A Parent’s Short Guide to Angry Children.
Anger is a tough feeling to express. When I think about anger I picture volcanic eruption. And with volcanic eruptions (and, really eruptions of any kind) there is always destruction. After an eruption there’s a lot of cleanup and rebuilding to do.
I only have so much patience…
In the winter, when days get shorter, nights are longer and it’s harder to get outside with my kids, I find that behavioral and relationship issues are magnified. I only have so much patience and some days it feels like there is just not enough to go around. When my children are whining, yelling, and disobedient an explosive eruption begins to emerge. I don’t like it at all but how can I change?
I often find myself asking, how do I preempt my child’s acting out? Or, how can I lessen regular episodic melt downs and behavioral challenges in my home? And time and time again, in my research and working with children, the answer pretty much boils down to preventative work.
The answer pretty much boils down to preventative work.
What is preventative work? Well, in it’s basic form it is implementing structure in your home to provide consistency for you and your child. Here are some tips for implementing some structure for your children.
- Scheduled Days with Less Screen Time. Especially on school breaks and during holidays. Note: Screens can be fun and even necessary at times but too much screen time and your child may begin exhibiting explosive behavior due to the excess.
- Getting Extra Help. Find a neighbor to come be a mothers helper to play with your kids while you make dinner at night, to read a story, or just to be and extra pair of hands.
- Being Creative About Consequences. Make sure you:
Make the consequence age appropriate (i.e. A time out for a 2 year old will be shorter than for a 5 year old)
- Always follow through on your word (i.e. no ice cream if you yell means no ice cream if you yelled)
- Don’t punish yourself just because your child needs a consequence.
It’s hard to be consistent in your parenting. But it is really important. And sometimes even parents need outside help to improve our behavioral and relationship skills. If that is you, don’t be afraid to ask. After all you are modeling problem solving to your child and more is caught in life than taught.
It’s hard to be consistent in your parenting.
If you need a little extra help this season with behavioral challenges you are facing in your home, as a parent or for your child, I’ve put together lists of resources. My personal go to’s are the use of a cool down station as well as books to read before and as behavioral issues arise. And as always, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We at Kid Matters Counseling are ready to help, parenting is hard, don’t do it alone.
(Thanks in advance for using the links above. We get a minor commission for referring you to Amazon, which we reinvest in different things within the business such as a sliding fee scale for low-income clients and new toys for our play therapy practice.”)
Susan Stutzman – LCPC, RPT – Owner & Founder of Kid Matters Counseling, PC.
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