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Skipper L Harvey, PsyD
July 17, 2014

Do You Have An Angry Child Or Teen

Anger is a normal emotion that we all experience as part of being human. It is also an emotion that is very powerful and when not managed effectively can result in extreme consequences. Because of this, it is important for children, and adolescents, to learn anger management skills so they can safely convey their feelings without resorting to inappropriate communication or acting out behaviors. The more your child learns to communicate their strong emotions, the less likely he/she will be to act out when intense feelings arise.

Ways to Help Your Child Manage Their Anger

The best way to teach your child lifelong anger management skills is to be a good role model. Your child will learn to manage a situation the way you manage a situation. If you yell, your child will yell. If you throw things, your child will throw things. If you get physical, your child will get physical. You are your child’s most powerful role model and they are always watching. If, as a parent, you have fallen into a negative pattern of managing your own anger it is never too late to change; however, keep in mind that the older your child is the more ingrained their thinking and behavior patterns have most likely become which may make changing the patterns more difficult, but it can be done. With your support and guidance, your child can learn to recognize when they are feeling angry so they can learn to respond rather than react.

Anger Management Tips for Children and Teens

Always remain calm and supportive when your child is angry. Remember, they may try to push your buttons or bring you into a power struggle because just like the idiom, “misery loves company.”

Have a quiet place in the home where your child/teen can take their own time out to calm down and maybe draw or listen to soothing music.

Always recognize when your child has managed their anger appropriately and encourage them to continue making positive choices.

Discuss anger rules with your child so they know which behaviors are acceptable when they are angry and which behaviors will result in a consequence.

Teach your child to get help from a trusted adult when they are not in your care so they do not become overwhelmed trying to problem solve on their own.

When to Consider Professional Help

Feelings of constant anger and frustration when interventions have been tried

Problems at work, school, or in significant relationships as a result of anger

Activities and events are avoided because one feels they cannot control their temper

Trouble with the law due to inability to control anger

Anger has led to physical violence

When anger spirals out of control and leads to undesirable outcomes such as damaged relationships, negative consequences at school/workplace, legal involvement, etc. it may be time to seek help from a licensed mental health professional. There are many therapists, classes, and programs for anger management problems. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength as the need for change is recognized and sought.

Websites and Additional Information

Anger Management Classes for Adults and Teens

About Dr. Skipper

Dr. Skipper is a Florida Licensed Clinical Psychologist who works extensively with children, adolescents, and families to provide therapy and psychoeducational assessment services.

She received her doctorate degree from the Florida School of Professional Psychology.  Dr. Skipper has worked with children, adolescents, and families in a variety of settings which include mental health clinics, residential settings, drug treatment facilities, and schools.

Through the integration of a variety of empirically-based treatment approaches, Dr. Skipper assists her clients by providing new skills and empowering strategies to build distress tolerance, enhance awareness and communication, facilitate insight, and challenge maladaptive relationship and thinking patterns. She employs an active therapeutic stance to facilitate long-lasting, positive change. 

Dr. Skipper’s background also includes a B.A. in Elementary Education with 11 years of experience in primary education. 


Disclaimer: The above information is not intended to provide professional advice or diagnostic service. If you have any concerns about Anger Management or other health issues, please consult a qualified health care professional in your community.