At times of stress, children and teenagers may struggle to manage their emotions. This can lead to anger, aggressiveness and sometimes violence.
It’s important to realise that these aren’t necessarily the emotions your child is trying to show you.
Underneath the anger there may be hurt, fear, frustration or anxious feelings. Getting to the root of the emotion will help you better support your child’s wellbeing.
Your child may find it hard to listen or take in information. Allow them to calm down before tackling what’s going on.
Suggest some calming techniques. Try these first when your child is a calm place, so they can practise. Different things may appeal depending on the age of your child.
Once your child has calmed down, find a quiet space to talk. They may not always know the language of their emotions. Help them expand their vocabulary so they can describe how they feel.
Children need to understand their actions have consequences. It’s OK to feel angry – everyone does – but it’s not OK to hurt yourself or others or break things. Having clear boundaries and rules helps a child know what to expect.
Involve your child in deciding house rules and the consequences for breaking them. This helps you stay objective and defuses anger caused by unexpected consequences.
Together you might agree on some consequences like:
You can also read advice on how to handle violent behaviour.
Pay attention to your teen and their needs, and encourage positive behaviour.
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