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

Setting Limits for Difficult Kids: Are You Too Strict?

By Janet Lehman, MSW

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Do your kids make you feel like an ogre when you set limits? Does the word “no” kick off whining, yelling and protests? How many times have you heard your nine-year-old say something like: “That’s not fair! Brandon’s mom lets him watch Sons of Anarchy!” Or does this sound familiar: “Jessica’s dad lets her stay... Read more »

Angry Child? Fix the Behavior, Not the Feelings

By James Lehman, MSW

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Many parents make the mistake of assuming that since their child’s behavior is connected to their feelings, fixing the feelings will fix the behavior. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s critical for parents to understand that processing your child’s feelings while they are happening is not constructive. Children become overwhelmed with emotions, and... Read more »

Dreading Parent-Teacher Conferences? Try This New Approach

By Anna Stewart

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Soon we will be carving pumpkins, raking leaves, pulling scarves out of the back of the closet…and bracing ourselves for parent-teacher conferences. Some parents go to conferences expecting glowing reports, but many of us dread them.  Maybe it’s because, like me, you’ve had a prior bad experience.  I remember going to my first parent-teacher conference when... Read more »

8 Steps to Anger Management for Kids

By Janet Lehman, MSW

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Even as adults, managing our anger can be hard, and we’ve had years of practice. For our children, who are just learning about their emotions, keeping their anger in check can be especially difficult. Kids can easily lash out at people who make them angry or situations that frustrate them: name-calling when they lose a... Read more »

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