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Sorrow instead of Anger


Consider this advice I found from  I must add, I do not think this should be applied only to parenting. It seems like a more healthy response to anger in general. Anger builds walls! Is that your aim? It is not mine. Let us do what we can to build relationships! 

The goal of discipline is to help children change their hearts as well as their behavior. When misbehavior requires discipline, one of the ways to touch a child's heart is to respond with sorrow instead of anger.
Anger can be a type of revenge, to get back at someone for an offense committed. Anger builds walls between people. Sadness or sorrow, on the other hand, opens doors in relationships. It touches the heart of a person. When a child sees disappointment in a parent’s eyes, it's often a powerful motivation for the child to want to change. 

"But I'm not sad, I'm mad!" you may be saying. Just stop for a moment and look past your anger. If you think about it you really are sad because of what this negative pattern will do to your child if not addressed. You can see future consequences and know where this course of action is heading. Sadness is there. It's just covered up by your anger. 

Ephesians 4:30 says, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit." God expresses sorrow when we sin. The same thing can be true in family life. Let your child see your disappointment and why it hurts you. That alone is a powerful motivation for children to change their hearts. “I’m really sad that you’re acting so selfishly.” 

Be careful you don't lay a guilt trip on your kids by faking it, but sincere sorrow touches the heart so don't be afraid to show it. Your genuine concern for your children will go a long way to foster a closeness with them.

To learn more about touching a child's heart, consider the book Parenting is Heart Work 
by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

To learn more about your own anger as a parent, consider the book
Good and Angry, Exchanging Frustration for Character In You and Your Kids 
by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.