When kids are angry they may show it in different ways that often make parents feel helpless.
Using Parental Intelligence is a parenting approach that
· helps you and your child and teen feel understood
· relieves stress and
· helps identify the sources of anger so kids can deal with it constructively.
Here are the basics of the Parental Intelligence Approach to an angry child or teen:
1. Don’t meet anger with anger. If your child seems to be taking his anger out on you, don’t fight back, don’t yell at them to stop raising their voices, and avoid a power struggle at all costs.
2. Instead, step back and tolerate your child unraveling for a little while, giving them a hug if they’ll accept it.
3. Anger is shown in different forms. Sometimes your child will be slamming doors, yelling, and acting in other aggressive ways. But sometimes, the child withdraws into silence and removes him or herself to their room for quite a long time.
4. Certainly prevent anything dangerous from happening in as calm a manner as you can muster, but try not to judge them for their actions because you don’t understand them yet.
5. Parental Intelligence is about using your strength to remain calm in the heat of anger to show your child you wish to understand their troubles.
6. Wait until your child is calm and no one else is around and approach him gently saying you care very much to know what is on his mind. Add that you want to listen to his thoughts, feelings, intentions, and beliefs about what is making him angry.
7. Make the point that you’re there to listen, not lecture or punish. You accept his anger is a struggle and only want to listen and help if you can. You are not judging him.
8. Just listening often modulates anger all by itself. Don’t give quick advice until you really know what’s
troubling your child.
You may be surprised to learn what is making your child angry. There may have been many things that are happening that are building up into a storm or silence.
If Your Child is Angry at a Parent
If your child is angry at you, you may feel you don’t deserve these feelings yet try not to interrupt but instead ask for more detail so you have a full conversation. Try very hard not to argue his points but ask questions about the what, when, and why he gets upset.
Eventually you may be finding some common ground in the desire to listen to each other and you can explain how your intentions may have been misinterpreted. Collaborate on how you can converse about disagreements and come to compromises that respect each other’s wishes. If you need to set protective limits, explain them in a caring gentle way.
If Your Child is Angry at Someone Outside the Home
If your child is angry at a teacher, a friend, a bully, someone at a job or anyone else, hear them out. This talking helps them organize their thoughts. Without your intervention, just by the child talking and your quiet, nonjudgmental listening, they may start to see the other’s point of view. At best they may come to conclusions on their own with you as a sounding board. Or, when you believe they feel heard, you may encourage them to try to come up with some solutions. Ask if they’d like some ideas from you as well.
The Results of Using Parental Intelligence
The ultimate result is not only how to solve the problem that is making the child or teen angry, but by using your Parental Intelligence and hearing what is on their minds, you have strengthened the parent-child/teen bond. Now when your son or daughter is angry, they know they can come to you as an ally they can trust!
Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst and author of Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Familius and wherever books are sold. Visit Laurie at her website to learn more: http://lauriehollmanphd.com.