The Struggle to Manage Uncontrollable Behavior
Anger Allies. Tips for parents to control their child’s rage rhino.
What You Need To Know
Although anger is a normal human emotion, it can become dangerous if uncontrolled. By Fourth Grade, children should be aware of how to express anger through words, not just actions. However, some fourth graders will still struggle to manage aggressive impulses when emotions run high. Here are some techniques for parents to practice:
How You Can Help
- Teach anger moments. Every time your fourth grader is angry, from irritation at a test performance to sulking over a playground dispute, treat the emotion as a teachable moment. If your child kept their cool, praise them for this positive behavior and self-control. If your child lost their cool, lashed out, or behaved disruptively, talk about their actions and try and solve the problem for next time.
- Feelings versus behavior. “Everyone feels anger, Nathan, but people who can control it don’t hit other children.” Explain to your fourth grader that frustration, sadness, and anger are all normal emotions. But not all actions are acceptable. Suggest to Nathan that next time, he should walk away, or find a teacher.
- Control emotions. Discuss strategies to avoid anger outbursts, such as reading, listening to music, or deep breathing techniques. Practice relaxing breathing with your fourth grader at bedtime.
- Encourage empathy. “How do you think Ashanti felt when you hit him in the playground? How would you feel, Nathan, if he did that to you?” Teach your child to see things from others’ perspectives and they will start to understand the consequences of their actions.
For more information on helping children cope with anger, please see the full article:
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