Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Teach Your Child to Handle Anger

Ariel Carter, 7, hates to be told to help clean up the house. “The last time we got into one of these fights, she drew a picture of her outstretched palm, wrote 'Go away' on it, stomped over to my desk to get some tape, taped it to her door, and shut herself in her room,” says her mom, Lylla, of Water Mill, New York. 
  • Don't be a drill sergeant. Not wanting to comply with orders is a big reason for a lot of struggles at this age, so make sure you're not bossing your child around all the time. Set clear rules about what needs to get done, but within that framework, give her more control over her own routines, such as doing homework or getting ready for bed. 
  • Pick up on her feelings. Kids may become frustrated and angry if their parents aren't sensitive about the issues most important to them: a growing awareness of their body and social pressures like bullying or teasing. 
  • Practice cooling off. To help defuse impending rage, help your child identify the physical feelings that accompany it, like a racing heart or faster breathing. Before she loses control, suggest she do something to calm down, such as take deep breaths, count to ten, or quietly sing a song. 
  • Congratulate good behavior. Praising your grade-schooler goes a long way toward reinforcing the ways you want her to act. 
For more information see the article Teach Your Child to Handle Anger By Christina Frank

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