Kid's Anger 5 ways to help your child

    Anger isn't bad, and can actually serve a valuable purpose, warning us when our boundaries may be crossed.  However, sometimes that warning system is over-reactive, like a dog barking at everyone that passes by.  As parents, we are part of our children's emotional regulation system until they develop it for themselves.
How can you help your child when they're upset?

 
1- Don't problem-solve when upset.  The more upset anyone becomes, the less they can think rationally.  Our brain goes "offline."  Trying to reason with an upset person can be like trying to problem-solve with a drunk. It doesn't work, and usually makes things worse.
 
2- Simply acknowledge the feeling.   Just making the statement,
"You're angry" let's them know you "get it," helps them learn to identify their feelings (before they take over,) and can begin the process of re-regulating their emotions.  You don't have to agree, defend your position, argue, or say anything else. (Remember their brain is "off line.")  If you acknowledge the feeling, it often begins to dissipate.
 
3- Facilitate calming down.
     Until they've calmed down and had a chance to regain the ability to think rationally, nothing else will be productive.  Let them have a time out, take a walk, or other forms of cooling off.  Some parents insist kids "work-it-out" right here and now. Without the ability think rationally, things usually escalate instead. They need to calm down before they can work-it-out, and actually, so do we when we're upset.  

4- Set limits.  Using few words, (again remember their brain is "off line,") state what they or you need to do, such as, "We can talk when we're both calm."  "You're upset right now and need to calm down." 
 
 
It's OK to be angry,
           but it's Not OK to be hurtful:
                      to people, things, animals or ourselves?

 
5- Process and practice.
     After everyone has been able to return to a calm state of mind, (this may take 10 minutes or 24 hours depending on the upset,) it's time to come back and fix the problem.
* Talk about what happened to *trigger the anger, *other possible ways to look at it and *deal with it. 
* Problem solve what needed to be handled. 
* With younger children, model for them the words to talk about feelings, needs and wants by stating it for them, (like we did by naming body parts; eyes, ears, fingers toes.)  "You were mad when you couldn't have the toy. We can't always have what we want. What else can we do when the answer is no?"  "You really want to go out with your friends, and feel angry that I don't agree with you."