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How to Deal with Your Child's Angry Outbursts

You can bet there will be times when you are confronted with an outburst of anger from your child. This challenge simply comes with the territory of being a parent. Sometimes your child can be so unruly you wonder who has kidnapped your child and taken over his body. The challenge is to effectively parent your child while not losing your cool. So what is a conscientious parent to do when a child loses it emotionally?

9 tips to help guide you through your child's anger, outbursts, and emotional storms:

  • Question if this is typical behavior for your child. If so, you are most likely dealing with either temperament, an underlying emotional issue, or unresolved conflict. If not, look at the outburst as a sign your child is possibly not feeling heard on some level. Sometimes as parents we impose our own will or needs onto our kids and expect them to "do as WE say" without consideration for their perspective or needs. If your child is relatively sensitive and perceptive he may be set off more easily than another child.
  • Expect some emotional outbursts. Remind yourself that your child is not as equipped to deal with rational thinking or self control.
  • Model a calm state of mind with limited emotional overreactions. This will set the stage to create an environment for your child to learn and imitate proper conflict resolution.
  • Take a mutual time out to cool down, gather your thoughts, and try again.
  • Make time to address heated subjects. There are certain topics of conversation that may be more heated than others. After a cool down period, set aside time to address your child's concerns.
  • LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN! Give space for your child to communicate why he is so angry. Help him draw a connection between his thoughts and emotions.
  • Help your child get to the underlying issue of his anger. What specific need is not being met, and is it possible to work together on a solution.
  • Set limits and boundaries around your expectations for how your child needs to be respectful when communicating with you.
  • Seek help from a professional counselor, or parenting coach if your child's anger gets out of control and you are unable to make any progress on your own.

Remember, anger is a normal emotion to feel, express, and work through. Sometimes kids simply need our support learning to negative feelings in a more appropriate way.