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; the only time parents pay attention to them is when they yell and scream. As anger can sometimes lead to violence, anger management is very important. Here are a few tips along with 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- If the child is very angry and uncontrollable, remove the child physically from the scene. This will help in calming him down.
- Identify with your kid so that he doesn't feel alone. Tell him that you yourself were short-tempered before, but now you have fully controlled your anger. The child will feel that it's possible for him to control his anger too.
Anger management tips are most effective if you make use of these tips during the pre-adolescent days; as a child's personality is created in the first seven years of his life. When handling angry children, the parents should first ascertain the reason for their anger, and then find a solution accordingly.
Explaining to a child that controlling anger before it controls you can be quite difficult. However, by following certain techniques, you can certainly help them manage their temper.