Anger & Defiance
Does your child have anger management issues? Do you feel as though you're constantly in power struggles because your child refuses to follow the rules? If so, you’re not alone! Tantrums and angry outbursts are tough child behavioral issues and many parents feel powerless in the face of defiance. The truth is, anger is not the issue; it’s the way your child chooses to express it.
Anger is a normal emotion that many kids and teens have difficulty expressing appropriately. There may also be other factors that make managing anger more difficult for some kids, such as a diagnosis, or aspects of typical childhood development like low frustration tolerance or poor impulse control.
As a parent, you'll be more effective if you focus on teaching your child the skills to process anger appropriately, and avoiding power struggles rather than trying to make your child feel a certain way. Addressing anger and defiance should include choosing a calm time to discuss what your child can do differently the next time they feel angry. Try planning what you can do to avoid further escalation if you find yourself getting drawn into a power struggle.
In the articles below, you'll find more information and techniques to effectively address the issues of anger and defiance.
8 Steps to Anger Management for Kids
Passive-Aggressive Child Behavior: Hidden Anger in Kids
Angry Kids: 7 Things Not to Do When Your Child is Angry
I was in love with my baby before I ever met him. And when I first held him, my whole body flooded with love. He was an easy baby as long as he was with me, but any time I tried to do something without him, he cried. I thought it was a sign of... Read more »
Guilt and parenthood just seem to go together. Maybe you lost control and screamed at your child today, or perhaps you’re struggling to give your kids enough—or you might be worrying that you’re doing too much. Whatever the cause, most parents experience guilt regularly. I’ve talked with so many people who were beating themselves up... Read more »
Let’s face it, we all have things we don’t want to do, and we put them off until the last possible moment. Paperwork. House-cleaning. Those things that need to get done whether we really want to do them or not. It’s normal for grown-ups to choose fun things over required tasks –and it’s normal for... Read more »
“You know the kid that no one wants to play with? The kid who stands alone at recess or lunch? Who never gets invited to birthday parties? That’s my kid. And it breaks my heart.”
When a child is aggressive toward others – hitting, screaming, pushing, throwing things – the natural response of the people... Read more »
“I’ve told you to clean your room 1,000 times!” Why nagging your child, yelling and repeating yourself don’t work—and how to talk to your kids so they will listen.
Here’s the truth: nagging and arguing with your child doesn’t work. We parents often get in a rut—out of stress, frustration or just not knowing... Read more »
Why does arguing with your child give him power? When you engage in fights with your child, over time he will begin to believe that he is your peer and that he has the power to challenge you. This is a loaded situation because your child doesn't realize that this empowerment he’s feeling isn’t real.... Read more »
How many times has this gone through your head? Your “difficult” child—the defiant one who’s constantly acting out and upsetting everyone—has just done it again. Maybe he’s called his little sister a foul name, smashed your favorite framed family photo, or screamed in your face. In a moment of defeat, you think, “What... Read more »
Stop and think for a moment: When your child or teen is in the throes of a tantrum or an all-out rage, what is your initial reaction? Do you get angry yourself and start yelling, do you freeze and say nothing, or do you become frightened and give in? Maybe your answer is even, “All... Read more »
Do you have a picture of what the holidays should look like? Most of us do whether we admit it or not. When the reality doesn’t match the expectation you have in your head, it feels awful. Parents of acting-out kids know this firsthand, because the reality so often doesn’t match their expectation.
If you go... Read more »
“I feel alone,” a mom of an out-of-control teen said to me recently. “I don’t go out much anymore, and to be honest, my family isn’t really invited to things because of my son’s behavior.” If you have an acting-out child or teen, you probably feel isolated. You’ve gotten tired of hearing... Read more »