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How can I manage my child’s anger?

Q: My 9 years old son is a good student, gets good grades and has no problem in school. But at home he gets upset on the smallest of issues. His language becomes horrible and he wishes that I die and tries to hit me. He never behaves well with his father too. Is it due to my sister, who took care of him in his childhood? She used to always shout at him and spank him for very little reason. What can I do to stop this? When he gets upset I want to hold him close to me and comfort him, instead I stay away or shout back at him. Please advise.

A:Children often develop patterns of behaving in certain ways with certain people. You need to be patient, yet firm that you will not tolerate abusive language or actions. It goes without saying that you need to model calm, polite behaviour yourself. You should convey firmly that you love him, but do not approve of certain actions. Avoid too much scolding or nagging. Try to pay attention to his verbal and non-verbal signals. You may be right in understanding the reason for this duality in your child’s behaviour, and also the fact that he needs your unconditional love and support. Do hold him close and comfort him like your heart says. It may take time but he is sure to understand your love for him and reciprocate it.

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