Understanding How to Manage Anger in Motherhood – Amber Lia & Wendy Speake Part 1
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Wow this journey that I’ve been on away
from this angry reactionary parenting in the problem is actually not just my
problem it’s something that thousands of people are struggling with and now we
have a safe place to talk about it and to maybe share with each other and
learn how God’s Word can be very practical in my parenting when I’m
running late out the door or I’m exhausted or my kids are talking back welcome to the focus on the family
broadcast helping families thrive a job we’re reminded throughout scripture to
learn with God’s help to control our anger that’s one of our goals as
Christians and proverbs 15:1 we’re told a soft answer turns away wrath but a
harsh word stirs up anger so today we want to come alongside you and and know
how to respond with a soft answer especially to your children when your
vision is blurry and you’re angry and upset and all you want to do is kind of
retaliate and get in their faces and get them to behave the way you need them to
behave can you feel it I can feel it yeah and our guests are Amber Leah and
Wendy speak and they are busy boy moms as they describe themselves they’ve
written a great book called triggers exchanging parents angry reactions for
gentle biblical responses amber and Wendy John indicated your boy moms I
love that description I think combined you have seven boys we have seven seven
boys what are the what’s the age range Wendy’s oldest is 14 and we had a happy
surprise our baby Quaid just turned 13 months old so seven boys gene and I
thought we had our hands full with two boys but you guys are really doing your
part to bring young men up in this world so thank you for let me say we’re not
raising boys we’re raising men but oftentimes it feels like we’re raising
triggers well guys we’re gonna talk about that also joining us John is my
wife Jean I thought it’d be great for her to join in because we have two boys
as well and this isn’t just gonna be about raising boys but it is about
raising children how to manage those things that trigger you all and I
thought jeans perspective would be helpful because if you haven’t noticed
we’re two boys and this is about a moms ability to really handle those emotions
and in the face of overwhelming odds right right we have both men and women
talking on the subject because dad’s struggle to and when we can get on the
same page we hear from moms all the time can you do an audio version so that I
can just put it in the car for my husband you know that sucks or the book
on the pillow that’s a common one we get here is that for you Jim welcome to the
show gene well thank you it’s always a pleasure being here well let’s get into
it you believe in writing triggers you
believe there’s an epidemic of angry moms in and outside the church today I
mean that maybe there’s not much difference in terms of those expressions
of anger why are so many moms angry and struggling let’s start there
you know when I was a young mom my husband had moved us to a little small
town in the Central Coast and I had three little boys four and under and I
had before that I had been this really capable teacher I was really in charge I
was behind plans I knew what to do with my day and then these little boys came
along and they were well let’s just say there are kids who will sit in color
I’ve heard my boys were not those boys they are all boy and they ran me ragged
and I just found myself getting so frustrated and and angry and I didn’t
know who I was all of a sudden and I thought I was the only one I didn’t
think I could talk about this with anybody there was a lot of shame
involved in it and I’ve come to discover that that was really my enemy talking in
my ear trying to make me feel guilty because Satan wanted me to feel guilty
Jesus wanted to convict me and catapult me toward spiritual growth but Satan was
the one I was kind of listening to most at that time and I was embarrassed and
then I began to start a blog and I started writing and I started a Facebook
group for moms eventually who struggle with anger and yelling and wouldn’t you
know it thousands of moms came
in a very short amount of time and I realized wow this journey that I’ve been
on away from this angry reactionary parenting in the problem is actually not
just my problem it’s something that thousands of people are struggling with
and now we have a safe place to talk about it and to maybe share with each
other and learn how God’s Word can be very practical in my parenting when I’m
running late out the door or I’m exhausted or my kids are talking back
so let’s journey together and so I think part of the problem is that we’ve just
felt a lot of shame and embarrassment we haven’t felt the freedom to talk about
it and mentor one another towards spiritual growth that is excellent and I
think that idea of isolation is so prevalent in women particularly I think
you quickly go to your guilt center you know that what am I doing wrong what is
it about me and that’s so easy to do and I love the topic that triggers are there
it’s going to happen let’s help one another not listen to
those things and that’s really what you’re saying Wendy give us an overview
of some of the common external versus internal triggers that moms face and
then we’ll dive in more deeply with that area right what was really interesting
the way that the book came together was within the confines of that Facebook
group for moms who were struggling and one day we simply said what are your
triggers we didn’t even communicate what triggers were they knew their shoes and
get in the car why why why don’t why did they talk back why the sassy eye rolling
and these things shoot me off and then a lot of them were saying I’ve been
exhausted I’m always running late my husband’s traveling um
you know and on and on the triggers rolled and the very next day amber
jumped in the group and she said we don’t want to help you teach your kid
not to disobey so you don’t have to get angry we want to focus on the heart
what’s going on in you when either you’re just depleted you’re struggling
with postpartum your husband and you were at odds or the kids are doing
something wrong what’s going on with you created me a clean heart Oh God and
renew a steadfast spirit in me and you know help me be more like you and from
that place let’s invite our kids up into maturity
and so the some of those triggers were external and we focused on what’s going
on with you when your kids can’t get their shoes on and get to the car or
come to the table and not meltdown over doing homework not meltdown over and
broccoli teenage kids coming in on time teenage kids you know taking
responsibility of their own school journey you know it’s not our school
life it’s their school life so all of these are triggers and what amber said
which i think is just so profound is they feel like triggers but really what
they are their opportunities they’re an opportunity for us to parent and I say
it’s my husband because it’s sometimes so easy to see it from the outside when
they’re doing something wrong you know our husbands are responding an area I’ll
be able to say Matt you know what the kids are doing right now he’s like yes
they’re doing wrong yes no no they’re asking you to parent them mmm
that’s what how does he respond to that thing ah like I had to marry someone
that wrote a parody sounds like work but it’s so helpful for me to see him do it
wrong sometimes because I’m like oh I’ve done that Wendy it’s really important
here because I think moms are hearing this they’re going I love the topic but
you sound like you’ve arrived oh my brother we’ve got to go back well well
the reason is because I’m not there yet and what you’re what I’m hearing is you
got to emphasize the journey that if you’re there and you’re seeing amber
back to your triggers and what you were seeing you got to start there so don’t
feel guilty as you’re listening you’re going oh I’m not there start now yeah
all the time that this is actually a conversation the book that we wrote is a
conversation that we want to have with you from the perspective of that we’re
still in it with you yes it takes a childhood to raise a child
that’s 18 years plus and it takes a Parenthood for me to figure out how to
be the best parent isn’t that the truth yes and so this is the wrong you’re us
arriving there’s no arriving Wendy and I think that’s why our boots resonate so
much and why the group is so responsive to us
it’s cuz we tell them all the time we’re
journeying with you this is not us as the total authority figure and expert in
fact here’s how I messed up yesterday remember how I wrote that chapter on
whining and complaining well guess what I did yesterday so I’m still growing
with you let’s pray for each other that’s good we have not arrived yet and
that really is I think one of our focal points is to be transparent you’re
describing a journey does the journey get easier with time did the triggers
change and he’s have you struggled with with anger over the years and is it
easier no I’ve never struggled with it yes I have absolutely struggled with
anger and yes the triggers change but I do want to say now that our boys are 15
and 17 I see the light what do you mean the dial it does get easier
in what ways I when you have young children you are exhausted I think that
you are exhausted you’re absolutely exhausted you are pouring yourself out
every day well you’re younger you haven’t walked as much of the path that
you talked about your we can’t be good parents until we’ve parented and you’re
still just fresh into it they need different things at different seasons
some of it is our maturity that we’re growing up and so much of it is they
actually need different things they need us to train them in the way they should
go when they’re young and then they need us to remind them of the way they should
go you really gotta remember rate them for
going the wrong way day after day you’re doing this wrong you’re doing this wrong
that’s where our anger can really come into play rather than wait a minute I
supposed to train them and the way they should go right I want to speak to that
because I am getting an opportunity right now to parent again because we
have the young foster children we have teenage boys and yes they need different
things but at this point I could I can recognize what I
did wrong yeah what’s the teenage boys and what I did wrong when it was young
and your book speaks to this it’s the training them in the way they should go
but it but so much of it is done out of anger because you take it personally so
when your kids disobey and are defiant I know I took that personal right
and thought that if they’re disrespecting me these are the little
people I spend or the people I spend the most time with and if they don’t think
I’m worthy of respect then I must not be and I think that that just that’s
painful that gets to our core it’s a lie mm-hmm but and and you talked about that
Amber listening listening to God or listening to the enemy and that that we
have to find our value and self-worth not from our kids I can step back and
think that is absurd our children but not to get your value from that
relationship but their relationship you have in Christ Yeah right we think that
our child’s misbehavior is a reflection of us absolutely and there’s a little
truth to that but wendy is so smart she she has said something that resonates so
much with me and so many of our readers and it’s that we are not victims
we’re moms oh if so it’s so true the tendency for me especially with these
strong-willed personalities is to feel like I’ve been in a in award by the
Ender husbands or kids but my husband will at the end of the day and my
husband will reach over and say just go to sleep
God’s mercies are waiting for you new tomorrow just you can start again
tomorrow right but I can feel like a victim by the end of the day and this
this epiphany that wait a minute I’m not a victim I’m a mom and my child actually
is doing my child’s job when he does wrong when he pushes boundaries when he
says no when he just does what he does he’s actually doing his job
and what he’s doing is he’s inviting me to do my job which is parent him and
train him in the way that’s a great way to look at it I’ll tell you let’s get
right to the Corbett Jean touched on it and one of those triggers being that
disobedience amber this is an area for you that was hard yes how do you begin
to address that how do you find a way not to let that hot button be the hot
button it ends up being the cold button you push that button you’re not getting
a response from me yeah when I was um in that little small town there was one day
that this knock came on the door tap tap tap tap and I was horrified
because I had just been raising my voice living in the aftermath of chaos
frustrated and I thought who just overheard me when they came to my door
and there was that shame again and so I opened the door and thankfully it was a
bachelor neighbor from down the street who’s kind of hard of hearing and I
thought okay good maybe he didn’t overhear what was going on in my living
room but that was the first signal to me that I needed to change I was really
focused on my kids disobedience and I was taking it personally with that
victim mentality and so I was always reacting to my children’s disobedience I
was not responding to it in a godly and biblical way practically and
consistently and so the first thing that I had to do was when when that neighbor
knocked on my door it was the aha moment for me amber you have to get it together
the Lord came to give you life to the full you’re not living life to the full
you’re not embracing that promise and so you have to stop and do something
different instead of stern lectures and putting your hands on your hip and
punishing your children at every turn you need to go back to the Word of God
and apply it and live out the fruit of the Spirit towards your child and ask
the Lord for some creative ideas practically of how to do that and so
that’s what I did those littles would go down for a nap and as much as I wanted
to go turn on the TV and chill out for a few minutes or get to the pile of dishes
I took that time I took 20 minutes every day which is hard to do when you’re a
mom and you’ve got little kids but I said Lord first of all I confess
I have this issue and I need your help create in me a clean heart Oh God and
renew that right spirit within me and the Lord showed up which he promises to
do and so he really began over the course of about a year to transform me
so when my kids would disobey instead of me saying ah why did you do it you’re
disobeying this is not okay it’s not acceptable I’m the mom you’re supposed
to obey me the dialog shifted – okay there’s nothing there’s no problems
going on right now this is a good opportunity for me to be responsive and
proactive parenting and I’m gonna say all right guys our shoes are the main
problem we’re not ever finding our shoes on time to get out the door so here’s a
basket by the front door this is where our shoes go and I’m gonna give you
plenty of time to get your shoes on mommy will help you and instead of this
lecture in the aftermath of them disobeying and not doing things on time
or doing what I’ve asked them to do I’m working through kind of like a coach
outside of the time of conflict ahead of time let’s practice this at two o’clock
in the afternoon instead of at 7:30 a.m. when we’re trying to get out the door to
a mommy group you know let’s practice this we’ll make it fun and so I had to
be really purposeful and intentional in helping them work through whatever their
issue is where maybe they were disobeying or maybe they were just
immature and I needed to do some more teaching and training and I would focus
on one thing at a time and so that was really helpful for me one of the areas
of the book you cover whining and complaining this is the one that grates
on me and we actually with jeans laughing
she’s smiling guilty I’m caught because the two little kids we have with us
right now one of them is a real whiner and it’s like nails on a chalkboard for
me I mean it’s like you know I need just ask I’ll get you more cereal why are you
doing that to me I’m the dad in this context but that’s a big one for both
moms and dads what about this whining and complaining how do we see that as an
opportunity to grow yeah well end an opportunity to parent because when they
whine and complain apparently there’s
hey I haven’t learned how to not whine and complain yet but the tendency of
course if we’re thinking of these triggers as invitations to parent the
reality is we feel that they are invitations to fight or image
invitations for us to join them so we come up with better responses we make a
plan one of my favorite quotes from triggers that I apply to my own
mothering each day is figure out what you mean to say before you say something
mean so in a moment void of conflict in a moment void of YTN complaining
say when they say that I’m going to just come up with a canned response what am I
gonna say when they do that thing they always do give me an example to help me
for example an example would be I’m sorry I couldn’t he understand you try
again or can you use a big girl voice try again then I can understand you I
actually can’t understand you another example was I remember my kids were
really young and we were at a swim lesson and the two-year-old wasn’t
listening and he never did at this he never did
4/6 this kept going yes but he’s he’s on the edge of the pool waiting for his
turn except he wasn’t on the edge of the pool every time she turned around he was
sinking cuz he let go and was jumping into the water and she turned around got
him out from under the water looked him in the eyes and said uh-oh and he looked
at her and he stayed on the side of the pool and I was sitting there like 5 feet
away and I’m looking at her going oh sister uh-oh is not gonna work with my
child uh-oh was a miracle Oh transformed he is not listening to me
what I realized was he knows he did wrong and uh-oh says oh you just made a
mistake without me lecturing without me blaming without me shaming the other
thing as they’ve gotten older I’ve already there’s a time for a lecture I
mean if you really need a lecture there’s a time for a lecture but when
they do what they know they’ve done is wrong and uh-oh or as I say now try
again so the kid slams the door the kid wins the kid you know has a sassy face
whatever it is you say try that again and really you guys isn’t there is there
a better picture of the gospel then try again yeah that’s good isn’t
that what we get to do through faith in Christ yeah amber had mentioned the
fruit of God’s Spirit in our lives and we get letters from women all the time
saying what’s up with a fruit of love joy peace patience kindness all these
these fruits in our home and I oftentimes will point them back I say
well keep reading it says if you live by the spirit let us keep in step with the
spirit so if you have not kept in step with a spirit in your own patience and
gentleness try again through Christ you’ve been forgiven and
you get to praise Jesus try again so let’s give our children the same grace
we’ve been given uh try again mm-hmm yeah I like to redo I really resonate
with this and I wish I had done that with my voice this is one thing that
I’ve really learned with our foster children and it’s revolutionary 3 do yes
and it always works it has always worked and and I feel the same way it
exemplifies Christ’s love and what we get to do as adults every day and and
the authoritarian way doesn’t change the behavior and it brings bitterness but
the redu they get it I see it working in our home yes well let’s talk about that
for a quick second the authoritarian approach I mean I think with parenting
we think you know if we run it like a military boot camp this will work why
won’t it work and sometimes it does for the moment okay my children they only
need to obey me when I’m mad and loud so some the table no the dinner and the
peas and I’ll say why don’t you come when I use my soft voice and they don’t
know to say it but really because you didn’t train me to come yeah you only
get it when you use the military that’s when I have and you know when we if we
create these little you know robots that do what we say whenever we say it you
know we may have an easier time in our parenting journey but really the other
sign of is that it can create a lot of anger in
our children and all that that does is make them angry at me as the mom and
they’re no longer thinking about what they’ve done wrong they’re just mad at
me because I’m lecturing them and I’m yelling at them I’m making a scene and
they’re not focused on my behavior my reaction they’re not thinking at all
about their behavior they should be doing you you’ve you’ve stolen the
teachable moment so your kid does something just flat-out wrong and you
come in in anger with your eyes bulging and your nostrils flaring and spittle
flying and what you’re doing is you’re you’re usurping that teachable moment
because they do not even remember what they did wrong they are just entertained
by what you’re doing wrong this has been so good and triggers is a resource that
every mom and I think every dad should have you have done a wonderful job with
this I want to keep going actually because we have more questions and
Jeanne you’ve got to leave and you won’t be with us next time so thank you for
being here hey I’m John fuller and thanks for watching get more info about
focus over here and more from our guests over there and be sure to subscribe to
our channel as well

9 thoughts on “Understanding How to Manage Anger in Motherhood – Amber Lia & Wendy Speake Part 1

  1. The most relevant video I’ve ever come across. Being a mother of three boys under 10, all I can say is thank you Jesus, and God bless you all for this.

  2. I am listening to their audiobook, “Triggers” and it is excellent! I listen to it over and over again in my car! I like that the authors pray at the end of each chapter.

  3. Thankkkkk you!!!! I’ve been praying for moms to speak about this!!! I am soooooo sad for all the angry moms and dad out there and their poor kids!!! We all need more love and help and less shame!!!!

  4. I’m one of the single moms who was struggling with my 13 years old son in silence, but I thank God and I thank you for this precious program

  5. Thank you for this! My husband and I have benifited from this discussion. What is the name of the face book group you mentioned?

  6. I'm a mom of 3, 12 yr old boy, 9 yr old boy and 6 yr old daughter. I love this interview!! God has really done a lot of work in me over the years about how to mother my kids. This is a great resource for me as well. Thanks for posting!

  7. I’d like to praise God for this video. I’ve been struggling with depression and anger since becoming a new mom. This morning was bad and I saw myself getting angry at dumb little things so much that I started crying. I received a message to look it up and see if someone can offer some word of advice. That someone is always God, but I am SO thankful for this channel and these people for bringing his word to my life. Truly I thank you💕

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