Dr. Henry Paul, MD

Psychiatrist, Author and Educator

When Kids Are Mad, Not Bad

October 2nd, 2013

Publishers Weekly Review:

Anger is “natural, normal and appropriate” and is a problem “only when we can’t handle our… feelings constructively.” So says Paul, a psychiatrist with a family and child practice. Anger is a response, he points out, that is nearly always triggered by a sense of helplessness, the cause of which is usually apparent after observing an angry child, and? if she or he is verbal? listening. While reassuring readers with such statements as, “You will never be completely free of causing anger in others because this is part of being human,” the author offers concrete yet compassionate suggestions for ameliorating the behavior of both participants in clashes between parent and child. Leavened by anecdotes from his clinical practice and scenarios of typical familial interchanges, this eminently practical guide should prove invaluable to parents and others who work with children.


An adolescent boy turns hostile and sarcastic. A previously happy fourth-grader suddenly has problems sleeping. A young girl picks at her dinner and obsesses about her weight. Many behavior problems–ranging from depression, rebellion, and addiction to aggression and beyond–may be rooted in hidden or repressed anger. In this helpful new guide, Dr. Henry Paul explains what makes children angry; how age, gender, and background can affect their expression of anger; the right and wrong ways to respond to anger-based behavior–and, most importantly, how to gain a new understanding of this powerful emotion, foster healthy development, and strengthen the bond between parent and child in a loving, constructive way. Published , Berkley Books, New York, 1999.

Praise for “When Kids Are Mad, Not Bad”

“All children get mad sometimes and express this feeling in different ways. But many parents haven’t the foggiest notion of why this happens. Their ignorance drives them to discharge their own anxiety, propelling both parent and child into an implacable duct of anger, time and again. So three cheers for Dr. Paul, who spells it all out in this essential book for one of the most difficult and draining of parental dilemmas. While this book has been written for adults, Dr. Paul’s gentle approach and clearly described vignettes make the book readable by children and teenagers as well. Everyone can profit by knowing more about anger, either in oneself or in others. In When Kids Are Mad, Not Bad, one learns without fan-fare or jargon about the basic elements of anger and how it can be responded to in constructive ways.?”

— Helen DeRoise, M.D. , Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, and author of Parent Power Child Power, The Book of Hope, and Women and Anxiety.