Small child

Control of children's anger and aggression - according to Brazelton

Control of children's anger and aggression - according to Brazelton

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Anger is often seen as a feeling that should be suppressed in the bud, hidden from the environment and, consequently, ashamed of it. Meanwhile, attempts to suppress anger in this sense are very dangerous, because they are doomed to failure and open the way to disorders.
Anger mobilizes for action, it is the feeling that is the first point on the road to preparation for battle. It is not "bad" or "inappropriate". Quite the opposite: it is a feeling that it is impossible to avoid it in life. In addition, it has a specific cause and function. Most often signals threat, unmet needs, failure, shame and humiliation, hurt feelings, injustice.

It is very important for the child to learn express anger and let parents support the child as soon as possible. Otherwise, the child will have a problem with understanding and thus will be perceived as weak and vulnerable. You will also not receive the desired response to your anger. Instead of expressing feelings in a socially acceptable way, he will direct them against himself.

How can you help your child control his anger?

Thomas B. Brazelton, professor of pediatrics with 50 years of practice, author of many books gives several methods.

Intervention, isolating the child

Leaving a child alone is a simple and effective way to calm down. Especially when the toddler says "leave me", "don't talk to me", etc. This is a sign for the environment that he has enough and must separate from the source of anger.


If the toddler is in the middle of a tantrum, leave him alone. However, when the biggest emotions have passed, a good time comes to speak in a gentle tone, rocking, hugging. A positive response should, however, follow an anger attack, never during it.


It usually works for the youngest children, but sometimes it is also effective later. It may be appropriate to give the child a pleasant vision, thoughts, telling a funny anecdote, drawing attention to an interesting toy or occupation.

Impose 'self

The ability to calm down is difficult but very valuable. Babies are already acquiring it, finding the important function of fingers. Over time, your toddler may need a moment to curl up in a blanket, hug to his favorite toy, or hum his favorite song. This is an important skill, especially in situations where there are no parents or other close guardians nearby, and the child is in a kindergarten, for example.

Physical activity

Excess emotions can be unloaded during physical activity. This is an effective method that also allows the release of well-being endorphins. It's good to find one way or several methods: hitting the punching bag or pillow, running, cycling. Sometimes you may want to tear sheets of paper, tear paper, knead them or even drink a glass of water.

Creative expression

Some children will calm down effectively during clay molding, drawing, building towers and demolishing them, playing scenes of anger with the participation of favorite teddy bears or puppets.

Based on 'Children full of anger' by Thomas B. Brazelton