The best 4 tips to manage your child’s anger
A child’s anger is not very easy to manage. This is because the way children communicate anger can sometimes be very different from how we as adults do. Some children can get angry and frustrated very quickly. They might lash out, say things they don’t mean or get aggressive. They don’t understand the difference between anger and physical or verbal aggression and are unable to communicate their needs and feelings properly, thus resulting in an outburst. And so, for many of them, physical tantrums are the most common way to deal with anger because it achieves two things- provides an outlet for their anger and lets people around them know that they are angry.
It is imperative that as a parent, you spend some time thinking about how to manage your child’s anger so that it doesn’t affect their wellbeing and the quality of their relationships. Here are a few tips you can keep in mind:
Your child is throwing a tantrum because they need instant gratification. This means that they wish for something and will do anything to get it immediately. If you give in to every tantrum stemming from an unreasonable request, they will slowly learn that it is okay to throw a tantrum and will get whatever they want through this method. They know this because every tantrum of theirs is getting a reaction from you. This is very unhelpful in the long run. First, you will have to acknowledge your child’s anger. Then, sit your child down and speak to them about why they are throwing a tantrum. Tell them that you can both figure out what you can do about it. This diverts their attention and makes them pause.
Your child’s anger is valid but constant tantrums indicate that they aren’t being able to find the language to communicate their anger. This is where you can help them out. Teach them to first label their emotions. Start with a few feeling words like “sad,” “angry,” “scared” etc. Encourage them to use these words when they feel something is bothering them. Start simple. Say something like “I want to hear your words. Tell me what’s making you angry so we can figure it out together.” If started early, they will internalise this approach so they can learn to pause and communicate their feelings better.
Children mimic our actions and behaviours, If you lash out and get physical when you get angry, your child’s anger is going to be expressed the same way. Let them know anger is emotion adults experience too. Show them how you deal with anger yourself. Watch what you say and do around your child when you are angry. When you notice their anger, take deep breaths with them and count to ten. Tell them that if they find their anger rising very quickly, they can always take a break and take a ‘time-out’ to walk away from the situation before it escalates.
You want your child to know that some things are a big no-no. Communicate this clearly with them. They should know that their anger doesn’t justify hurting a sibling, friend or pet. Tell them that “while it is completely okay to feel angry about some things, it is never okay to hit someone.” Ask them what they can do instead of getting aggressive. They are likely to listen to patient reasoning if it sounds doable.
It is normal for your child to feel angry and throw tantrums. But if the situation worsens or doesn’t improve despite your repeated guidance, then you can always reach out to a professional who can identify the root cause behind your child’s anger and find solutions.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed/shared in the blog above are personal thoughts of the writer. Berrytree recommends you consult with your doctor/pediatrician/family before instinctively following any suggested steps.