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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
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my 7 and a half years old son gets mad for no reason. He is

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my 7 and a half years old son gets mad for no reason. He is a very emotional kid, but this happens when something does not go the way he wants. BEfore I did nto know how to react and could punish him for this type of behaviour . NOw I came up with a different approach, it seems to help. I just put him in his room and don't talk to him until he calms down, which in most cases takes several minutes. But still I want to help him not to get to that point and to try to resolve the problems by talking and not screaming and crying. He is a very active boy. He plays sometimes too aggressive games, I meanwhen he gets over excited he can't control himself. But I never receive any compliants from school, which makes me think that he does it only with me. Do you have anysuggestions on how towokr with this type of behavior?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Jennifer replied 7 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using!

First of all, know that it's not uncommon for children to behave differently at home than they do at school. The dynamics, structure, and expectations are very different. Children also tend to be more "themselves" around their parents -- the ones they trust most with showing their true colors.

There are many things you can do to teach your son some anger management skills. Begin by teaching him some strategies when he's NOT angry. Go through each skill and practice them together. Here are a few techniques to try...

1. Take slow, deep breaths
2. Count slowly to 10
3. Close your eyes and imagine a place / memory that is relaxing
4. Tense / release muscles one group at a time (focus on the release and how loose you feel when your muscles are relaxed)
5. Take a self "time-out" to use these strategies. Sometimes it helps to have a pre-determined place (pillows in a corner, for example) along with a visual reminder of what he can do to cool down.

Tell him that not all of these will work for him, but he'll need to try them to find out what works best. Model them when you experience frustration and offer praise when you see him using healthy tools to calm down.

You could take this a step further by spending some time talking about "things that bug us." I've done this in counseling by having kids draw bugs and then label them with situations that tend to trigger their anger. Knowing what our triggers are can help us to recognize them later. That recognition becomes a cue to use our cooling down techniques. It may also help to think about the physical experiences we have when we get angry. Some people clench their jaws, some clench fists, others find themselves getting a headache or stomachache. Those are also cues for us to recognize so that we can begin using the anger management tools before we do anything that might get us into trouble.

Lastly, I'd suggest you look into books for your son. There are many books out there written for children on precisely this subject to teach children that it's perfectly normal to get angry and how to express that anger in healthy ways. Here is a list of books for adults and children on the topic:

I hope this helps and wish you the best of luck!