We all get angry from time to time. Anger is just part of the human condition. It is not “bad” to be angry. Now, some behaviors that are the result of being angry can be “bad,” but it is not the anger that’s “bad.”

The same thing goes for children. Of course, children get angry — they are humans, and sometimes other people (especially other children) or situations can just make them MAD.

As parents, we must instruct our children what appropriate behavior is in the face of anger. It is a concept that many adults have a problem with so getting started early is a good idea.

The first thing that the child needs to know is that you do not think that he is “bad” because he is angry. He needs to understand that you are not angry with him because he is angry. He needs to know that it is perfectly all right for him to get angry.

Then the child must understand that his behavior when he becomes angry IS the problem. He has to be taught to control himself and not hit or bite when things are not going his way.

Let the child know that you understand how he feels by acknowledging the reason for his anger. You might say, “It must have made you really angry when Bobby took that toy away from you.”

Then you need to turn the focus of the conversation toward the actions that your child took because he was angry and point out that when he hits, bites, pinches, or otherwise inflicts injury on the object of his anger that he is not behaving in an appropriate manner. It is an opportunity to teach negotiation and compromise skills.

 

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