Temper tantrums

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What do you do with a screaming kid? That’s no rhetorical question. Watching grandkids this week, I found myself asking that question repeatedly. Now I already know the practical things to do: provide books, a favorite stuffed animal, and some soothing music.  The fact is that you probably know the practical solutions already.  You might decide to have the child go to a certain place in the home when angry or upset — not as a punishment, but as a choice and an opportunity to learn to calm down. 

Here’s an interesting observation: I found myself “flipping the script” when considering my own “tantrums.” I ask myself this question, “What do I do when I find myself on the edge of screaming, especially when I don’t get my way?”

First, I take a deep breath and evaluate the “why?” I then ask these questions, “What’s the real problem?” “Am I the only person facing this situation?” “What’s the worst possible thing that can happen?” “How is this going to impact my life in the next year? Next 5 years? Next 10 years?”

Next, I verbalize my frustration to myself and God.  Vent if necessary, but don’t linger on the problem.  At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. It may feel good for a moment, but it won’t solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Lastly, understand that there are others out there facing this situation. You’re not alone. 

1 Corinthians 10:13 is pretty clear. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

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