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Need some advice on interacting with your child while you are waiting for the class?
Pre-teens and teens are experiencing thoughts and feelings they have never had before. Sometimes those emotions are more than they know how to handle. When your child expresses anger or becomes aggressive, it may not be about whatever they are yelling about – it could be that they have some underlying emotions such as frustration, sadness, depression, shame, embarrassment or anger about something else. Try these tips when dealing with young people showing aggression and anger:
- Listen carefully to what your child is saying rather than trying to win an argument.
- Try to say things that let them know that you are trying to understand what has upset your child. Then check with them to see whether you understood correctly what they were trying to tell you. Understanding the child’s feelings and why they do what they do is not condoning their behavior.
- Once you understand their feelings, you can set limits on behavior and help them find alternate ways to take out their frustration (exercise, music, sports)
- Avoid using violence yourself, which sends the message that violence is acceptable.
- Give your child space when he or she is angry. Allow them to have their cool off space to calm down.
- Let your child know that you are there to support them as they work to solve their problem and deal with their feelings in healthy ways.
- Remember that to be effective with your child, you must manage your own anger well.
These parent tips are made possible by a generous grant from the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Foundation.