Introduction It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment the change occurs. One day your otherwise sunny child is merely prone to the occasional nasty outburst, and the next a permanent storm cloud seems to have taken up residence over her head. Small social problems or household disagreements escalate into major battles that leave all participants wounded and wary. Your once predictable child has become more than temperamental; you never know when the next meltdown will occur -- or where. And the effort of trying to control these outbursts -- or avoid them at any cost -- may be impacting on how you deal with others in your family, social circle, and your child's school. If you have a child whose anger and rage holds your family emotionally hostage, embarrasses you in public, or intimidates you and others with threats of violence or vicious comments, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It may come in the form of a toddler's tantrums or a teenager's tirade, in silent refusals or violent rage. Whichever form it takes, this anger is destroying our children and our families, and it's becoming epidemic. You probably know how difficult it is to convince friends and family that your four -- or fourteen-year -- old is terrorizing your house. But it's true. Anger, especially out-of-control anger, is without a doubt one of the most demanding situations parents regularly face. Most children have occasional outbursts, but sooner rather than later they calm down and life goes on. A single outburst does not make "an angry child." Unchecked, however, continued anger is a sign that something is terribly wrong and must be addressed -- soon. Does this mean that today's difficult four-year-old will turn into tomorrow's headline maker? Not at all. But parents need to know that unless the tide of anger is turned, an angry child will grow into the angry adult who perpetuates an unhealthy cycle of active abuse or passive aggression. It's never too early to start helping your child bring his or her anger under control. Adopting the strategies that follow will aid you in doing exactly that. This book grew out of my work as a child psychologist. For over twenty years I've helped children understand their anger, working with both them and their families. During that time, I've seen that amazing turnarounds are possible. In this book I'll tell it as I've come to understand it, for while you might know an angry child or two, I've worked with hundreds of them. The good news is that most of them are delightful kids with bright futures. But they are at a crossroads, and often there's great urgency to helping them travel the correct path before they've gone too far astray. As I reached for books to recommend for my patients, I found there were none I felt comfortable with. Some of the guidance was outdated. Some was skewed toward only the most violent children. Some was too research-oriented and lacked practical advice. Many books and mental health professionals still advocated old anger management methods, such as yelling or punching a pillow, while visualizing the image of the person with whom one might be upset. But as a parent, would you allow your son or daughter to play with matches and gasoline to satisfy a curiosity about fire? Why, then, would you allow your child to stage angry outbursts to let off steam? The child who vents her anger by using bad language around the house, smashing toys, or unleashing her anger on others feels the false sense that "since I feel better when I let out my anger, this must be the right thing to do." She mistakes the feeling of relief for resolution. These are misguided methods of handling anger. They reinforce the idea that lashing out, disrespecting others while losing one's temper, are okay if you're angry. But it's never okay to lash out or attack when angry. Although it's sometimes okay to be angry, it's never okay to be mean. When you reinforceMurphy, Timothy is the author of 'The Angry Child: Regaining Control When Your Child Is Out of Control - Timothy Murphy - Hardcover - 1 ED' with ISBN 9780609606766 and ISBN 060960676X.