12 Keys to helping your child deal with anger

Spear Cartoon 3775Temperament is something you see very early in a child. Some kids are laid back and go with the flow. Others seem born angry. Whether they are a Type A personality, or are easily frustrated, they need help in learning how to deal with anger.  Here are ten ways you can help your child with anger issues.

  1. Consider your child’s age. Helping a two-year old deal with anger is far different from helping your elementary child.
  2. A toddler may be overwhelmed and overstimulated. You may need to remove her from the situation.
  3. An elementary child may need to discuss his anger issues and need help finding constructive ways to vent.
  4. DO NOT ignore the situation. Pretending a child isn’t angry may only make her angrier
  5. DO NOT teach your child to deny (bottle-up) her feelings. Stuffing anger only causes it to come out in unproductive ways later.
  6. Look for triggers. Is there some situation that causes the child to become angry? Talk about it with your child.
  7. Acknowledge with your child anger is a normal reaction to something. We all face disappointments. We all face people who just seem to know how to get under our skin.
  8. If the anger is directed at a sibling, separate the two, then come back to mediate the situation. Allow each child to express their anger with words. Make sure the children talk about the offense and not about the other sibling’s personality or flaws.
  9. If the angry child causes destruction, use it as an opportunity to make amends. The child needs to know destructive anger has consequences.
  10. If a child destroys property, have them work to pay back the destroyed property.
  11. If a child hurts another person, take away privileges until they child feels remorse. A forced apology isn’t a real apology.
  12. When you feel angry about something, discuss it with your child. Let them know how you feel and how you are coping with it. Focus on your feelings and not on the offender.

Above all, if you’re angry over a child’s anger, that is not the time to correct his behavior. Give both of you some time to cool off before you correct him. Whether you’re a child or an adult, anger can cause you to make decisions you may later regret.

 

Are you an optimist or pessimist?

Cartoon of an angry girl and a drenched boy

Cartoon of and angry girl and a drenched boy. The boy says, “You may think the glass is  half-empty, but I say it is half-full. At least it was before you dumped it on me.”

Have you ever tried to cheer up someone in a bad mood? Boy, I have! I’ve tried to tell a few jokes, act silly, even encourage them to join along. Usually it goes horribly. In fact, I’ve learned the best way to make a pessimist feel better is to allow them to get you down. They aren’t happy until they make you miserable. Misery loves company, right?

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Do you want to spread a little sunshine to your friends or are you content only when everyone around you shares your gloomy mood?

I like to think I’m an optimist, but I find myself talking doom and gloom more often than I feel comfortable with. It takes more work to be an optimist. The news doesn’t help much and people love a juicy story about a fallen celebrity more than a story about someone walking the straight and narrow.

Yes, I’d like to think I’m an optimist. But If you’re in a deep funk, I don’t think I’ll try to cheer you up. I may bless you, but I’m not going to be your clown. After all, the good book has something to say about this:

Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Romans 12:14-16 (NLT)

 

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