TANTRUMS CAN BE QUELLED WITH EFFECTIVE PARENTING
FOCUS ON THE FAMILY with Jim Daly and Dr. Juli Slattery
Q: Little kids seem to lose their tempers a lot and my own young son is no exception. Do you have any suggestions for dealing with this?
Jim: You’re right that this is a common occurrence — we hear from a lot of parents who face this challenge. My own two boys have been known to engage in some epic tantrums on occasion. Often, it’s simply a matter of helping your child learn how to be more self-controlled. Author Lynne M. Thompson has developed a list of what she calls “anger busters for kids.” Here are a few of them:
— Moms and dads need to model anger management for their children. Don’t expect your kids to keep their own tempers in check if you fly off the handle every time something goes wrong. When tensions are high, parents need to take a deep breath and compose themselves.
— Show respect for your child when he or she gets mad. An angry outburst might not be appropriate, but the underlying causes for it should not be overlooked or dismissed. Try to understand why your child is frustrated.
— Identify with your child’s pain. Recall a time when you faced something difficult, and share it with your child. For example, “I remember when I was your age and I didn’t get invited to a party…”
— Do what you can to provide a cooling-off period for your child when he or she becomes angry. Read a book or go on a walk. Then, calmly discuss what happened and help your child make a plan for dealing with their anger more constructively next time.
There’s some great stuff here. Hopefully Lynne’s suggestions will bring an added measure of peace to your home as you help your son deal with his volatile emotions.
Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family, host of the Focus on the Family radio program, and a husband and father of two.
Dr. Juli Slattery is a licensed psychologist, co-host of Focus on the Family, author of several books, and a wife and mother of three.
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