How can I help my child manage anger more effectively?
Probably the first thing we can do is to model effective communication and effective social problem-solving. If we ourselves demonstrate an ability to control our tendency to be emotionally reactive and search for solutions to communication and emotional challenges we are well on our way to helping our children to develop improved self-control. We need to show some degree of understanding regarding our children’s experience and yet we also need to help them develop some level of control over their emotional expression. We all need some degree of gentle-self discipline and we can help our children by establishing clear rules, guidelines and expectations. To frequently parents talk with children extensively when there is a parent/child conflict and at times this may serve little purpose except to reinforce negative or unwanted behaviors. It is helpful to try to be aware when we may be encouraging acting-out by providing attention which the child may not get if he does not behave inappropriately or act-out in an angry manner. If our child is in need of attention we may put more effort into giving him or her more attention when there behavior is more appropriate and productive. For most of us this seems unnatural and we are more likely to engage with our children when they are not compliant. Sometimes with some children it is just difficult to catch them doing something right! We might need to get out our magnifying glass and start searching for positive behaviors and than commenting on them.