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

Very angry teen girl saying "I hate you mom"

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 »

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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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Parenting Teens: Parental Authority vs. Peer Pressure

By James Lehman, MSW

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It’s one of the hardest things parents deal with: even if you’re trying to raise your child the right way, as soon as he walks out the door, you know he’s going to be exposed to all sorts of negative—even dangerous—influences. From dress to attitude to a popular culture that says it’s cool to drink... Read more »

A Day in the Mind of Your Defiant Child

By James Lehman, MSW

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If you’re the parent of a defiant child, you’ve probably wondered what makes him so angry at life—and angry at you. With the school year approaching, are you gearing up for another difficult year with your child,  just hoping that he’ll make it through—and that you’ll be able to manage without falling apart? Realize that... Read more »

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