25 Ways to Provoke Anger in Children

Anger is a unique emotion and one of the most referenced emotions in the Bible. It can motivate to appropriate actions and causes (Mark 3:5) or diminish our effectiveness as a believer (Prov. 14:29). The Lord God expressed His wrath many times over people that hardened their hearts towards His commands and chose idolatry instead. Vine’s Dictionary provides this insight: anger is a natural impulse, desire, or disposition, and is seen as the strongest of all passions. There is little doubt as to why the New Testament instructs believers multiple times to “put off and put away” the destructive side of this emotion (Eph. 4:31, Col. 3:8).

As parents striving to raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, we are provided many opportunities to teach, model, and instruct our children in this principle.

One of our goals is to help our children grow from self-centered and emotionally driven to a Christ-like example that incorporates a biblical thought and reasoning process.

How sad the first set of parents, Adam and Eve, must have been when their own flesh and blood could not manage this emotion (Gen. 4:5-8). In one day, they lost two children – one to death, and the other to exile.

Solomon reminds us that there is nothing new “under the sun” (Eccl. 1:14). Therefore, parents need to be proactive in the everyday task of helping their children learn the wisdom of how to experience the emotion (be ye angry) and make good choices (sin not). The context of this article will encourage parents to examine themselves first in how they can avoid provoking their children to anger (Col. 3:21). In Lou Priolo’s book The Heart of Anger, he outlines 25 ways that parents can unknowingly create anger and frustration in their children. The following is a summary of those ways.

  1. A Relationship Lacking Marital Harmony.
  2. Establishing and Maintaining a Child-Centered Home.
  3. Modeling Sinful Anger.
  4. Habitually Disciplining While Angry.
  5. Scolding.
  6. Being Inconsistent with Discipline.
  7. Having Double Standards.
  8. Being Legalistic.
  9. Not Admitting You’re Wrong and Not Asking for Forgiveness.
  10. Constantly Finding Fault.
  11. Parents Reversing God-Given Roles.
  12. Not Listening to Your Child’s Opinion or Taking His Side of the Story Seriously.
  13. Comparing Them to Others.
  14. Not Making Time “Just to Talk.”
  15. Not Praising or Encouraging Your Child.
  16. Failing to Keep Your Promises.
  17. Chastening in Front of Others.
  18. Not Allowing Enough Freedom.
  19. Allowing Too Much Freedom.
  20. Mocking Your Child.
  21. Abusing Them Physically.
  22. Ridiculing or Name Calling.
  23. Having Unrealistic Expectations.
  24. Practicing Favoritism.
  25. Child Training with World Methodologies Inconsistent with God’s Word.

To read full article, click here.

For Further Information:

Getting to the Heart of Your Child’s Behavior (Link from FamilyLife)

Parenting Podcast Episodes: Stewarding Strengths in Our Children