Why Should You Stop Throwing Temper Tantrums

(Last Updated On: July 30, 2017)

My temper tantrums? As parents, those generally aren’t the tantrums we think about. But over the past few years, I have grown increasingly convicted about my anger, especially towards my daughter. And one verse today just wrecked me.

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And I want to come to you from that place right now: not a place of having conquered, but still conquering, sometimes still failing. But I see God’s work in my heart as I grow more and more.

My temper tantrums were damaging my family. Yours are, too.

God has called us to stop throwing temper tantrums now.

I’ve been trying to rewrite this post for days, but God was calling me to go deeper than I even understood yesterday.

We’re missing a correct perspective on the importance of the children in our homes. The worldly view either elevates children to the masters of the home or diminish them as satellites to the central parents.

Both perspectives grieve God.

God should be the center of our homes as the sun is the center of the solar system. When the sun is in its rightful place, all the planets are exactly where they should be. If the sun changed by even the tiniest degree, the planets would not hold their perfect orbits. Chaos would reign in the galaxy.

When God isn’t the center of your home and heart, chaos reigns. When you’re the angry mom (or dad), fear of provoking your temper changes the dynamic for every moment of your day. Even the most joyful moments are colored by the terrible knowledge that the peace is temporary.

Is that really the message we want for our homes, spouses and children-that peace isn’t real or permanent?

Hebrews 12:14 ESV  Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”

How we live in God’s perfect peace with holiness is how others can see the Lord. How much more so should we live to demonstrate that peace for those God has given us the responsibility to love and raise.

This is the verse that just wrecked me today.

Matthew 18:10 ESV “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”

I had to just stop and weep over how much I imagine my daughter’s angels have protected her from me.

I stand here with you today, grieving the temper tantrums I have thrown, walking beside you in changing our hearts.

Honestly, I still struggle with my temper at least once a day. Most days, I win the battle now, but some I don’t.  I’d rather not publicly admit that anger is an issue in my heart and home, but I’ve decided if my honesty can help other moms, my brokenness is better than staged perfection.

I stand with you, grieving my temper tantrums, walking beside you in changing our hearts. Click To Tweet

Being a mom is filled with lots of joy. My daughter’s giggles and snuggles cheer my heart, and I love watching her grow in her faith and become her own little person.

But parenting is also filled with HUGE mountains of frustration.

I swear, leaving the house is absolutely Kryptonite to my normally sweet child. “Go put on your socks” is met with a raging discourse against socks or a Supreme Court worthy debate about wearing cowboy slippers to the park.

“Yes, I picked up my room,” is almost certainly a lie.

(#MomProTip I discovered if I want her to play quietly in her room, send her to clean it. She won’t clean much but will pull out lots of toys and play.)

And frustrations build. Momming is enough to drive anyone crazy, full of routine requests, fighting the same battles over and over and over. Add the stress of housekeeping, bills, work, difficult relationships (even marriage), and I start to fall apart.

I’ll feel like I’m barely holding my Hindenburg emotions together with duct tape and the next frustration rips through my false calm like flames.

For me, the first step in healing came from realizing that the root cause of my temper tantrums is sin.

SIN? Really?!? How is it MY sin when my child doesn’t obey?

God expects us to have emotions, not be ruled by them. When we let anger overcome us, we are not demonstrating fruit of a Spirit-filled believer.

Ephesians 4:26-27 ESV “Be angry and do not sin . . . and give no opportunity to the devil.”

When we throw temper tantrums we damage the trust our children have in us, in our love, in our stability, in our faith.

God expects us to have emotions, not be ruled by them. Temper tantrums damage relationships. Click To Tweet

We give Satan footholds into the lives of our children. With our temper tantrums, we build weak places in their hearts that Satan can exploit.

I know that Satan will use any opening I give him. Totally unacceptable! So, I had to root out where my anger comes from. Primarily stress, pride, and lack of self-control. Yep, sin.

We hold onto stress like it’s our human right to explode during difficult circumstances, but God’s answer is not to.

In the calm moments of motherhood, It’s easy to write this, but when I have a headache and my kid won’t stop talking long enough to eat her dinner, it’s much harder to demonstrate self-control over the frustrations.

How Do temper tantrums come from selfishness and pride?

I wanted today to go my way. I wanted to be on time, or she asked for more of my attention than I wanted to give at that second.

And I used to snap.

Living with the me of the past had to be miserable. No one could anticipate my mood or my threshold for the day. I am truly grieved over the temper tantrums that ruled my life for years.

I am truly grieved over the temper tantrums that ruled my life for years.

Every day I would wake up and promise myself to be better, and most days I would fail, robbing me and my family of joy and peace.

I couldn’t control myself because there was an anger born of selfishness inside me. Until I began to die to that selfishness, I wasn’t able to be different.

I had to see others, including my children, as more important than myself. I had to grow in humility.

Philippians 2:3 ESV “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

God’s highest commandment to love others comes before keeping house, writing a blog, folding laundry.

Sometimes, I am still tempted when faced with blatant disobedience, but I am more often able to reflect humility and look at their sin with grace and compassion, without having to join them in anger.

James 1:19-20 ESV “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

The purpose of my life as a wife and mother is to produce righteous fruit in my life, in the lives of those with whom I fellowship, and the lives of my husband and children.

The anger of man doesn’t produce God’s righteousness.

So what are we supposed to do?

My temper tantrums? As parents, we don't often think about our tantrums, but I've grown increasingly convicted about my anger, especially towards my daughter.

Psalm 4:4 ESV / “Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.”

If you’re angry, go sit on your bed, think about your own heart, and be quiet!

I love that – God invented time out.

Taking a few moments to get myself under control in prayer always changes my attitude, setting aside my selfishness, exchanging it for God’s peace.

Temper Tantrums? Psalm 4:4 - God invents time out. Go sit on your bed & search your own… Click To Tweet

When I quietly sit and reflect, God reminds me how He loves them and His perspective. He shows me how to solve the conflict over being right.

It sounds too good to be true. Just pray?

It’s where I start. Prayer opens my heart to hearing God. Then through scripture, His wisdom reaches into my life: guiding, convicting, changing.

In this communion with Him, we are granted His peace.

Philippians 4:7 ESV “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

In the face of heartbreaking struggles or mind-numbing frustrations, the peace of God is beyond my ability to explain, but is so real.

I’ve felt it, wash over my heart like silk, changing my perspective and emotions in an instant.

With joy and thankfulness for my full life, I ask to have the correct attitude toward this season as wife and mother and set aside my anger.

God has been working on my temper tantrums for years now.

I can safely say He’ll be done with me about five seconds before never, but I know I’m making perfectly imperfect progress every time I pray for His peace, patience, and maybe some time alone to pee.

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29 Replies to “Why Should You Stop Throwing Temper Tantrums”

  1. This is very convicting. I still struggle with this more than I wish I did. This is great advice. Just hearing it repeatedly helps stay focussed on what’s important and how to handle frustrations that are inevitable.

    1. Even writing it today made it all fresh in my mind. Despite trying to write with a child who wants my attention every second, I was able to remember to love her first.

  2. Yes, I realize that when i snap, it’s due to something getting in my way or invading my time. It’s selfishness and sinful and completely uncalled for. Asking for God’s help instead of allowing words to come out of my mouth is definitely the better course of action. Great post!

  3. “I realize now God’s highest commandment to love others comes before keeping house, writing a blog, folding laundry.” That sentence hit home with me. It all did, as most of your posts do. I throw temper tantrums more frequently than I’d like and I always feel ashamed afterwards. Following a tantrum, I always apologize to my children or my husband but feel guilty. After all, how am I supposed to teach my children how to handle their emotions when I don’t have control over mine? I do pray when I feel the anger bubbling up out of me but I haven’t put it into action yet. I liked your suggestion to take a timeout. I will try to remember that next time. Great post, thanks for sharing!
    Emily recently posted…Managing ExpectationsMy Profile

  4. First of all, I’ve always loved the title of your blog – it sums up my parenting beliefs also. 🙂 Second, who knew God invented time out?! I’m so glad you included the second half of that verse because so often we hear only the first half quoted. The next time I struggle with anger (which is bound to be sometime tomorrow) or I have to counsel one of our children about anger, I’ll remember that second half. I liked this so much, I’m sharing it around!
    Jen @ Being Confident of This
    Jen recently posted…The Truth About a Faith That Stumbles on WaterMy Profile

    1. Thank you! And I loved the second part because time out in our home means that we find our happy heart. So sitting down to ponder our hearts was already how we do timeout! It is a daily struggle for most of us. Parenting little ones is tricky.

  5. I admit that I am so passive. However, I do tend to get grumpy when I feel anxious. If I get anxious, my daughters get anxious and grumpy too. Self-control is the hardest and yet most valuable tool in the maturity tool kit. Now just to get the maturity tool kit…

  6. This is a truly inspiring post, Jen. I loved the Hebrews verse – that was very convicting. How can others see the peace of the Lord except they see peace emanating from me? I also loved your comment about God inventing time out. Very clever and very true!

  7. When God was dealing with my own anger, I realized that I had the idolatry of my own time. I didn’t want my time wasted, and that’s why I would get angry. I learned to recognize that my time was God’s, and that I could rest that God has something different for that moment.

  8. This is so relevant to us in this day and age where there are 5,000 things in a given day that ultimately don’t matter but are maddening at the time. It’s the classic road rage syndrome that gets us all at one time or another. Thanks for sharing this word of encouragement!

  9. Your openness on this subject is wonderful. Anger is something Satan tries to ignite in us all. I’ve fallen into this trap many times. What has helped me a lot is giving my kids permission to keep me accountable. There’s nothing more painful for me than to hear my kids say, “Mom, you are talking meanly right now.” or “What you said hurt my feelings.” This definitely stops me in my tracks and helps me to remember to pray instead of spray anger.

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