Today we are going to discuss a very interesting technique that will help you reduce the level of anger in your child, even if your child have Oppositional Defiant Disorder, ADHD, or is just a difficult child. It is not always possible to use this technique, but when you can apply it, it is 100% effective. I will explain to you why that is.

We all know that emotions affect the body. For example, a person who is upset or angry has a faster pulse, higher blood pressure, more rapid breathing, etc. There are physiological changes in the body because of emotions.

What many people do not realize is that it goes the other way too. You can actually control your emotions by changing your body’s physiology. This very important to understand and very powerful because a lot of us cannot control our emotions very well, but we all have complete control over what our body does.

How can you use this knowledge to control your child’s anger?  This is how you can use this idea.

When your child is upset, angry, fighting, or making an angry face, take a pen and give it to your child. Have your child put the pen in his mouth sideways so that he bites down on the pen.  When your child does this, the pen forces a smile on his face.

When a person is smiling, it is physiologically impossible to continue to be angry. So as long as your child has a pen in his mouth and if he keeps it in long enough, he will stop being angry.

It is physiologically impossible to be angry when you are smiling. Smiling will force a person’s emotions to change so that he can not be angry.  This technique will work every time, providing that you can get your child do it.

How can you use this?

This technique was originally developed to be used in the car when siblings are fighting and won’t stop. Have both children bite down on pens until the end of the car ride and by that time they should both be laughing and not fighting.

Again, this is a great technique when you can use it. This technique is 100% effective.

It’s important for parents to understand that when you control what the body does, you can change your emotional state. The pen technique is just one example of this.

Anthony Kane, MD is a physician, an international lecturer, and director of special education. He is the author of a book, numerous articles, and a number of online programs dealing with ADHD treatment, ODD, child behavior issues, and education.