Oxford Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Anger Management in Children

Children have behavioural problems from time to time, but if you are struggling with angry and agressive outbursts from your child, either directed towards you or others Oxford CBT may be able to help with anger management for your child.

What is Anger?

Anger is a normal and useful emotion. It can tell children that things are not fair or right. However being a powerful emotion and it can be quite alarming to see your child react to anger with aggressive outbursts.

Why Do Children Get Angry?

There are a number of reasons why children become angry. During a given situation they may feel criticised, misunderstood or falsely accused which leads to a sense of injustice. The cumulative effect of a number of these situations can lead the child to believe they are not good enough, wrong or a bad person. Then like a volcano when the child feels consistently misunderstood, frustrated and hurt they will eventually erupt at what appears to be a minor event.

How Can Oxford CBT Help?

Increase Emotional Awareness

The first thing to help a child with angry outbursts is to help them to increase their emotional awareness. Within the framework of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy this is through exploring specific situations looking at the trigger, the thoughts, the feelings and then the behaviour. Often the child’s behaviour understandably triggers a negative parental response which further reinforces the child’s negative belief about themselves.

Advice on how to help as a parent when your child is angry

Children are incredibly sensitive to their parent’s emotional state, if the parent is anxious then they will not feel safe, if the parent is angry they will then feel threatened or scared which may increase their own angry outburst leading to escalation of a situation. If you can find time to spend with your child when both you and them is relaxed this will help.

Accept Anger and offer ways to express it

This can be done by recognising your child is angry and helping them to state the reason why e.g. I understand you are upset as you did not want to leave your friends and wanted to stay at the party longer.

To find out more information or to book an assessment please contact Oxford CBT at our Oxford practice centre.