Have you ever given a thought to why do children get angry? Well, the main reason for their anger is that they are dependent on adults for everything. They are still discovering a lot of things about themselves and the world around them. This lack of knowledge and dependence on others frustrate children after a point. Since they are unable to express their feelings because of underdeveloped communication skills, they let them out through their anger. Another reason is that they feel lonely and seek attention from their parents; and the only time parents pay attention to them is when they yell and scream. Since anger can sometimes lead to violence, anger management is very important. Below are a few tips along with some guidelines for parents to follow, in order to control and avert extreme situations in such cases.
Things To Do As a Parent to Manage Anger in Kids
Accept the Problem: Make the child understand that it is all right to be angry, once in a while. Tell him that anger is like any other emotion such as love, jealousy and joy that we experience in our day-to-day lives. But like all the other emotions, anger should be expressed in a controlled manner. Explain the difference between anger and aggression. Tell them that feeling angry is all right; but to express anger through aggression, i.e. hurting someone or breaking things or creating a chaos is not acceptable. Explaining about emotions and differentiating between anger and aggression are good for anger management in children.
Offer Support and Comfort Your Child: Give your child unconditional love when his mercury levels begin to rise. Use physical expressions of love such as a hug or a kiss or a pat on the back. Through actions and words, show your child that you care for him, and you will always be there to support him whenever he needs you. With an assurance of love and support, you will see the child's anger melting away slowly. Punishing the child when he is angry is a big no. Instead of that, talk to him, explain to him what is good and bad; set certain rules in the house, and be a role model yourself by following those rules. If the children see their parents shouting and fighting with each other, they will emulate the same behavior. In such a scenario, it is very important that the parents themselves practice anger management techniques. This will help them deal with the stresses of modern-day life. Also, sharing these strategies with their children can prove beneficial too.
Quick Tips and Techniques to Control Anger in Children
Before telling the children to deal with anger, it is very important that you assure you love them and are proud of them no matter what, and will help them to harness their temper. Here are a few quick tips.
- Tell the child to take a deep breath and count till 10. If the anger persists, ask him to count backwards from 10 to 1. This helps in diverting the child's attention and gives him time to calm down.
- Give them alternatives for anger. For example, you can tell your child that if he feels angry, instead of acting aggressively, he should touch his nose or start jumping to vent all that pent-up negative physical energy. If he is angry because he is not able to do something, tell him to ask for your help immediately.
- Involve the child in creative activities such as dance, music or art. Sometimes a child may not able to express his emotions in words, as his communication skills are still developing. By making use of any of these creative medium, the child can express his feelings in a better way.
- Channelize the child's anger by increasing his physical activities. Take him for a walk in the park or a bike ride. Involve him in sports such as baseball or soccer. Remember to choose activities according to his liking.
- Whenever the child displays good behavior, reward him by taking him out for a movie, or compliment him by saying things such as "I appreciate that you have done...." or "thank you for.....". Positive re-enforcement will dissuade him from acting aggressively.
- Practice yoga and meditation with your child. Enroll yourself and your child for a yoga class, and within days you will see the difference in the both of you.
- If for some reason, the child is very angry and uncontrollable, you may remove the child physically from the scene. This will help in calming him down.
- Identify with the child so that he does not feel alone. Tell him that you yourself used to get angry very fast before, but now you have fully controlled your anger. The child will feel that it is possible for him to control his anger too.