Kids: working through a rainbow of emotions

THE EMOTION: ANGER

A child's anger may not be directed at any person in particular, but more at the situation as a whole. Displaced anger is common. Children may attempt to punish you, the other parent, or a sibling as they try to deal with this strong emotion.

THE SIGNS

Common signs of an angry child include:

  • A short temper
  • A child who will get frustrated during a conversation and walk away
  • A child who frequently raises his voice
  • A child who quickly challenges his parents' advice or decisions
  • A child who has problems in school fighting with peers or talking back to teachers

IDEAS TO WORK WITH

Try to find a way for your child to vent his anger such as a pillow fight, a punching bag, fast dance-- anything that can use up his energy. It is important your child understands that feeling angry is okay. Help your child to find an acceptable means of expressing the anger.

Listen to your children. Many children will be too angry to talk to their parents. Be observant and take advantage of all opportunities to communicate.

 

Don't meet anger with anger. Showing your anger to a child will only increase the problem. Instead, let the child cool down, then go share rationally that you are upset with his behavior. Do not reward the angry child. Do not try to make up for the anger or "solve" it by giving in to his every desire. Do not buy things to compensate or give him more attention because of his actions. Doing these things, will promote staying angry. He will learn that by being angry he will get his way.

Finally, if you feel that the anger is self-destructive, you will need to consult a professional.

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