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How to Really Love Your Angry Child

by Alissa Fleck, studioD

It's natural to have complicated feelings toward your child when he displays behavior that upsets you, particularly if it's an ongoing problem, and you should not feel you are a bad parent for having those feelings. You can acknowledge and better express your love toward your angry child by realizing these sentiments are natural and working together to move past the issues surrounding his anger.

Addressing Your Child's Anger

Help your child understand it's not wrong to feel anger, but it's wrong to act on it in an unproductive or hurtful way. Focus on helping him find better outlets for his anger than negative behaviors which exacerbate the problem. Encourage him to vocalize his anger rather than lashing out.

Help your child realize anger should be addressed as a problem with a solution, rather than a reason or excuse to act out. Work out various ways to address and minimize his anger when it occurs and help him find ways to let off steam healthfully, such as through physical activity.

Use positive reinforcement. Rather than punishing your child every time he misbehaves or act on his anger, praise and encourage behavior that demonstrates problem-solving. Strike a balance between expressing your anger and promoting good behavior.

Be a good role model for your child. When you find yourself getting angry in your own life, display positive behaviors for dealing with these issues to help your child learn how to better channel his own anger.

If your child's anger seems beyond the scope of natural youthful angst, consider getting him some professional help. Serious, persistent anger can be a sign of a larger problem.

Loving Your Child Regardless

Accept that some things will always be beyond your control and forgive yourself for setbacks. Giving yourself emotional space and understanding that someone is not always to blame when something wrong will allow you to better care for your child. Accept perfection is not achievable in parenting; you should be content with progress. The more focused you are on being a perfect parent, the more likely you are to burn out, according to AskDrSears.com.

Take time to care for yourself. Understand it's not all about your child -- it's important to remember self-care. Taking time to give yourself love and encouragement will help you transfer those positive emotions to your child and create a better atmosphere in which both of you can exist.

When you feel unable to handle the circumstance yourself, ask someone you trust to take care of your child while you go for a walk or take some time to unwind. You should also consider seeking professional help for yourself and your own well-being.

About the Author

Alissa Fleck is a contributing writer for several community newspapers in New York City. She writes book reviews for an online magazine and hosts a monthly reading series. Fleck has also interned at a literary agency and worked as a university teaching assistant. She holds a B.A. in English and an M.F.A. in creative writing.

Photo Credits

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