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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

Passive-Aggressive Child Behavior: Hidden Anger in Kids

Does your child take forever to get up, eat breakfast and do his homework and chores? You nag, threaten and repeat yourself, but he still doesn’t seem to pay attention to anything you say. Here, James Lehman explains the passive-aggressive ways kids control you—and how they use it to avoid responsibility. It's important to understand that... Read more »

A Day in the Mind of Your Defiant Child

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 »

Angry Child? Fix the Behavior, Not the Feelings

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 »