Religion columnist Debra Lupien Robillard talks about teaching your children about how to deal with anger.

Last week, I dealt with the subject of anger and how important it is to try to understand why we are angry and then find an appropriate way to deal with it. I pointed out the although God says it is OK to be angry, he does warn us that we should handle our anger in a compassionate and Christian way. I think it is important for children to learn at an early age how to cope with anger.


In Proverbs 22:6, it says, "Train up a child in the ways he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."


One of the best things we can do for our children is teach them appropriate behavior from day one in order to ensure correct behavior as they mature.


As far our children acting out is concerned, we as parents need to really look at why our children are acting a certain way and not just how they are acting. Yes, as parents we do need to address both, but I think it is important to start with the “why.”


Children should be encouraged to talk about what they are feeling and share what makes them angry. As adults, we more than likely have experienced what they are going through and can help them figure out an appropriate way to deal with the feeling. Starting with your child at an early age and allowing him or her to recognize anger as a natural emotion, then outlining ways in which to express himself, will help them as they get older and deal with more people and more complex situations.


I realize this is very basic and general advice, but how much can one say about such an intense subject in a few words? I just wanted to stir up some thought about the subject and the fact that although anger is a natural human feeling, it is one that we need to control so it does not control us.


Evangelist Billy Sunday once said, “You say that you have a bad temper and it’s over in a minute. So’s a shotgun, but it blows everything to pieces.”


Dear Father, thank you for being a God of peace, love and understanding -- please help me to find those feelings and pull them through my anger and frustration in a volatile situation. Help me to not just teach my children, but to be a good example of cool-headedness and self-control.