Written by Lifestyle Contributor, Erin Moran is a wife, mama, photographer, mental health advocate and recovering yeller.
In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
This seems especially important lately. What are you saying and doing to build others up? If you’re angry with good cause then channel it into making a difference. We need people who want positive change…not folks so consumed by anger they would rather tear someone apart for their views than build a better place….for all of us. And what better place to start then in our own homes.
I can not begin to know what shapes young people into the kind of person that commits the type of atrocities we’ve seen lately unfolding in all the heinous detail on the nightly news and on social media. We could actually see, in real time, kids tweeting about an active shooter in their school and watch and listen in horror. The shooter was a young man many of them knew…with a troubled past and broken home…and so many missteps were made in his care and in his potential as a threat that 17 people died.
So what does the mean for my home and my kiddos. Well, it means I have to listen to stories of lock down drills at school and talk to them about what to do if they were ever in that same situation. But it also means that I need to do everything I can to fill them up with love and confidence and compassion and coping skills, and to be willing to reach out for help if I notice anything in them that they are struggling with. It means being able to say “my child has anger or depression or anxiety that I am not equipped to deal with” and to get them what they need.
In my own experience, learning a new way to parent…one that does not include yelling or shaming and instead focuses on discipline and respect has changed the dynamic of our home. My children are visibly happier and are BETTER listeners than ever. My 9 yr old son says he feels like we rebuilt a broken home and he know he can tell us anything. If we lower our voices it is amazing what we can really hear our children saying.
My beautiful friend has a little boy and he did an experiment for a science fair. He had three sterilized jars with the lids each filled with rice and water. He labeled one jar hate, one love and one was left blank. He shouted and spoke nasty words to the hate jar, spoke sweetly with words of kindness to the love jar and ignored the blank jar. These were his results after only 14 days. See how clear the love jar is!
If what we say and how we say it can can have this affect on rice…imagine how our anger affects our own little ones, our partners, our friends, coworkers and those across the political aisle. I selected the Bible verse at the beginning because it does not say to not be angry…but instead to turn that anger into language that builds others up and effects positive change. “What the world needs now is love”.
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