Kids - especially young ones - who don't know how to control their emotions may strike out by hitting, biting or pushing another child, or even a parent or caregiver. It's up to parents to teach them other ways to express their anger and frustration.
Try these tips that elementary school teachers find effective:
1. Tell your child that anger is a normal emotion, and that we just have to learn how to manage it.
2. Help children identify when they're angry (some kids yell and scream, others get an upset stomach or headache).
3. Tell them you understand why they might be angry (perhaps you've banned TV until homework is finished).
4. Teach cool-down techniques (counting to 20, taking deep breaths or writing angry thoughts on a piece of paper that you later tear up).
5. Help children write a list of things they can do next time instead of hitting.
6. Encourage kids to talk about what made them so angry.
7. Make sure your child has a healthy diet and gets plenty of rest.
8. Limit exposure to violence on TV or in electronic games.
9. Help your child handle stress by listening to soothing music, exercising or playing with a pet.
10. Remind children to respect the rights and feelings of others.
- Adapted from several printed resources for elementary school teachers.
Updated August 2012