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The ABCs of Emotions + Me: A is for Angry

While anger is a basic human emotion, we often try to teach our children to suppress it. This in turn can leave our children feeling confused and frustrated. Acknowledging the anger and the root cause is a better place to start building healthy anger management skills.

The other extreme is uncontrolled anger, which is both stressful and dangerous. The child can hurt themselves as well as any caregiver or bystanders. A full fledged meltdown includes everything from kicking and screaming to biting and hitting. Preventing such a situation from occurring should be a top priority.

One suggestion according to award-winning author, Michele Borba, EdD, is that your child should ‘develop’ a feeling vocabulary. “Many kids display anger because they simply don’t know how to express their frustrations any other way.” She suggests creating “a feeling word poster together.” As your child grows, so will the word list. (

Another tactic is to model a calm demeanor yourself. This will keep the situation from devolving into a power struggle. Finally, when all has calmed down, talk to your child about what occurred and why. Helping them to understand their behavior will help them to modify it in the future.



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