Anger, though a powerful emotion, is a completely natural phenomenon. And not all anger is negative. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not advocating those who put the blame of their atrocities (domestic or otherwise) on their “uncontrolled anger”. No, we think they need to be put in rehab. But it’s true that not all anger is negative – forinstance, a child’s anger. Children’s anger is as innocent as they are, but it’s only because they haven’t learnt how to control it. As their parents or guardians, it is your responsibility to help them cope with angry outbursts and teach them to deal with it properly. Here are some tips to cope with your child’s anger:
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- Teach your child to increase their emotional awareness. A child is too young and naive to understand his/her emotions and thus may need your help. Encourage them to express strong and difficult emotions.
- Talk more! Perhaps your child gets his/her outbursts of anger due to less or no conversation. Talk to your child when he is happy, elated, upset, or angry. Ask him/her what is making them angry and how they feel.
- Express your emotions in a positive way in front of the kids. Ensure neither you nor any other member of the family argues or yells in front of the children.
- Your child needs to learn that anger is okay but aggression is not. It would be better if he/she learned this by way of example.
- Don’t challenge your child when he’s angry.
- Don’t punish them for being angry. Tell them it’s okay to feel angry but teach them the right way to express it. Don’t make them control it at any cost.
- Give them the consequences of bad behavior. It’s okay to express their emotions, parents must let their kids let off the steam, else they might look for comfort elsewhere.
- Don’t freeze up and give in to your child’s tantrums. If you condition your child this way, chances are you’ll make your own child disobedient.
- Don’t flare up at them. Remember, they are only kids and have a right to feel angry as they have a right to be happy. Try to calm them down without seeming pushy. Don’t be too firm with them and use sentences like “I wish I could help calm you down” or “Could you please calm down and listen to Mommy/Daddy”, “If you relax and stop shouting, we can talk about why you’re feeling this way”.
- Pay attention to your child’s words and physical behavior. It could be that your child is frustrated at something that isn’t anybody’s fault. Find out the reason and propose the best solution in a calm and cool manner.
Also read: 7 things you should never say to children
If your child continues to be angry, unhappy and frustrated inspite of the controlled environment, consult a child therapist as it could be that ADD/ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) or ODD (Oppositional defiant disorder) are behind your child’s behavior.