Have you ever wondered where the violent outburst came from when your child displayed it without provocation, or so it seemed? Our son was usually so placid until ‘out of the blue’ came this growling like an animal and then a snap. Such children let their feelings build up until they are ready to burst and then they let it all hang out. Other children have an anger issue and act it out perhaps just as they have seen one of their parents do. Children who have seen domestic violence are in danger of mimicking this in their future relationships.

Have you ever heard someone say, “I was born with a temper, so you’ll just have to get used to it.” The implication there is a big excuse for a child/person to exert a lack of control in a situation and blame their genetic inheritance. They refuse to own their poor choices or method of dealing with a problem. Everyone has the opportunity and responsibility to get some help to build up coping skills.

Now, anger in itself is not a bad thing. It is one of numerous God-given emotions. It is our method of handling that anger that really matters. If we can’t handle our own anger, how can we expect our children to handle their strong emotions?

10 ways to prevent our children using violence:

  • Create a positive home environment.
  • Refuse to accept criticism, tattling, complaints or whining in your home.
  • Talk around the dinner table about avoiding violence as an answer to being upset.
  • Insist that kindness is displayed at all times.
  • Establish an open communication bond with your children.
  • Immediately correct children if they use put-downs, insults or derogatory language.
  • Teach them how to deal with frustration, resentment and anger.
  • Train them to be assertive without being rude.
  • Disallow horseplay, hitting, kicking, poking or any other dangerous or annoying action.
  • Ensure, as parents, that you are good models of what you need to teach your children.

A good catch-phrase in your home, one that we adopted long ago is, “If you can’t say something nice, something encouraging or uplifting, then don’t say it.”

Always move quickly to prevent any violent action (by them or you). “Not in our home! We only have positive attitudes and actions here,” is another good motto.

Really enjoy your family this week and be a blessing and inspiration to others.

Written by Brian Burgess, School Counselor, Nashville TN.