Dear Dr. Bill,
I have an angry husband who had an angry father and an angry grandfather. I am seeing these tendencies in our own young sons and I would love any kind of advice you could give.
The best way to help your sons with their anger problem is for your husband to get some help with HIS anger problem. Kids learn how to deal with life and relationships from their parents…your husband learned an angry coping style from his own father, and now he’s passing that pattern on to your sons.
The bible calls this “generational sin.” Your husband was sinned against by his angry father. That in turn has caused him to sin against you and your sons by taking out his anger on you. Your family needs to break the pattern and the responsibility rests with your husband.
I would encourage you to approach him in love, when he’s not angry, and tell him you are concerned about the behavior you are observing in your sons. Ask him to consider if it could be possible that they are imitating him.
My prayer would be that your husband has the ability to step back, take responsibility for his behavior and make changes. If that’s the case, he should find a good therapist who has experience in dealing with anger-management.
The counseling at Focus on the Family can help you find a licensed Christian counselor in your area. Eventually the entire family should be involved in the counseling process, to learn more effective ways to communicate and resolve conflict.
If your husband is unwilling to acknowledge that he has a problem and simply responds with more anger or blaming, you should seek help and support from close friends or relatives. You might also consider reading Dr. James Dobson’s book “Love Must be Tough,”
Thanks for writing, Becky. I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.
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