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Handling angry outbursts from 4 year old

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My son used to have a lot of angry outbursts when he was 4 years old. The Threenager stage wasn't quite done when he turned 4 so he just continued on to the Fiercesome 4s. Even though I kind of knew these outbursts were a normal part of the developmental phase, they were still frustrating to endure nonetheless especially since I was the recipient of his anger.

Most of the outbursts occurred at home. If they ever happened in a public place, I would take him outside until he calmed down, discuss it, and go back inside.

If we were at home, there were different ways of responding. Hitting, kicking, spitting and biting resulted in me giving him a bear hug from behind and wrapping my legs around him too so he couldn't move his arms or legs. This was for my safety. We'd sit and wait it out until I felt his body relax. Yelling and screaming resulted in me saying I would not speak to him until he could speak nicely to me.

I also taught him a breathing exercise that he found helpful sometimes so I'd remind him to do that. There were also times I had to walk away for my own sanity and go in the bathroom alone with the door locked (after making sure he was safe) so I could cool off because I didn't want to say or do anything I'd regret.

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