Dealing with an angry child

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:48 pm
Anger is an emotional response commonly brought on by stress and frustration. Although anger can lead to a number of undesirable behaviors, including violence, it shouln't be viewed as a negative emotion. Anger is a coping mechanism that can be used to vent frustration and reduce stress. Like adults, children experience a variety of psychological and emotional pressures that can cause stress in their lives. Many children deal with these pressures through anger, which may manifest itself in the form of tantrums, fits, or outbursts. Angry children can be extremely difficult to deal with because they seldom respond well to punishment. In most cases, the best time to deal with anger is before it occurs. Children shouldn't be discouraged from expressing their anger, but they should be discouraged from expressing it inappropriately. For example, children can be taught to vent their frustration by verbalizing their feelings rather than throwing tantrums. This can be further reinforced if parents make an effort to respond to appropriate expressions of anger, but ignore inappropriate expressions of anger that can be tolerated. For more information about dealing with an angry child, consult a health care provider in your area.

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