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September 5, 2014
The Good Side of Anger
We’ve worked with many families, helping them deal with anger, both in children and adults. One of the first truths that we try to communicate is that anger is good for identifying problems but not good for solving them. Unfortunately, too many people don’t understand anger’s benefit and, as a result, end up feeling guilty about being angry, further complicating the emotional picture.
It’s important to understand that anger is not good as a response to problems. It usually builds walls, increases tension, and contributes to distance in relationships. But we do believe that anger is good for identifying problems. Once you understand anger, you’ll be able to use it to your advantage to point out problems in life. Then you must move into another mode or plan to solve those problems.
Ephesians 4:26 says, “In your anger do not sin.” This verse is just one that tells us that there is an anger that isn’t sinful.
One dad told us that when he began thinking about anger this way his anger became less intense, he was angry less often, and when he did get angry, he knew what to do about it. That is exactly what we’re saying.
There are plenty of books on the market about managing anger and you can do a lot to calm your emotions but the anger control books don’t solve the real problem – your kids keep doing the wrong things! If you begin to use anger to identify the problems and then develop healthy solutions to address them, you’ll be using anger in a positive way.
Many parents have given up hope, believing that they have lost the battle with anger. They’re plagued with guilt about their emotions. Before you can improve your anger management or your children’s, you must first think rightly about anger. Anger is good for identifying problems but not good for solving them.
This parenting tip comes from the book Good and Angry, Exchanging Frustration for Character In You and Your Kids by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.