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How to help if your child is experiencing anger

What is anger?

Anger is a normal emotion which can be useful in our lives. It can, however, be destructive and disruptive in respect of relationships, behaviours and learning.

Signs you might see in your child— You may see excessive outbursts of physical or verbal behaviour such as fighting or shouting. It’s normal for teenagers during adolescent stages to have periods of emotional outbursts displaying signs of anger, but it maybe an indicator of other underlying situations or conditions that could require further support.

  • With your child, identify any underlying trigger factors or situations that create feelings of anger.
  • Help your child to ‘problem solve’ possible situations that cause anger.
  • Give your child the opportunity to have some time out when feelings of anger build up, in order to diffuse those feelings.
  • Talk to your child about our bodies and how they can change – specifically talk about how your child’s body changes when tension builds before an outburst of anger.
  • Encourage your child to look for signs such as increase in temperature, sweating, breathing faster and pulse-racing.
  • Do not mirror your child’s behaviour as this will cause it to escalate. Instead, manage the situation adopting a calm and controlled approach.

Encourage your child to try things to relax, such as:

  • Going for a walk/run
  • Listening to music
  • Reading a book
  • Seeing friends

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