I was talking on the phone to a teacher about a client we both share and she was asking me if all boys seem angrier to me these days. I pondered her question and answered, “yeah it does seem that we are seeing a rise in angry boys.” When I got off the phone, I continued to think about her question and reviewed the number of boys I have seen in the last year with “anger issues.”
I believe that many of our boys are not angry. They have situations that keep them from being successful and they become frustrated. As early as 3 years old, I remember my son one day decided to slam our bedroom door after being told he could not stay up later. I was amazed that this toddler had already figured out how to communicate his frustration by slamming the door.
All Anger is Communication
If you believe that emotions are normal and we all have them, then you must also believe that in that moment of anger our children are trying to communicate something to us. That something is essentially their inability to manage the situation they are in with the skills they have. Many of our children are “lagging skills” that they need to be successful.
In order to solve anger issues, we have to identify these lagging skills and solve the problems that occur when children find themselves in situations that require these lagging skills.
I love using Dr. Ross Greene’s Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS) method for problem solving. You can find out more about this approach on www.Livesinthebalance.org.
I have had the pleasure of interviewing many great guests on our Parenting Tips 2 Go w/ Dr. Stacy Radio Show. Anger in Children with Guests: Elizabeth Verdick & Cornelia Spelman.
Books to Help Children
The authors below have penned great books to help us explore anger and emotions in boys:
Tips for Parents
1. Be proactive. Identify situations that are difficult for your child and help them to problem solve. Try to identify the specific difficulty your child is having using the CPS model (see above).
2. Identify language your child can use when they are angry that helps you know how they feel. Teach them to verbalize feelings in appropriate ways to help solve their frustrations.
3. Use deep breathing techniques, like blowing bubbles and counting to ten, that help children to calm their brain and regulate their emotions. Practice even when they are not angry.
4. Make sure children are not hungry, tired or bored to avoid angry episodes. Sleep is often a key factor in irritability in children in the morning. http://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Kids-and-Nature/Why-Get-Kids-Outside/Sleep-Better.aspx
5. Get children exercising 30 minutes a day to improve overall health and wellbeing.
Parenting Tips 2 Go Book
As a busy, mother, I know how tempting it is to be frustrated with children and to take my own frustrations out on them. But I always stop and think before letting it go on my children. Are they really the reason I am so frustrated? Is my frustration justified? Is this something I will regret saying or doing later? Yes, it is a long “stop and think” moment, as it should be…
Parenting Tips 2 Go by Dr. Stacy Haynes, Buy HERE.
Anthony Meets Dr. Stacy: A Book About ADHD, Buy HERE.
Powerful Peaceful Parenting: Guiding Children Chaning Lives, Buy HERE.
Well if you have stumbled across my blog, know that I am a parent right in the midst of it, just like you. I hope to share my thoughts, guest experts who will help us all (me too!), and my prayer for each parent is to parent with power and peace.
My favorite verse, serves as a guide for me as I parent my children:
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
I encourage you today to have parenting that is effective and prevailing, creates friendship and unity as you provide guidance, love and care for your children.
Until Next Session,