Child Anger with an Angle: Is Your Child Using Anger to Control You?

Have your child’s angry outbursts worn you down so much that you’ve simply learned to give in? You should know that this is not a phase or a behavior that will “just go away on its own.” Read on to discover 5 things you can do to stop your child from using “Anger with an Angle” today.

Anger is a fact of life. Everyone gets angry,Guest Posting including kids—they get frustrated and disappointed just like adults do. The goal for children as they mature is to learn ways to manage their anger or, as I like to say, “Solve the problem of anger.” That’s because anger is a problem—it’s not just a feeling. And like many other problems, kids solve it in different ways. Some learn to solve the problem of anger by developing skills like communication and compromise, while other kids deal with it by becoming more defiant and engaging in power struggles.

As children grow up, most learn to manage their anger. Each time they experience new situations, they begin to draw on the skills they learned previously. Most kids learn that temper tantrums don’t work—that yelling will not help their situation and that hurting someone or breaking something will cause them more trouble in the long run. But other kids go a whole different direction and practice a thing I call “Anger with an Angle.” They learn at a very early age that if they get angry and act out—or threaten to do so—the people around them will give in. In effect, they’ve learned how to blackmail their parents to give them what they want.

If you were an outsider observing a child who uses “Anger with an Angle” you’d see him look as if he’s losing control. But what’s really going on is that this child is getting more and more control over his parents. He looks like he’s losing control, when in fact, he’s gaining control. And that’s the dangerous thing. The fact is, a child’s behavior won’t change until he’s not able to get power from it anymore. And certainly for a kid, control is power. As long as he gets power from that behavior, he’s going to continue to act out.

How “Anger with an Angle” Develops
As an infant, a child’s behavior is certainly not premeditated. But as kids develop, if they see that they get their way by throwing a tantrum or threatening to get angry, they will keep doing it until they’ve trained their parents to give them what they want. And many times, parents don’t recognize what’s happening. It’s a natural progression that leaves families frustrated and overwhelmed by the time their child hits elementary school.

If you’re in this situation with your child, you will soon see his behavior escalate until you give in. That’s when anger and acting out do become premeditated.

When your child is using “Anger with an Angle,” he’ll look like he’s going to take you right to the brink. He’ll act like he’s going to throw a temper tantrum in the store. And then you have a choice: deal with that temper tantrum or buy him a candy bar. Most parents buy the candy bar, which increases the probability this behavior will occur again. I understand why parents give in. They reason, “Well, it’s only a candy bar.” And I agree: I’ve got nothing against buying things for kids. But the bottom line is, how does your child go about getting that candy bar or comic book? Does he earn it with good behavior or buy it with his own allowance money? Or does he intimidate and bully you into giving in to him? If he’s doing the latter, you will probably see him act out in restaurants and other public places as well when he doesn’t get his way. At home, he will threaten to have a tantrum or lose his temper to get more power over you. This is “Anger with an Angle.” Make no mistake, kids use it to solve their social problems and dictate to their parents.

By the way, you’ll often see a child who uses Anger with an Angle go to school and do the same thing. That’s because this has become his primary way of dealing with problems. You’ll see him play brinkmanship; he’ll continually take all the adults in his life to the edge; it becomes his main coping skill. And when that doesn’t work, he’ll just act out. In this way, he keeps the threat of blackmail alive.

In my experience working with families, this problem just keeps getting bigger and more explosive as kids grow up. And by the way, some kids use “Anger with an Angle” by shutting down. For example, your teenage daughter may stop talking to you until you give in to her demands. If you give her what she wants, this ultimately gives her more control. Either way, if you let your child’s behavior control the situation instead of following your own parenting values, then you’re going to have a serious problem both now and as your child gets older.

How to Stop Giving in to “Anger with an Angle”
If your child has been using “Anger with an Angle” in your family, I think you and your spouse have to come up with a clearly defined plan of how you’re going to deal with this behavior. That plan has to include teaching your child other ways to solve the problem of anger besides intimidating you or misbehaving. The plan should also include how you will teach him other ways to solve the problem of not getting his way instead of manipulating you and taking it out on you and other family members.

I think that people have to deal with acting-out behavior in an organized way. You need to take away the power associated with the threat of your child acting out. Know that whether he acts out in the supermarket, your living room or a restaurant, you can learn a way to deal with that. Here are some of the things I recommend you do when your child is employing “Anger with an Angle” in your family.

1. When Your Child Threatens to Act Out, Ask Yourself This Question
As a parent, learn to ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen if my child acts out?” If you determine that you can live with whatever happens, then you can move on to the next step. So ask yourself, “What’s the worst that’s going to happen if my child acts out in the supermarket?” Insulate yourself from real risk. If the worst that could happen is your child will run onto the highway, that’s too much to risk for that situation. But if the worst that can happen is that he’ll lie on the floor and kick his feet, let him go at it. I always recommend that parents bring a magazine or a book with them when they take their child in public. Have a seat and let your child scream away. It may be embarrassing for those few minutes it’s happening, but your indifference will eventually teach your child that his acting-out behavior does not control you any longer.

2. Decide What You’ll Do Ahead of Time: If your child frequently acts out in public or at home, plan what you’ll do before the anger and intimidation start. Will you leave the room, or tell him that he’ll have consequences for his behavior? Decide what you’ll do ahead of time. Try your best to speak clearly and calmly when your child is having a tantrum. Do not get into a power struggle with your child over whatever it is he’s trying to use anger to accomplish.

3. The Aftermath: Talk to Your Child about What Happened: After the incident, briefly discuss what happened with your child so he can learn skills that will help him deal with the situation differently next time. If you don’t do this, know that his behavior is not going to become extinct on its own. In most cases, it builds on itself over time. Remember, every time your child acts out over something he wants, a couple of things are happening.

He’s not learning to deal with his own urges.
He’s not learning how to manage immediate gratification.
He’s not learning how to get something appropriately if he wants it.
Acting out becomes his only problem-solving skill—his only way of getting things.
So always ask yourself, “What is my child learning, and what do I need to teach him to do differently?”

4. The Game-changer: After the incident is over, you have to sit down with your child and say, “You got really angry there and I understand why. You wanted a candy bar and I wouldn’t get it for you. But that behavior only got you into trouble. Next time we’re in the store and you want something and I tell you ‘no,’ what can you do differently besides throwing a temper tantrum or yelling at me that won’t get you into trouble?”

Your child doesn’t need to learn to understand his feelings; he needs to learn that when he gets angry, he makes choices. From now on, he has to learn how to make more choices that are positive. He also needs to learn ways of behaving that don’t get him into trouble.

5. Should You Give Consequences for Losing Control? The first thing you have to determine is whether your child is actually losing control or if he’s simply giving you cues and signs as a warning to give in to him. If the latter is the case, consequences are very much indicated. Many people will tell you not to give your child a consequence for acting out of control or throwing a tantrum. They reason that if the child loses control he shouldn’t be held responsible for his actions since he’s not actually making choices.

In my opinion, if your child loses control once or twice, you may want to hold off on consequences. But if losing control becomes a pattern–if this is how he deals with things on a regular basis—I think there should definitely be a consequence. His behavior both inconveniences others and might even put your child or others in danger. Let’s say you’re supposed to be getting home to your other kids, but your child is acting out at the mall, so you have to call a neighbor to run to your house. Your child’s behavior has now put everyone else at risk. If your child acts out in the car, he puts you and everyone else there in danger. I think there should absolutely be consequences for that behavior. Don’t pussyfoot around and let your child off the hook with “Oh, he lost control.” That’s exactly how he’s working you. His angle is, “I lost control—I couldn’t help it.” Many parents get suckered in by that excuse. But I would tell you that if this acting out happens more than once in a while, your child should be held accountable and there should be consequences.

6. What is Your Parenting Style? Let’s go back to the supermarket example. You see your child start to deteriorate—what do you do? When you use the Coaching style of parenting, you’d say something like, “Remember, we talked about this and you told me that the next time you were upset at the store, you would go over and read magazines until you calmed down.” Your child may not do it, but keep coaching him. Eventually, he’s going to respond appropriately. Believe me, behaviors for which people are held accountable and receive consequences tend to diminish over time. Conversely, behaviors that are rewarded tend to increase. It’s just that simple: if you reward the acting out or the threat of the tantrum, it’s never going to go away.

A child who’s blackmailing you with temper tantrums over a candy bar in the supermarket today is the same kid who’s going to stay out all night when he doesn’t get his way. And sadly, you won’t be able to stop him. The next time he says, “Well, if you let me stay out until midnight, I won’t have to stay out all night,” you’ll give in because you’re scared of what might happen if you don’t compromise. But again, I think you have to decide: “What’s the worst that could happen if I don’t let my child manipulate me?” Will your child’s behavior escalate when you start to deal with it? Yes, it will. But I think the more guidance and support you have, the better

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Child Custody rulebook for the parents of Fort Worth

As difficult as it may get for the couples to undergo a divorce, it is always harder on the children. And at some degree or the other, the characters, courses and processes throughout and following the divorce, can be fairly emotionally scarring for the child. Which is why, both the parents and their respective attorneys must ensure the child’s best interest at all cost.

Child custody cases are rarely pretty. Whenever two parents resort to the courtroom to resolve custody issues,Guest Posting it is typically because they have been unable to reach a common ground through normal mediation channels.

In Fort Worth, like many other cities and states, once a divorce has been completed, the child custody order controls custody and visitation rights of the parents. Although the parents must comply with the order, the law understands that significant changes in life may lead to a need to change the terms of the order. Additionally, the law allows the order to be modified if the terms no longer suit the child’s best interests. Since this issue commonly arises among divorced parents, it is helpful to know a little about when child custody orders may be modified.

Factors that influence your child custody case:
Child custody cases are difficult to predict, especially when both parties have good arguments. In the end, the court bases its decision on factors that are considered to be in the “child’s best interest.” If you or a loved one is currently facing a child custody dispute, it is important that you familiarize yourself with what the ‘best interests’ are.

Here are five major factors that can influence your child custody case:
1. The Child’s preference: Child custody decisions are affected in part by a child’s parental preference. There is no specific law on how the preferences of a child might affect the Fort Worth court’s decision. Depending on the state, judges may sometimes interview kids to get a feel of their opinion. Such sessions are considered confidential. To make the child feel more at home, a judge’s tone may be a lot less formal. Alternatively, the judge may appoint a custody evaluator to speak with the child. The views of a child may have more weight if they a sufficient age (14 years or older). That being said, the decision of who wins custody is also dependent upon other factors.

The Quality of the child’s relationship with the parents: The court also takes into consideration the apparent relationship the child has with his parents. If a child is more comfortable around one parent, it could ultimately influence the court’s decision on child custody. If a parent does not have time for the child or does not want to see them, this can also change the outcome in court. Keep a record of all dates you currently have your child and when your ex takes the child. If your ex does not want to watch your child on a specific day because a football game is on, it’s a Friday night & they want to go out, this can be a major red flag to any judge.
Additionally, if the parent has a criminal record, is involved with drugs, or has a bad rap sheet, this too can affect where the child ends up staying. A judge is ultimately looking for the best situation for the child to grow up in.

The mental and the physical health of the parents: Before making a decision, the Forth Worth court considers the mental health of the both parents. A parent who struggles with anger management will find it harder securing custody. The physical health of both spouses is also vital. Parents should be strong enough to attend to the needs of the child. If a parent is suffering from a serious condition, his or her chances are lowered. In addition to the kid’s parents, the court also considers the health of the other people who will be living in the same house as the child. Parents who are too weak to properly care for the child, or who are suffering from a condition that may impede their parenting skills, may have a hard time getting primarychild custody.
Work obligations of both parents: Yet another factor that comes into play during child custody decisions is the work obligations of either parent. Being able to financially provide for the child is undoubtedly important. But parents are also expected to be able to cater to their child’s psychological and developmental needs. For this, the court will look at the amount of time a parent has to spend with the kids. Spouses who have busy schedules may fare poorly against stay-at-home parents who work from home and have more time on their hands.
Other Influencing factors:
1. The child’s age
2. The parent’s willingness towards child support if custody is lost
3. The ability of each parent to ensure a secure, loving environment
4. The impact on child’s education if the custody is granted
5. The number of children involved in the custody case
6. The distance between the homes of both parents

Types of Child Custody Laws:
There are two overall types of child custody. The first is known as physical custody. This simply refers to whom the child lives with.

The other type of custody is legal custody. This refers to who has the authority to make decisions about such things as medical, educational, and religious matters. In custody disputes between parents, this is usually the type of custody that is being referred to.

There are two major sub-categories of legal custody. The first is sole custody. This is when a court awards only one parent with complete custody of a child.

The other type of legal custody is Joint Custody. This is when both parents are awarded some physical and legal custody rights.

It is hard to predict how a child custody dispute will be resolved. However, in many instances, the Fort Worth Child Custody court opts to award the custody to both parents under a joint arrangement.

In such instances, it will be left for the divorcing parents to work out an acceptable parenting schedule based on their obligations at work and housing arrangements. One of the major reasons why courts prefer this option is that it gives the child the opportunity to grow in a healthy environment.

That said, there are situations where in order to protect a child’s best interest, a parent is given sole custody. This is more likely to occur if a parent poses a threat to the child, such as being violent or having a substance abuse problem.

In such instances, it will be left for the divorcing parents to work out an acceptable parenting schedule based on their obligations at work and housing arrangements. One of the major reasons why courts prefer this option is that it gives the child the opportunity to grow in a healthy environment.

That said, there are situations where in order to protect a child’s best interest, a parent is given sole custody. This is more likely to occur if a parent poses a threat to the child, such as being violent or having a substance abuse problem.

Get in touch with a team of highly experienced attorneys to enqu

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