Your child is yelling, slamming doors and having an all-out tantrum … but can he trust you with his anger? Punishing the behaviors associated with anger might be a quick fix, but without instruction your child will lose out. National anger management trainer Bob Bowen warns that children who never learn proper ways to express their frustration will eventually find their own, often inappropriate, methods.
"At 7 years old she may be yelling or pulling someone's hair, but by age 16 she will have developed 15 other incorrect ways to say 'I'm frustrated.' She has to find her own path because, as parents, we haven't given her the correct one."
The road to teaching proper "anger behavior" can be extremely bumpy when parents are sucked into the heat of the moment. Parents need first to handle their own emotions.
"When a child sees a parent managing his own frustration and anger, he will learn by example," Bowen says. "How a parent responds to his child's anger is how the parent teaches."
Teaching discipline instead of punishing the child equips him with anger management tools that can be used the rest of his life. Here are eight things you can do to help your child learn how to express his anger positively.