Tips to Deal With Your Child’s Anger

Are you feeling frustrated by the grocery store meltdowns, refusal for compliance in basic tasks/demands, and the yelling and screaming that permeates the house? When I ask my clients if it is ok to be angry, more times than not they respond with “no.” In fact anger is the most readily available emotion we have as it functions like an umbrella that houses other emotions as well. It might be harder to access feelings such as resentment, jealousy, fear, or sadness without anger, and often times the response is filtered through anger. Since anger is a basic emotion we all experience, I strive to educate my clients that of course it is ok to be angry, BUT it is what we do with our anger that makes all the difference in the world. Read on for tips to help your child deal with anger.

Tips To Help Your Child Deal With Anger:

  1. Size matters. Not all “mads” are created equal and therefore, the reaction to feeling upsetHelp Your Child Handle Anger shouldn’t always look the same. Work with your child to evaluate the size and severity of problems to garner a better, more reasonable reaction. For instance, if the child was disappointed that there was no more chocolate ice cream left, encourage him to asses if this is a big, medium, or small problem. If it is small, there should not be an epic meltdown. Instead, help your child identify a small reaction such as asking for a different flavor of ice cream, identify the positives about alternative dessert options, and establish a different time to get his ice cream (tomorrow night, etc.).
  2. Use your words, not your body. The communication of anger through verbalization allows the child the chance to express their grievance and provide a forum for collaboration and resolution. If a child begins to emotionally dysregulate (i.e. temper tantrum) the problem cannot be solved as this is not seen as a productive medium. Encourage your child to de-escalate through deep breathing, counting, writing out his thoughts, and/or removal from the triggering environment to reduce behavioral reaction and facilitate the setting for calm communication. Give the child time to calm down before working through the issue.
  3. Check your own anger. If your child’s temper is escalating your own mood, take time away to cool off and recalibrate. Removal from the triggering situation will provide both the child and parent time to re-regulate and establish an effective solution to the problem.
  4. Validation is key. Regardless of the nature of the concern, validate the experience of anger but create boundaries about what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior to communicate anger. Creating a de-escalation plan for child and parent can be helpful to reduce the duration and frequency of tantrums.

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

Tips to Establish a Good Relationship With Your Child’s Teacher

With the summer winding down, now is the time to start preparing your child for a successful school year. Transitioning from the leisure activities of the summer to the emergence of structure can be difficult, so planning ahead can be critical. One important component for success at school is good communication with your child’s teacher. Follow these helpful steps to initiate a strong relationship with your child’s teacher.

Tips to Establish a Good Relationship With Your Child’s Teacher:

  1. Set up a phone call or face-to-face meeting. Connecting with your child’s teacher prior to theHow to Establish a Strong Relationship With Your Child's Teacher beginning of school, or during the first weeks, can be essential to provide introductions and a brief dialogue about your child’s strengths and needs. This will allow the teacher to gain insights ahead of time to plan ahead with how to accommodate the student and carry over strategies that have been helpful in the past. If your child experiences separation or transitional challenges, try to arrange a prior meeting with the teacher before the school doors open to facilitate comfort, recognition, and familiarity.
  2. Have your child create a “get to know me” project that can be given to the teacher at the beginning of the year. This can be an art project, a letter, or list of positive aspects of self and what the child hopes to learn this year. This can educate the teacher on a child’s likes/dislikes and personal knowledge to begin making connections.
  3. Show gratitude. The student-teacher relationship is a special bond that takes time to cultivate. Whether it is simply sharing a compliment “I really liked that lesson” or bringing the teacher a special, thoughtful treat can help your child stand out.
  4. Discuss with the teacher a plan for collaboration as the year progresses. Work towards setting up a system of phone calls or email chains that can be used to transmit critical information and updates as needed. This can serve as a more proactive mode of communication to minimize crises or challenges.
  5. Teach your child self-advocacy skills. Educate your child on how to assertively communicate needs to the teacher. If the child is shy and struggles with initiating comprehension questions or something like needing to go to the bathroom, practice role playing stressful scenarios with your child. Work with your child to identify areas of concern and create coping statements that your child can implement as needed.
  6. Establish effective check-in strategies. If your child struggles with organization, math skills, or just simply calming down after lunch/recess, work with the teacher to identify times throughout the day that the child and teacher can check-in. Depending on age, the parent can work with the teacher to facilitate this or the child can independently initiate question-asking or assistance throughout identified times of the day. If the child is cautious about being singled-out in a “check-in” forum, encourage the teacher and child to create a discreet hand signal or gesture to indicate assistance, help, or feeling lost.

Click here for more tips to transition from the summer to the school year.

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!