Archive by Author | jritterbrunson

Anger: What Do I Do About it?

Everyone gets angry. It’s a common emotion. If you believe you have never been angry, I would guess you’re in denial – a stuffer. How is that working for you? Others explode. How does that impact your boss, your spouse, your children?

angry and furious announcement - businessman spitting fire

Okay then, you might say. What else can I do? That question plagues almost everyone from time to time. First, let me say righteous anger is not a sin. But it can become a sin depending on how you handle it. There are degrees of anger, everything from mildly irritated to rage strong enough to kill, even some that does carry through to murder.

In fact, it may even be the anger that causes the person to pull the trigger. Why? Because anger hurts the person who is angry. The angry behavior may hurt the target of the anger, but the angry person feels the pain of the anger. Anger that leads to retaliation also hurts the perpetrator who more than likely gets caught and the consequences can be much worse than the angry feeling.

What about the stuffer? The stuffers may not be in touch with their anger. Don’t be fooled. The anger is hidden deep in the stuffer’s body. It can lead to all kinds of physical symptoms, including heart attacks.

The solution for both is easy to write about, but not so easy to do in the moment. First, the angry person needs to recognize the angry feelings. Then take a time out to calm down. Consider your part in the situation that caused your anger. Don’t go back until you can talk rationally. Listen to the other person’s words. Explain your side of the story.

Handsome man ignore his angry girlfriend

The Bible says, “In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesian 4:26 NIV) It also tells us, (“If your brother sins against you, go, and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” (Matthew 18:15 NIV) This is great advice, even if you are not a believer.

One more step can keep you our of trouble. Forgive. Do it as soon as you can. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you like what happened or even that you want to continue the relationship with the source of your anger. It just means you are willing to live with the consequences of what the person did.  Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting it to hurt the other person. Forgiveness sets your free.

I would love to hear your questions or your suggestions based on this blog.

Do you have anything you do that helps you calm yourself when you feel angry?

Is there an experience where you learned something to help you with your anger or someone else’s anger?

This is an important subject because too many young people are getting killed because they don’t know how to deal with anger.

What suggestions can you give to help?

 

How to Teach Preschoolers to Say “No” to Unsafe Touch

How do we teach preschool children the difference between good touch and unsafe or uncomfortable touch?

Little children trust easily, too easily. They learn to hug their grandparents when they leave and how to shake hands with their parents friends when they meet them. We try to teach children good manners at an early age. It’s part of parenting, but so is teaching them how to protect their bodies against unsafe touch, whether it be from a babysitter, a cousin, or a pedophile who lives down the street.

Teach them about their bodies.  

You can do this in the tub or when they see someone change a baby’s diaper.                        

“Let’s talk about how everyone’s body is different. God made Susan’s body different from your body or David’s body is not like your body. Each person’s body belongs to him or her and each person has the right to protect his or her body from unwanted touch. If you are a Christian,  you can add,  “God made each body a little bit different for a reason.”

This is a good time to teach modesty.

Draw a child in a swimsuit or put one on the child. “Do you see the parts of your body that are covered when you wear a swimsuit? When someone tries to touch you in the area of the swimsuit, they are not giving safe touch. The only time someone should need to touch your body in the area where a swimsuit touches is when a doctor or your parent needs to help you. I think you are old enough to know when someone needs to help you in that way.

Senses are the way we learn about the world around us.

“Do you know what the five senses are?  We call it the five senses that help us know about our world. Can you tell me what they are?”                        

1. Seeing – “Tell me something you like to see with your eyes.” Wait for answer.                  

2. Hearing  – “Tell me something you like to hear with your ears.” Wait for answer.            

3. Smelling – “Tell me something you like to smell with your nose.” Wait for answer.            

4. Tasting – “Tell me something you like to taste with your tongue.” Wait for answer.          

5. Touching – “Tell me something you like to touch with your skin.” Wait for answer.

Discuss as needed.

“I like hugs from people I love. Which sense do I use when I give a hug?  (Touch)                

Do you like hugs? Who do you like to hug?” Wait for answers.                                                  

A hug is a loving touch. A loving touch makes us feel warm and comfortable. Sometimes there are touches that don’t make us feel comfortable. They might make us feel scared or hurt or confused. If someone touches you in a way you don’t like, you can tell them to stop. If they don’t, tell an adult you trust.

“Who does your body belong to? (the child) Do you have to let anyone touch you if you don’t feel comfortable? (no)

“Are there times when a grown-up might need to touch you so they can help?” (yes)          

“Tell me some of those times.” (skinned knee, something in the eye)

“Are there times when an adult might need to touch your private parts?” (Yes, only when a parent or doctor needs to help you for a good reason.)

“If a person wants to touch your private parts without a good reason, do you have to let them?” (No) You are getting big now and you can think for yourself, can’t you?
If a person wants to touch your private parts or touch you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, what are some things you can do?”

1. Say “No”
2. Run away from them and scream if you need to.
3. Tell someone you trust. If they don’t believe you, tell someone else.
4. Remember, it is not your fault and you didn’t do anything wrong if that happens.

Children need to learn to think for themselves in an unsafe situation. Keep this conversational and let children answer.

“Do you remember yesterday I reminded you that you are getting big enough to think for yourself? I am going to ask you some questions that you will really have to think about.”

“We taught you to obey grown-ups, right?”

“What if your aunt told you to jump into the river, what would you do?”

“What would you do if your teacher told you to dive off the school building?”

“What if you are at the store and the store owner told you to steal a bag of potatoes? What would you do?”

“Most of the time when a grown-up tells you to do something, it is for your own good. But, you have to think. If it doesn’t seem right or makes you feel uncomfortable or scared, you don’t have to do it. It is your own body. If that happens, you go to a person you trust and ask them if you have to do it.

What kind of person might ask you to do something that is not for your own good? (Child describes what he or she thinks.)

Answer:                                                                                                                                                     1. They could look and act nice.
2. The may try to trick you into thinking you can trust them.
3. They may be young or old.
4. They can be someone you know and care about or they could be a stranger, someone you don’t know.
5. They could be someone in your family. It could be anyone. You can’t tell by looking, only by feeling.

“Remember, your body belongs to you and no one has the right to touch it without your permission, unless it is your parent or doctor trying to help you. If someone does, what do you do?” (Say “no” and tell someone.)

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Emotionally Neglected Children May Feel Like They Are Ghosts

“Emotional Neglect is the white space in the family picture; the background rather than the foreground. It is insidious and overlooked while it does its silent damage to people’s lives.” (Dr. Jonic…

Source: Emotionally Neglected Children May Feel Like They Are Ghosts

How Do We Judge Our Neighbors?

Last night for the second time, I watched the movie, “Life is Beautiful.” This powerful, tragic, and funny movie came out in 1998. Based in pre-war Italy, it heralds the beginning of the rise of Nazism and follows a man and his family to the end of the war. After seeing the movie last night and watching the morning news this morning, my thoughts turned to the idea of prejudice. The word means what it says, to pre-judge or make a decision without all the facts. The Random House College Dictionary defines it as “An unfavorable opinion or feeling made beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.” I asked myself, How Do You Judge Your Neighbors? By neighbors, I mean other people in the world.

How do I and others judge people? Starbuck’s idea of “Race Together” and talking about racial prejudice during your morning coffee isn’t popular with many people, including me. That doesn’t keep me from looking deeper. My first thought, God made all of us, so we are each valuable people – a surface thought, but I believe it. What does it boil down to? In the movie, a rich woman talked about how much it costs to take care of the sick and elderly. To her, those people were just a nuisance. Theoretically, she forgot she may someday be elderly and possibly sick. Another scene showed a group of school children being told they are a superior race. The movie showed severe prejudice toward Jewish people. That prejudice seems to be raising it’s head again. Different areas of the world have different prejudices. In my opinion, all are wrong.

Let’s look at the reasons different races or even different people behave differently. First, we have to consider genetics. Some are born with the ability to learn quickly. Others have talent in sports or art or music. That is true of all races. Others, like the woman in the movie, look at socio-economic status. What people see as poor in America may seem rich in some parts of the world. I could bore you will all the variables, but I won’t. I believe there are two variables that are often over-looked in judging others, love and opportunity. Those who have grown up in a loving family, whether in a home or tent or even on the street, seem to handle life better. Also, those who have opportunity to follow their dreams seem to become more productive citizens. Maybe it isn’t race at all. Maybe we do need to look at each person as an individual.

In the Bible, 1 Samuel 16:6-7, Samuel sought God’s directions in anointing the chosen man as king, He saw David’s older brother, Eliab, and said, “‘Surely the Lord’s anointing is before him.’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'”

Let’s start the conversation – with or without coffee. What are your thoughts about prejudice and judging our neighbors, near and far? What are your ideas of ways we can all live together in peace?

If My People . . .

This blog reminds us. We are a Christian nation.

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As we look at today’s America, sometimes it’s almost impossible to recognize the country we once knew so well. Contrary to what many would have us believe, we were founded on Christian principles. Today some would call those of us living by those principles terrorists. Instead of living by God’s standards of right and wrong, people are encouraged to do their own thing. Decide for themselves what’s right for them. Our Constitution is considered outdated. Courts are ruling against Christians who make a stand for their within their own businesses. Marriage has been redefined. And on and on . . .

So what can we as Christians do? It’s easy to point fingers. At the politicians. At the ones condemning us for our faith. But God tells us to look inward first.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face…

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Jumping through Fires

What an amazing testimony of God’s love and grace. It’s worth the 5 minutes.

Help 121

Religion can lead to you being disillusioned with what you may think is faith. Finding Jesus is about finding life and becoming spiritually free and alive. Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life and that no one can know God except through Him. If you have been searching for spiritual freedom and haven’t found it in being religious, don’t pass up the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ and make Him a part of your life.

Jumping through Fires (new)

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). – John 10:10

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