Seth Godin threw this idea out for a blog post on his blog as part of his post “Nine ideas in search of a blog post” – “Loud and angry doesn’t make you right. It just means that you are loud and angry.”
So, I’m taking him up on it. Here is an excerpt from my free ebook, The Call of Men:
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4
Here it is, flat out, guys:
STOP YELLING AND SCREAMING AT YOUR KIDS!
Dads, I think we are especially prone to lose it with our sons. Some of them have wild, rambunctious spirits (just like us) and it’s easy to let our tempers fly. We need to stop closing our sons’ spirits. When you yell at your child, you close his spirit. Do it often enough and harshly enough and you’ll wound or even break his spirit. You may even drive a wedge between you and him. It’s not unforgivable, but you’d better be quick to ask your child’s forgiveness when you have wronged him or her. Yes, you heard me right.
We need to ask forgiveness from our children. You’ll be amazed at what happens when you do. I don’t mean a quick, “I’m sorry.” I mean ask forgiveness. “Son, I was wrong to yell at you and say (or do)_______ (be specific – name your sin). Will you please forgive me?” And let him answer. If he’s having trouble, let him know it’s o.k. to say “No” or “Not yet” because he’s still hurting. Then, pray with him so that he can hear you ask God’s forgiveness for your sin against God and against your child. Again, be specific in naming your sin. God will honor you and your child for doing so. You won’t believe the lessons your children will learn from seeing you repent and ask forgiveness from them and from God. You are God’s representative to your child. Many people have struggled with embracing their heavenly Father because of their lousy earthly fathers. Our children need to learn to ask for forgiveness, to humble themselves and repent of their sins. They can have no more powerful lesson in humility and love than to see their dad model repentance for them.
We need to set boundaries in our lives. If you are losing it at all with your children, set a boundary – something to help you to stop yourself before you get to the “losing it” stage. Commit to figuring that out. God said about His Son, ―”This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:17
Our sons need to hear, feel, and know that we feel the same way about them. Our daughters need to know they are cherished and loved as our princesses, beautiful and lovely. (end of excerpt)
Yes Dad, you may be right. But, will that matter if your son or daughter doesn’t care? If they’re so hurt and/or scared by your tone that they reject you, you have lost. As Seth said, “Loud and angry doesn’t make you right. It just means that you are loud and angry.” You are better than that.