Every child has an off day when nothing seems to go right, but for some, angry outbursts, frustration, and resentment are the norm. When a child's anger threatens to jeopardize his school and social life and introduces an element of strain into the family dynamics that affects every member, it's time for a parent to ask: When is angry too angry?
Child psychologist Dr. Tim Murphy has addressed this very question with hundreds of families, helping them to understand both the causes and the repercussions of childhood anger and to devise effective strategies for defusing the time bomb in their midst. Whether it's a toddler staging a tantrum, a grade-schooler unable to make friends, or a sulking preteen who greets every adult request with antagonism, parents of angry children are baffled by both the depth and the root of their child's unhappiness. And when small social problems and household disputes regularly escalate into full-fledged battles, it's nearly impossible for parents to distance themselves enough from the situation to find a perspective that will remedy it.
With simple, direct techniques, Dr. Murphy shows it is possible to help an angry child understand what triggers his outbursts and develop new approaches for coping with potentially explosive situations. Identifying the ten telling characteristics of an angry child, Dr. Murphy provides examples from his clinical experience to help adults guide their children to more appropriate responses. Dr. Murphy also alerts readers to parenting styles that work best for these volatile children, explaining how a parent's own behavior can sometimes escalate a child's meltdowns. He pinpoints the moments when anger moves from a normal emotional expression to an extreme one, indicative of a larger problem. In a special chapter devoted to winning daily battles, Dr. Murphy offers advice on situations in which an angry child's temper is most likely to flare.
The Angry Child is destined to be a classic. With real solutions for the concerns of millions of parents, Dr. Murphy offers answers and hope for the families and educators of unhappy children of all ages.