Beyond Frustration

by Katie Suarez

When our son was 3, he was determined to learn to tie his shoes. But each time his chubby little fingers met with a jumbled mess of knots, a tantrum followed.

My husband and I helped our son work through his anger by introducing him to some special "tricks" that would help him cool down when he felt angry or frustrated. We rewarded him with a sticker each time he used one of the following techniques:

  • Take a deep breath.
  • Slowly count to five or sing a few lines of a song.
  • If you must punch something, punch a pillow.
  • Use your words, not your body parts.

Our son liked the fact that we were giving him "tricks" (not "rules"), and by choosing what worked best for him, he was able to take ownership of the solution.


This article appeared in the January/February 2013 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2012 by Katie Suarez. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.


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