“Frustrated” or “Angry” are common go-to emotions for many kids (adults too!). Often, these emotions may, at times, be covering over other, more vulnerable feelings such as sadness, disappointment, loneliness etc. In other words, for many, especially kids, it’s easier to feel and identify anger/frustration than it is to identify and feel the more “painful” emotions noted above.

So, when you find that your child is expressing a lot of anger, BE CURIOUS. See what other more tender feelings may also be lurking beneath the surface. When parents can help their kids can get in touch with these more tender emotions, they may find the anger and frustration tend to dissipate (this also increases the connection as kids feel heard and understood).

For example, “It sounds like you’re feeling angry that your team lost the basketball game. I’m wondering if you’re ALSO feeling disappointed? I know that if my team lost, I would feel disappointed/sad too.”