Children need to understand that all their feelings are acceptable and normal, including anger. Everyone gets upset sometimes and wants to do hurtful things. As adults, we can help our kids learn how to stay in charge of what they say and do even if they are feeling very angry or upset at that moment. Being able to recognize when you are feeling upset, take care of your feelings in positive ways, and act safely no matter how you feel inside, mare tremendous life skills.
Here are some strategies to help your child tame their aggression:
- Stay calm. When a child is expressing a lot of emotion, and the parents meet that with more emotion, it can increase the child’s aggression. Instead, try to model emotional regulation for your child.
- Don’t give in to tantrums or aggressive behavior. This is rewarding and reinforces the inappropriate behavior.
- Catch your child being good. Reward good behavior, even when your child isn’t doing anything out of the ordinary. Recognition and praise are powerful all on their own.
- Help kids learn to express themselves by naming emotions. Validate what your child is feeling and encourage verbal, instead of physical, expression.
- Know your child’s patterns and identify triggers. Break down tasks into simple steps and give time warnings. Set goals then reward your child when he or she meets those goals.
- Find appropriate rewards. Try rewards like half an hour of special time with mom or dad, choosing what the family eats for dinner, or selecting what the family watches for movie night.
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
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