Twenty-four Ways to Provoke Your Child to Frustration

24 Ways to provoke your child @

Twenty-four Ways to Provoke Your Child to Frustration was written in February 2011 by Lou Priolo.


Below is a list of the most common ways that parents tend to provoke their child to anger. Check off the ones that most often apply to your parenting traits.

1.  Lack of marital harmony. When parents do not live with each other in harmony as God intended (Gen. 2:24; Heb. 12:15)

2.  Establishing and maintaining a child-centered home (Proverbs 29:15)

3. Modeling sinful anger (Proverbs 22:24,25)

4.  Consistently disciplining in anger (Psa. 38:1; Eph. 4:26,27; James 1:19,20)

James 1:19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

5.  Scolding (Mark 14:3-5; Ephesians 4:29)

To scold is “to assail or revile with boisterous speech. The word itself seems to have a primary meaning akin to that of barking or howling.”[2]

6.  Being inconsistent with discipline (Ecclesiastes 8:11).

7.  Having double standards.

8.  Being legalistic (elevating your personal rules to the same level as God’s rules; you must not be Pharisaical.  One example is in Matthew 15:7-9).

9.  Not admitting when you are wrong (Matthew 5:23, 24; James 5:16).

10.  Parents reversing God-given roles as husband-father and wife-mother (Ephesians 5:22-24)

11.  Not listening to the child’s opinion or the child’s side of a story (Proverbs 18:3, 17).

12.  Comparing her/him to others (2 Corinthians 10:12) instead of comparing her/him to where the child ought to be as a maturing person in Christ (Ephesians 4:13-15; 2 Corinthians 3:18) or to where his maturity is today compared with various points in the past (2 Peter 1:3-12; Revelation 2:2-5).

13.  Not having time to talk with your child (Ecclesiastes 3:7; James 1:19).

14.  Not praising the child when it is deserved (Revelation 2:2-4; Romans 12:3; Philippians 4:8).

15.  Failing to keep promises (Psalm 15:4-5; Matthew 5:37; Colossians 3:9).

16. Chastising him or her in front of others (Matthew 18:15) for private offenses.

17.  Giving too much freedom (Proverbs 29:15; Galatians 4:1,2).

Example: How Eli the priest treated his two sons in 1 Sam 3:11-14

18. Not giving enough freedom (Luke 12:48; James 3:17).

19.  Making fun of the child (Exodus 4:11; Job 17:1,2).

20.  Abusing the child physically (Numbers 22:27-29; 1 Timothy 3:3).

21.  Calling your child names (Ephesians 4:29).

22.  Having unrealistic expectations (1 Corinthians 13:11).

23.  Showing favoritism toward one child above another (Luke 15:25-30)

24. Employing child training methods that are inconsistent with the Word of God (Ephesians 6:4).


[1] Priolo, Lou. How to Help Angry Kids. Alabama City, AL: S.E.L.F. Publications, 1996.

[2] Trumbull,  H. Clay. Hints on Child Training. Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, nd.