comparing them to siblings or other children. 2 Corinthians 10:12
- Yelling at and disrespecting our children in front of others. Matthew 18:15;
- Breaking our promises to our children. So, keep your promises, even when it hurts. Matthew 5:37; Colossians 3:9
- Failing to listen to our children’s opinions. Proverbs 18:13, 17
- Nurturing marital disharmony and tension before our children (if you are married). So, work on your marriage. Genesis 2:24; Hebrews 12:15
- Living a hypocritical life in front of our children – telling them to do one thing and us doing the opposite. So, live your values. Matthew 23:28
- Modeling anger in front of our children. So, guard your temper. Proverbs 22:24-25
So, I posted this list not to generate guilt, shame or condemnation, but to reveal our blind spots and make us all more self-aware. And, I hope our self-awareness will lead to greater grace and improvement as parents.
Turn Your Minutes into Moments
What are some other ways parents provoke their children to anger?
What are some ways we can inspire our children to do great things?