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Tantrums or Trouble? A Parent's Cry for Help with a 4-Year-Old's Anger Issues!

A parent seeks help for their 4-year-old's anger issues: "How can I guide her through intense emotions and teach respect?"

Hey MJ,

I'm reaching out for advice on handling my 4-year-old daughter's challenging behavior. She's showing signs of serious anger issues and doesn't seem to respect her parents. My husband, who had similar issues and faced trouble in school because of them, is concerned and insists we need to address this, but he's at a loss for suggestions.


When she gets angry, she expresses it intensely, once saying she was so mad her "head could pop off." I try to guide her on how to appropriately express her feelings, like explaining that it's okay to be sad but not overly angry at certain situations. However, it's a struggle.


She manages to keep her emotions in check during her 3-hour preschool sessions, but I'm worried about how she'll cope with full-day kindergarten next year. I'm considering whether an emotional education program or counseling might be necessary. Do you have any tips or advice on how to support her better now, so we're not facing bigger issues in the future?


Thank you for any help you can provide.


Best,

Anonymous


Dear Anonymous,

Addressing your 4-year-old daughter's anger issues is crucial, and there are practical steps you can take to guide her through her intense emotions while teaching respect. Your awareness of these challenges is the first step in helping her develop healthier ways to express her feelings.


Start with emotion education at home. Young children often struggle with identifying and articulating their feelings, which can lead to frustration and anger. Use age-appropriate tools like storybooks, emotion color charts, or facial expression cards to help her recognize and name different emotions. When she's calm, have simple conversations about feelings and appropriate ways to express them.


Setting clear, consistent boundaries is another key aspect. Children feel more secure when they understand what’s expected of them. Ensure that you and your husband agree on the rules and consequences, and apply them consistently. This consistency provides a structure that can help her understand and respect limits.


Consider involving a child psychologist or therapist, especially one who specializes in early childhood behavior. They can offer tailored advice and strategies to manage her anger, improve communication, and identify any underlying issues. This professional guidance can be invaluable in addressing the root of her anger and developing effective coping mechanisms.


Modeling the behavior you want to see is also important. Children learn a great deal from observing their parents. Demonstrate calmness, patience, and respectful communication in your interactions. This not only sets a positive example but also creates a nurturing environment where she can learn and practice these skills.


Given that she manages her emotions during preschool, she has the capacity to adjust to longer school days with the right support. It's encouraging that she can maintain composure in a structured setting, suggesting that with continued guidance and intervention, she will be better equipped to handle full-day kindergarten.


Early intervention is key in addressing behavioral issues. By taking proactive steps now, you're setting the foundation for her to develop into a well-adjusted individual capable of handling her emotions in a healthy way.


Kenbe la,

MJ

ABOUT "HEY, MJ"

In 2020, the "Badass Black Girl" book series author M.J. Fievre began receiving correspondence from a varied audience, including parents, young adults, and teens. Fievre, an established author and speaker, is known for her insightful engagement with themes relevant to these demographics. The communication, primarily through Facebook or the Badass Black Girl inbox, revolves around topics covered in her books and public talks. These interactions display a rich tapestry of experiences and viewpoints, highlighting the author's impact on her readers.


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