Your child needs to express his anger. It is healthy and cathartic. “But the emotion should be like a sneeze: It clears the passageways and is over,” says Dr. Ned Hallowell. Here are his anger-management strategies for kids who feel intensely and sometimes spiral out of control.
Of all the emotions that can get a child into trouble, anger leads the list. While sadness or anxiety causes misery, it is anger that leads to trouble — punishment, suspension, expulsion, and a host of other outcomes we don't wish our children to suffer.
It is important that a child expresses his anger, but the emotion should be like a sneeze: It clears the passageways and is over. A child who cannot get angry is in as much danger as a child who cannot control his anger. Here are my 10 tips for anger management for kids.
Not only does staring at a screen all day numb the mind, it also precludes more useful exercise and face-to-face social interactions, which can help children with anger management. Some electronic use is fine, even desirable. But too much, more than two hours a day, should be avoided.
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Teach that Anger Is a Signal, Not an Outcome
When your child gets angry, he should learn to stop and ask, "Why am I angry?" If he can put that into words, it will be easier to control that feeling. Furthermore, if he is angry because he is being mistreated or is in danger, he can ask for help.
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Practice Compromise and Negotiation: Anger Management Strategy
In his excellent book, The Explosive Child(#CommissionsEarned), Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., introduced a method he calls collaborative problem solving. Read the book, and learn the technique. It works wonders. It is based on negotiation, not giving orders or commands.
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Check Any Underlying Problems
Various conditions, including ADHD, conduct disorder, seizure disorders, thyroid dysfunction, or brain tumors, can manifest themselves as uncontrollable anger.
If your child has a problem with anger, take a few minutes every day to document what he's done. After a month, read through the entries. You may see a pattern that will suggest effective interventions.
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