Anger Management for Children

Is Your Child’s Anger Out Of Control?

Has your child become violent, explosive, inconsolable or prone to long and loud bouts of screaming? Are major outbursts triggered by seemingly small events? Has your child’s behavior created problems at home or in school? Do you feel helpless, ashamed or embarrassed by your child’s behavior, or constantly wonder what you’ve been doing wrong? Are you and other family members waking on eggs shells, afraid to trigger an angry reaction? Have you felt your frustration rising while losing your own self-control? Do you think that your child would feel and behave better if you could just figure out how to help him or her?

Figuring out how to handle a child who is constantly angry and acting out can be incredibly challenging. It can cause family disruptions and social withdrawal as a family. It’s not uncommon to feel like you’ve done something wrong or to wonder where your child is learning this angry behavior. It’s normal to feel frustrated, scared and helpless. And, without the proper tools or approach, dealing with an angry child can feel like a perpetual uphill battle.

Many Children Struggle to Control Their Temper

Having a child who acts out in angry ways is more common than you might think. It’s actually one of the top reasons we see children in therapy. Anger is a very common emotion and one that may be perpetuated in children by the pressures that society, school, friends and, yes, even mom and dad put upon them. It’s a normal part of our culture to expect children to achieve greatly and behave appropriately – which can lead to squashing emotional expression and end up creating outbursts when feelings are forced to find an outlet. And, children are increasingly living in highly structure environments and many may not have enough unstructured, outdoor play or healthy emotional outlets.

Anger Management for Children is Effective

Therapy can be extremely effective in helping children learn healthy ways to manage their anger. It can also provide you, as a parent, with education, support and practical strategies to apply at home.

Your BPS therapist will help your child understand and work through the emotions that are causing him or her to feel and express anger in unhealthy ways. Your child will learn body awareness – how to detect anger in his or her body – and learn techniques to relax and express emotions in more appropriate and positive ways. As your child feels anger rising, he or she will learn ways to understand their emotions and then shift angry feelings down a new path.

Your BPS therapist is there to support and help you and the rest of your family, too. You’ll learn how and when to intervene and how to stay grounded yourself. You’ll be involved in your child’s therapy process with check-ins, strategy sessions and homework that you and your child can work through together. Therapy is highly individualized and can be a process, however, your BPS therapist can give you concrete strategies that you can immediately apply at home – many of which can yield noticeable, positive results.

But you still may have questions or concerns…

I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I beginning to feel hopeless.

Experience shows us that anger management for children does help – especially when treating anger problems. Countless young clients have developed ways to manage their anger and have grown up with the skills to express their emotions in healthy ways. Your BPS therapist will work with you and your child to help determine what’s going on. You’ll both have the support, education and guidance needed to get you through a tricky and frustrating time. Don’t give up on yourself or your child. With help, it can get better.

I think that my child may need therapy, but I’m not sure I can afford it.
This is your child’s life and wellbeing. Addressing your child’s anger issues now may prevent a host of problems from occurring as he or she enters the trickier adolescent years. Investing in their emotional health while their still young may be the best decision you can make.

Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to work specifically with children’s anger issues or who they or their child couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct an initial assessment and match you with a therapist who is trained and experienced in children’s anger issues and whose personality is a good match with yours and your child’s. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to your child, yourself and your family may be one of the most valuable investments you can make. Imagine everyone in your home feeling and functioning better on a regular basis and ask yourself what that is worth.

If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist to see if they work on a sliding scale. They may also be able to help you find a resource to help offset cost.

I’m afraid that if I take my child to therapy we’ll learn that there’s something really wrong with him or her and that medication will be prescribed.

If your child is experiencing a biological affliction, it is important for you to know and address. Your BPS therapist can help determine if your child’s angry outbursts are within the normal range. If not, seeking a diagnosis may be recommended. BPS’ supportive and knowledgeable staff will walk you and your child through the process, if it’s needed. If medication is prescribed, it’s important to note that it has been very effective in helping to mitigate the effects of a biological problem. Many children taking medication have experienced drastic and positive results.

However, in most cases, children suffering from heightened anger can be helped with an interactive therapy approach and without any medication intervention. Therapy can be very effective in helping kids work through their anger and begin feeling and functioning in healthier and more positive ways.

We encourage you to schedule an initial assessment with Dr. Jan Hittelman. Jan will work with you to determine what your child’s specific issues are and to ensure a good match between you, your child and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.

You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you and your child with a therapist who has expertise working with children and anger issues.

Jeremy Photo2BPS therapist Jeremy Dion, LPC helped create the content for this page. Jeremy is a licensed professional counselor, a certified Gestalt therapist and has a background in music therapy. He has been working with children with anger issues since 2003.

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