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Routines and Rhythms of Homemaking
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25 Ways that Parents Provoke Their Children to Anger

As a parent, I desire to love my children well. Aggravating them to anger as a consistent behavior is something I actively avoid. As a mother of five children, I have definitely confronted anger in my children. This struggle led me to seek wisdom on this topic.

Anger in a child is a real response. While God holds each of us, even a child, responsible for his or her sin, God does hold parents 100% responsible for the sins which provoked him to that anger. These 25 ways that parents provoke their children to anger were taken from Lou Priolo’s book on The Heart of Anger.

  1. Lack of Marital Harmony
  2. Establishing and Maintenance of a Child-Centered Home
  3. Modeling Sinful Anger
  4. Habitually Disciplining While Angry
  5. Scolding
  6. Being Inconsistent with Discipline
  7. Having a Double Standard (Do as I say, not as I do.)
  8. Being Legalistic
  9. Not Admitting You’re Wrong and Not Asking for Forgiveness
  10. Constantly Finding Fault
  11. Parent Reversing God-Given Roles
  12. Not Listening to Your Child’s Opinion or Taking His or Her “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. Punishing 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. Unrealistic Expectations
  24. Practicing Favoritism
  25. Child Training With Worldly Methodologies Inconsistent With God’s Word

Looking honestly at this list begs the question, “Am I provocative?” As a parent I intended to love my children well and raise them according to Biblical principles. As a parent of grown children, I still want to avoid provoking my children to anger.

What should a parent do if they realise that they have provoked a child to anger?

  • Identify the specific ways you have provoked your child to anger. Eph 6:4
  • Confess these things to God. I John 1:9
  • Ask your child’s forgiveness for your sins against him or her.
  • Develop a plan with your child’s assistance to replace those sinful behaviors with their Biblical alternatives. Proverbs 28:13
  • Consider specific ways you can provoke your children to love and good works. Hebrews 10:24

Identifying any wrong behavior on my part as a parent is incredibly important. I aim to live blameless. This begs humility and a commitment to authenticity. Loving my children well means that communication on this topic must remain open to self examination on this topic as well as others.

More on Parenting:

Talking to Your Children About Dating

Nurturing My Nest – The Book

The Value of a Good Father

Whose Job is It Anyway? The Spiritual Formation of a Child?

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