|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Preventing Violence

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: How can I teach my five-year-old not to lose his temper with his fists? Little things make him explode so easily.

A: Teaching a child to control his or her anger is probably the most important job that a parent and school has these days. Preschoolers often lash out with hands or fists or feet, but by the time children start school they should be learning more appropriate ways to handle anger.

The first step in controlling anger is learning to communicate. Learning to listen to the message behind an action is a skill that is not necessarily inborn. Role-play with your son to show him what he can do when someone gets in line in front of him or bumps into him by accident (or whatever seems to be a trigger for his anger). Show him how to talk with the other person about the situation without hitting. Even five-year-olds can learn to make "I statements": "Susie, when you bump me I feel mad. Please don't bump me anymore."

Once we teach a child his options for handling situations, he is more likely to follow through when faced with a problem. You may want to involve your son's school counselor, who could include him in a small group on anger management or give him some individual time.

More on: Expert Advice

Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Teachers
Offer a genuine "thank you" to your child's teacher halfway through the school year. Give one of these extra-nice holiday gifts for teachers.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top Family Movies in Theaters for the Holidays
Taking the kids to the movies is a special family treat for the holidays! Don't miss 2014's best family films in theaters from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!