What To Do With A Child With Anger Management Issues

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We all have times when anger just takes over our little minds. What about our

little ones? Well, their minds are even littler. What do you do with a child with

anger management issues? It's completely normal for a child to experience anger

as they move through the different developmental stages. You'll notice for

example that your kids are going to experience frustration from time to time.

And the reason this is normal is because they are taking on brand-new

developmental tasks. I noticed this with our all the son. Especially as he was

going through a new transition. When he was learning to walk, for example. Again,

when he was learning to talk. Just before he had these big developmental

milestones, who had hit a period of frustration. And I think it's because his

little brain was thinking, "Oh, I really want to do that thing." And his body

wasn't there to support him in that yet and that causes frustration. Frustration

can easily lead to anger and expressions of anger. Understand that this is normal

as your kids go through developmental stages. Normal for you too when you have

big things happening in your life. It's more normal for you to be more

emotionally sensitive. Let's tune into that and make sure that we're using

empathy to connect with our kids. In addition to this being normal, there are

times when it can get a little out of control. And our kids can learn to manage

their anger more appropriately which usually starts with frustration. I've

taught a lot of my clients that anger is a secondary emotion. And what I mean by

that is usually there's another emotion that precedes it. That comes just before

the anger. I mentioned frustration, for example. That's one of the most common

ones. But other things too. Like loss or sadness or disappointment. These are

feelings that usually come first. And because it's harder to figure out what

to do with that kind of an emotion, it's really easy to figure out what to do

with anger. "Oh yeah, we all know what to do with anger.", right? We act out. And

that's a very active kind of an emotion. The emotional education that we give our

kids can give them words and descriptions of these other more primary

emotions that could help. So, that's one of the things that we'll want to do as

our kids are growing up. Give them the words to describe the emotions that

they're feeling. Let's get into 5 specific tips that can help with kids

who are having anger management problems. Number 1, probably the most important

one. Model appropriate behavior. It's never wrong for people to feel what

they're feeling. so it's not wrong to feel anger. there are appropriate and

inappropriate ways to handle that emotion. As a parent, we need to model the

appropriate expression of those feelings. So remaining calm is important. Have some

confidence also that your child's feelings will change. Have you noticed

this? As a psychologist, this comes up all the time for me. Because people are

having intense feelings, right? Well, make a note of this. Feelings change. Think

about a storm, for example. You're sitting in your office or in your home and you

notice some thunder clouds outside some Lightning and you can tell that a storm

is starting, right? And you remember that the windows are open on your vehicle.

What do you do? You go outside and you raise your fists to the heavens and you

say, "Don't start with me!" No, like that's going to do any good.

You simply go out and make sure that your windows are closed on your vehicle.

Right? Weather the storm. Storms always pass. When your child starts to have a

little storm, for you to react with-don't-start-with-me is going to make it

worse. And it doesn't stop the storm and does nothing to calm the storm. Simply

batten down the hatches. Close the windows, board them up if you have to, if

it's a big storm. and weather the storm it's going to pass. And after the storm

passes then we can do the appropriate cleanup. They're always temporary. So keep

that in mind as your child is dealing with anger. I remember a colleague of

mine who was talking about his young son. In the backseat of the car, pitching a

royal fit. He's having a tantrum like you wouldn't believe. And my colleague simply

turned around... I was so impressed by how he handled this. He turns around and he

says to his young son, "Buddy, how long do you need?" Now, then this kid is... I don't

know, 4 or 5 years old. And he's out and in his little car seat pitching a

fit. And he heard his dad ask him how long he needed. He he said, "2 minutes."

And his dad says, "Okay." Turn back around and and it wasn't even 2 minutes. It was

maybe another 20 seconds. And then he come down and said, "I'm done." Now kids

normally do this? Probably not. But this creates an image of what I'm talking

about. You remain calm, okay? Be ready to weather

the storm for 2 minutes or whatever it's going to take. Storms always pass.

You stay calm. It's going to help the storm pass sooner, got it? Now, let's go to

tip number 2. There are times when your child's anger is so out of control that

they are in danger of hurting themselves or someone else.

you really need to take appropriate steps to set the boundaries for safety.

Sometimes that means restraint. You have to be careful about this because you

never want to cross that line of being abusive. But with a young child for

example who is thrashing about or ready to you know, hurt themselves somehow. Run

out into the street or whatever. It's okay to safely restrain them. Small

children you can actually hold. Don't squeeze them tight. You be careful, okay?

Be wise and judicious about this. But it's okay to set appropriate limits too.

So, that they're not hurting themselves or others. If you need help with this,

talk to a professional who can give you some guidance. Tip number 3, establish

communication. This is where we invite them from the anger, the rage, the

overwhelm that they're feeling right now back into appropriate communication.

Again, it's important to model this for your kids. One way that you can do this

is by calmly saying... And you might wait for the storm to subside a little bit

first so that they can hear you. Calmly say something like. "When you can talk to

me in the same kind of voice that I'm using with you, we'll be able to solve

this." Do you see? So you're modeling that. "When you can talk to me the way I'm

talking to you, we can solve this." Now, that gives them a cue. "Hey, we got to get

back into communication mode." And you might reassure them also of what we

already talked about that they're never wrong about their feelings. Use empathy. "I

know that you're feeling really upset right now. When you can talk to me the

way that I'm talking to you, we can solve this." As the communication

is reestablished, we can move on to tip

number 4. And that is to provide appropriate alternatives. What can they

do with these feelings that they're having? Now, I have to acknowledge here.

I'm not a big fan of some of the traditional lore around this that says, "Oh,

go punch a pillow.", right? And I have a problem with that because it encourages

an aggressive outlet of the feelings that they're having. I'm a much bigger

proponent of appropriate communication. Use your words. In fact, this is the

default alternative that we're going to give our kids. Use your words when you're

feeling frustrated and upset so you get into the communication mode and you say,

"I know you were really upset right then, huh?" And you're showing this empathic

support for your child. And your child says she was so upset about whatever. We

use our words to talk about when we're upset. What are some words you could use

to talk about that? Now, notice this is dependent also on your child's

development. Because if we've got a a pre verbal child, for example. A little

toddler. Well we're going to handle that differently than an older child who can

use communication. So I'm talking about kids who are on the cusp of the era of

stage 1 and stage 2. If you don't remember the stages, go review those in

other videos that we've put up here on the channel. There's one about positive

parenting that will help to give you an insight into what I'm talking about with

those stages. So review that. You can also connect to the Parenting Power-Up course

that you'll find a link for down in the description. That's where we go over all

of those stages in greater detail. We're inviting our kids here to use an

appropriate alternative. Especially and primarily, use your words. Now, what else

could they do? When you're feeling that upset,

it's good to breathe. Alright? Now, this breathing, I've used this with so many

kids. Where we have to practice it when they're not upset, okay? Because when

they're upset, they're not thinking. In fact, they're in a very different part of

their brain functioning. So when they're not upset, sometimes we'll practice the

breathing. Let's practice our breathing because that's something we can use.

Remember? When we're feeling really upset. Giving them another alternative. Now,

finally. Tip number 5 is get some help when it's appropriate. And we all need

help occasionally. I'm talking about different levels of help here.

Obviously, there are professionals, psychologist, child development

specialist, behaviorist. There are counselors and social workers and people

who have some experience in some skill sets that might help. Don't be hesitant

to reach out to these professionals in your community. And it's not only that,

you're here on the channel. This is why we're doing these videos. The positive

parenting playlist is full of different topics that could help you with your

parenting tasks. You don't have to do this alone. So reach out and get whatever

help you need to put yourself in a position to help your child. It's good to

know that there are some things that we can actually do. More resources are

available to you. Check out the Positive Parenting Playlist here at Live On

Purpose TV. And connect to the parenting power up. We got

your back.

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