I’ve been thinking about when Anger becomes Bitterness, and whether it’s useful to define it for a child.
Since I’ve been talking with my four year old about anger and not getting her way, I’ve been prompted to look a little more closely into God’s Words and Ways. This is a project for the next few weeks, I think.
Today I brought it up. What I told her was, “You can be sad about not getting to do what you wanted to do [wear a Sunday dress for play], but when you hold on to your anger it’s called bitterness. Bitter people are always miserable.”
How do you help a four year old let go of her anger? I dunno. Put off, renew, put on, perhaps. I told her she needed to say “Oh, well. I guess I’ll go look for something else to wear.” She dutifully repeated my words. She really does understand that she’s unhappy when she’s angry, and she really does want to figure out how to get rid of the anger. Then she dragged her feet upstairs. Changing one’s mind is hard. I know it doesn’t happen immediately when I have to do it.
When she was upstairs, I heard a little voice saying again “Oh well. I guess I’ll go look for something else to wear.” It warmed the cockles of my heart.