April 29, 2017



Hey Brandon,
I have a BIG problem. I just can’t control my temper! I don’t know why, but I just can’t. My temper is SO bad. Once, I was fighting with my older brother about sitting in the front seat of the car. He won the ‘battle’ and then he pushed me out of the way. I was SO MAD that there was smoke coming out of my ears!! Then I went and shut the door while my brother’s foot was there and I ended up hurting his foot. That incident got me into HUGE trouble! 🙁

Please help me control my temper!

Trouble With Terrible Temper Tantrums

Hey Trouble With Terrible Temper Tantrums,

Okay. Well, first of all, I think it’s great that you realize your temper is a problem. And I’m really glad that you’re asking how to control your TEMPER and not your ANGER. Because anger is healthy and normal. It’s okay to get angry, and it’s important to release your anger. The thing is finding a healthy way to handle it that won’t hurt you or anyone else.

Here are some things you might want to try the next time you’re so mad that smoke’s coming out of your ears:

  • Slugging a punching bag (or just a pillow or mattress)
  • Screaming into a pillow until you feel better
  • Journaling about what you’re feeling. You can write or draw. My friend Nikki does it all the time!
  • Going for a long run, or doing some other physical activity
  • Practicing breathing exercises

It might also help to think about how you respond when you get angry – but do the thinking when you’re calm. Sit down and think about different things that might make you angry, then brainstorm possible responses. There are probably certain things your brother does that get to you. And your parents, teachers, and friends might also have different ways to push your buttons. So, think about those things, and how you might respond, and plan out healthy ways to express your anger. You won’t always be able to remember these plans in the heat of the moment. But, sometimes you will and it’ll help.

An easy fix for the heat of the moment is to come up with a simple phrase that reminds you to control your temper. It could be, “I am in control.” Or, “I’ve got this.” Or, “Stay calm.” Practice repeating it when you ARE calm, along with breathing slowly. And then, whenever you feel angry, repeat the phrase inside your head. Take three slow, deep breaths, and then count to ten.

So, these are the steps:

  1. Repeat your phrase.
  2. Take three deep breaths.
  3. Count to 10.

If the situation is happening in a place where you can easily remove yourself, do it. You might talk to your parents ahead of time, and tell them that you’re working on controlling your temper. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can ask to be excused and go to your room to get a hold on yourself. Basically, put yourself in time out! Tell your parents that you will come back to discuss the issue when you are more in control. You might even be able to arrange this with teachers, if you are having trouble with your temper in the classroom.

If NONE of this helps and you just feel like you can’t get a hold on your temper by yourself, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. (I mean, you asked me for help, right? 🙂 ) You might need a doctor or counselor to help you with anger management.

But, I doubt it! The fact that you know there’s a problem tells me that you’ll be able to handle it.

Hey readers, how do you handle anger in the heat of the moment? Does your temper ever get the best of you?