Anger Can Be Productive, Who Knew?

It may or may not surprise you to know that I’ve always struggled with my temper.  Yeah, me.  Really.  I’m telling you, I can throw a temper tantrum like nobody’s business.  I can put my 3-year-old’s temper tantrums to shame.

One of the emails I recently received from Biblical Parenting.org addressed “the good side of anger.”  This immediately caught my attention because I’ve got plenty of anger.  Especially at certain times of the month, ifyouknowwhatImean.

This is the basic premise of the article:

Anger is good for identifying problems but not good for solving them.

Hm.  Makes sense.  I remember years and years ago, a Sunday School teacher teaching us the Bible verse, “Do not sin in your anger.”  And her point was, anger in and of itself isn’t a sin.  But sinning as a result of anger is the problem.  Anger is a valid, God-given emotion; what we DO with it is the important part.

When I was a 3rd grade teacher, I struggled with my temper in the classroom.  One day I called a friend and fellow teacher for advice on how to keep my cool, and she said that the key is consequences.  She counseled me that losing my temper is never productive, but implementing logical consequences calmly and matter-of-factly is very effective.

I try to remember that now that I’m a parent, but some days I do better than others.  (It was easier when I was a teacher and I could send them all home at 3:00!)  Sometimes I walk through the house, steaming about something stupid that one of my kids just did, trying not to blow my top clean off, and chanting to myself, “Consequences, consequences, consequences…”  It’s not always easy to come up with an appropriate consequence.  I wish I was more creative in that way.

Realizing that anger can actually be helpful relieves some of the guilt, but only when I manage to use my anger constructively.

Share.  What are your best tips for keeping your cool when your temper threatens to get the best of you?  What are some of your more creative (and effective) consequences for inappropriate behavior?