Parenting is not easy. I have lost count of how many days just in the past few weeks that have been jammed packed full of hectic activities along with the accompanying stress that on most occasions lead to angry parenting. As parents, we have the best of intentions – plan ahead for that upcoming event, school project, you name it. Unfortunately, life throws a lot of curveballs our way and how we deal with the expected and the unexpected can go a long way towards overcoming stressed out parenting and the pitfalls that will inevitably occur.
Israel and Brook Wayne recently published a book that addresses the issues of stressed out and angry parenting. As the parents of nine children, let’s just say they have the experience to speak on such an issue. My wife and I are the proud parents of a teenager and of course raising a teenager has plenty of complications. However, that is just one child. I can only imagine the stress that is inherent with raising nine children.
What the reader will find in this book is practical and helpful recommendations, many of which are rooted in the life experiences of the authors. They have clearly been there and done that when it comes to dealing with a plethora of stressful situations that often lead to angry parenting.
I appreciated that they noted early on in the book that not all anger is sinful. There is such a thing as righteous anger. Thus, it is not wrong to be upset with your children for wrongdoing. However, lashing out in anger against them for their actions does fall under the umbrella of sinful behavior, something Scripture demands we avoid. Israel and Brook remind the reader that we are to be slow to anger and quick to listen, two traits that are very difficult to practice yet are essential for godly relationships with children or with anyone for that matter.
The authors also address the issues of life that typically lead to angry outbursts. Again using their own experiences, Israel and Brook aptly note that anger comes from a root of selfish desires such as pride, unbelief, envy, and rebellion. As a parent, you may be saying to yourself, “I am not being envious when I get angry with my child.” Israel and Brook correctly note in response to such a statement that “Envy or jealousy is ultimately rooted in dissatisfaction with God. It is an implicit accusation against God’s justice. It suggests that God has not been fair in His dealings with us.” Think again now about your angry outburst. I humbly admit pondering why God could not have given me a child that perfectly obeyed. Yep – dissatisfaction with God is indeed a root of envy.
Perhaps the most helpful section of the book was Israel and Brook’s engagement of the various triggers for anger. We all have those buttons that get pushed and when they do, it is akin to a nuclear weapon lifting off that speeds towards its destination to explode with the energy of a thousand suns. It was helpful to read how influenced we are by social media and the media in general. I firmly believe that social media has made the general public less patient. We expect everything to be provided in quick soundbites. Our fast food order had better be fast or we are calling the manager to complain. Patience and the art of listening are largely absent from relationships. The importance of being slow to anger, recognizing our trigger points, dealing with them, and listening to the needs of our children are all saliently explored by Israel and Wayne.
Parents, we all get angry. Instead, we should not let anger control our emotions and how we interact or raise our children. There is a better and more godly way than that uncontrolled outburst. Parenting will have its share of stressful moments. The question is do we give in to the pressures of life and let those pressures have a deleterious impact on the rearing of our children. The personal experiences, sound biblical insight, and helpful points to ponder provided by Israel and Brook Wayne in this book will be of great help to parents. Take the insights they have to heart, add them to your parenting tool chest, and I am convinced that while the stress may not subside, your approach to stress will, leading to fewer episodes of angry parenting.
I received this book for free from New Leaf Publishing Group. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”