picture child 1Is your child angry? Is his behavior aggressive? Are you turned off by your child’s aggressive behavior? Does your child have challenging relationships with peers? Does your child have a poor self image?

Clinical and field studies of aggressive boys in angry families show that a pattern of violence and disobedience is established early, and quickly get out of control (Tavris, 1982). Under particular stressors such as grief, divorce, prolonged unemployment, acute or chronic illness, alcohol and/or drug problems, managing a family and parenting children can become overwhelming. In addition, sometimes a child can have a difficult temperament.

A stressed parent might then inadvertently permit or even encourage the child disobedient and aggressive behavior. The child then becomes more rebellious, disobedient and aggressive. As a result, other children reject him. He might even have behaviors that can cause you as his parent to dislike him. Your child might begin to develop low self-esteem and poor school performance. Often, that leads to you getting more frustrated with him and he might answer with increasing angry disobedience and even socially inappropriate behaviors.

Patterns of disobedience, aggressive and violent behavior are established early in life (Patterson, 1992). Thus, if you and your child can learn appropriate tools to help your child, you are setting him up for more positive outcomes later in life rather than ones of potential violence and aggression when he encounters challenges.

Do not let your child behavior and your relationship with him get out of control. Get him the help he need sooner than later. A qualified family and child therapist can teach him how to control his anger, how to solve the problems that generate his anger, how to soothe himself, and how to get along with other people.

Adapted from a book by C. Tavris

Dr. Baya Mebarek, Psy.D, LMFT