As kids develop their emotions develop as well. You may experience this yourself as a parent or have seen other kids……hitting their parents, being disrespectful.
I recall as a kid getting really angry a lot. I don’t remember why other than it was something to use in order to get people to leave me alone….either my sisters to stop teasing me and something else.
I think it’s important to help kids deal with anger. Given the tools when they are young can hopefully help them as they get older and avoid problems in their later years.
First we need to identify anger issues in kids:
– Trouble calming down
– Isn’t considerate of other people’s feelings
– Consistently needs reminders about controlling temper
– Being aggressive towards others
So what are some ways we can help our kids manage their anger:
1) Monkey See, Monkey do – Take some inventory of yourself. Do you yell too much, get angry more than you need to. are you providing a good example on how to deal with anger? You can’t rightfully teach it if you are not practicing it yourself.
2) Talk about feelings – Emotional intelligence and learning about what the different emotions are is crucial. Teach your child all about the different emotions. I want to be very clear. It is totally acceptable to feel emotion, in fact it is encouraged. We want our kids to feel emotions. We just want them to be able to manage them.
3) Teach Coping Skills
– Twist a towel
– Use a punching bag or pillow
– Create a control spot
– Use breathing techniques
4) Establish anger rules – Do this when they are not angry…no slamming doors, no physically touching someone else, no throwing things, etc.
5) Minimize talking – They aren’t going to be taking in information very well when they are angry. Use few if any words. If you do speak, be very calm and neutral. When we yell back it doesn’t help the situation.
6) Use empathy – Say words such as “You are really mad, I understand”. “I know you are really upset. I love you.
7) Makeup – They need to apologize to whoever they got angry towards. If their behavior is bad, they need to know their behavior may have been bad but they are not a bad person. We just need to learn to manage the anger better.
8) Get Professional help – If things don’t seem to be getting better, seek a professional. There could be other things going on that you are either not aware of or could be some of the cause of it. I know we never want to believe we are causing something negative like that but it can happen.