How can I help my child recognize anger warning signs?

Michele Borba
Psychology
Explain to your child that we all have our own little signs that warn us we’re getting angry, and that we should listen to them because they can help us stay out of trouble. Next, help your child recognize what specific warning signs she may have that tell her she’s starting to get upset. For example: “Looks like you’re tense. Your hands are in a fist. Do you feel yourself starting to get angry?” Other signs: Talking louder. Flushed cheeks. Clenched fists. Pounding heart. Dry mouth. Rapid breathing. Each child has different signs. Your child’s signs may differ from your signs or siblings.

Anger escalates very quickly: if a kid waits until he is in “Melt down” to get himself back into control, he’s too late—and so are you to try and help him. Watch for your child’s signs! They will come split seconds before that meltdown. Each of us have our own unique “anger warnings” and your child is no different. If you want proof, ask your child what your sign is. Believe me, most kids chime in and identify their parents’ signs: “You always do that weird thing with your eyes, Mom!” Or “You always put your glasses down on your nose, Dad!” Kids know our signs. The trick is helping them recognize their signs.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.