Your child’s anger can pose a challenge to not only your family, but teachers and friends alike. Often children become angry because of teasing or bullying they are exposed to at school, or because they are feeling frustrated, bad about themselves, powerless, insecure with their surroundings, misunderstood, or are looking for attention. Though it is normal for children to be angry every now and then, if you are noticing it is becoming a consistent behavior, it needs to be dealt with. It is very important that parents or caregivers acknowledge the anger and help the child to channel it in a more nonaggressive way. Studies show that childhood anger that is left unchecked often results in a lifetime of unhappiness. If you are a parent or caregiver and you have problems with controlling the anger of a child, here are 5 tips on how you can help children manage anger.
Tip # 1: Identify the Anger
Help the child learn how to identify when he is getting angry. Is he feeling like he wants to scream, hit, pout, shut-down, or is he getting a headache? Explain that these are signs that his next response might be an inappropriate one.
Tip#2: Teach Techniques to Calm Down
Teach them that it is O.K. to walk away from a situation that is going to make them upset or angry. For example, if other kids are bullying her at school, it is appropriate to safely remove yourself from the situation. Counting forwards and backwards to 10 before responding is also a popular technique.
Tip # 2: Alternatives to Getting Mad
Learning a response to anger besides having a tantrum, hitting or yelling is another excellent way to deal with angry behavior. Teach your child that every time she gets angry, she can jump up and down in silence and in private. Taking a walk, turning on some soothing music, playing with a pet, or talking to a parent/caregiver are excellent ways to decrease the angry feelings and help her calm down.
Tip # 3: Empathy
Identify with the child. Take him out of the scene which is causing the anger, and then talk to him in a calm manner. Don't scold him. Tell the child that when you were his age, you remember having the same frustrating feelings and that it is normal to be angry. Discuss with your child why his angry behavior is not appropriate in a social setting. Explain that it hurts other people’s feelings, it can be dangerous, it disrupts everyone else’s day. Remind the child that he should respect other people and by keeping his anger in control, it helps everyone else go on with their day.
Tip # 4: Sublimation
Sublimation is a technique used by people to divert bad emotions into something else, something that is productive or something that will benefit the person. Children who are good in sports tend to divert the energy they have for anger into basketball and the like. Painting, dancing, singing and other hobbies will work as well. The good thing about this is children also get to develop skills while in the process of learning sublimation.
Tip # 5: Positive Reinforcement
Children who get angry often sometimes do it for the attention. To eliminate this, use positive reinforcement. Never forget to reward your children for the good things he has done. This way, he knows that anti-social behavior won't get your attention, but his good behavior will.
These tips combined with taking an anger management course will greatly benefit your child or teenager. Anger control classes can be taken online in the privacy of your own home. The child can take them sitting at the computer with a parent, techniques and tools can be discussed and related to current life situations. Anger classes will dive more deeply into ways to better express their frustration.
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