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It is perfectly healthy for your child to feel angry at some point in his or her life. Anger is neither good nor bad. Unresolved emotion (conscious or unconscious) from past trauma or pain can be a powerful trigger. The issue is what your child does with the emotion of anger. Your child’s anger becomes a problem when it harms others or your child. If you think (or are told) that your child has an anger problem, take time to truly evaluate your child’s actions and offer them assistance in managing those emotions. Talking to a professional, other parents, or a friend can make this easier. The key is to help your child learn to express his or her emotions without hurting others.
Self-awareness + Self-control = Healthy anger management!
Strategies for a healthier emotional state:
- Help your child understand that out-of-control anger hurts his or her physical and mental health, his or her future career possibilities, and his or her relationships with adults and peers.
- Assist your child in writing down the benefits to healthier emotional management.
- Explore what is really behind the anger. Anger is often a cover-up for other feelings or problems. Talk to your child and help him or her discover the triggers.
- Remember that change takes time, practice, and patience. It doesn’t happen overnight!
- Educate your child on strategies to manage his or her anger: taking deep breaths, exercising, listening to music, counting, etc.
- Give yourself time to develop and practice new skills and new responses.