When I was a young kid, I got angry a lot. I don’t remember exactly why, but I do recall anger being a tool that I used to keep people away from me. I realized early on that if I got really mad at my siblings or someone else, they would leave me alone. It worked.
Fortunately I was taught how to manage that anger. Stopping the outbursts early was really beneficial to me and those around me. In this video, we are discussing anger management for children. How do we identify if there is a problem, and what can we do about it. How do you know if your child has anger issues?
Here are a few common signs:
- Your child has trouble calming down
- They are routinely not considerate of other people’s feelings
- Maybe they constantly need to be reminded about controlling their temper or they are just often aggressive towards others
So what are some ways we can help our kids manage their anger?
#1) Monkey See, Monkey do – Take a look at your own actions. Do you yell a lot?. Do you get angry often? We want to make sure we are providing a good example of how to handle our emotions. It’s hard to teach it if you are not practicing it yourself.
#2) Talk about feelings – Teach your child all about the different emotions. It’s great to feel and show emotion, but we need to be able to identify our feelings and manage our emotions properly. Talking about their feelings and improving their emotional intelligence will help them understand what they may be feeling.
#3) Teach Coping Skills – Things like squeezing a towel, or hitting a punching bag or even a pillow, will allow them to release some of the energy that is generated from anger. Some less intense options would be to self-talk, use breathing techniques, or even create a calm spot in the house where they can go to chill out.
#4) Establish anger rules – On a normal day when they are calm, establish family or house rules for when we feel angry. This means no slamming doors, no throwing things, no physically touching someone else, etc. You are going to have to abide by these rules as well.
#5) Minimize talking – Nobody hears anything when they are angry. If you speak to them during their anger, be calm, neutral and say as few of words as necessary. You can be firm but yelling back at them is not going to teach them anything.
#6) Use empathy – Say words such as “I can see you are really mad. I understand”. or “I know you are really upset. I love you.” Empathy will let them know you hear and understand them. Sometimes that may be all that they need.
#7) Makeup – They need to apologize to the person they got mad at and make amends. Teach them a phrase such as “I’m sorry. I could have probably handled that situation a lot better” Also make it clear to the child that it is their behavior that was bad, they are not a bad person. We all make mistakes. We just need to learn to manage the anger and can do it better next time.
#8) Get Professional help – There could be other things going on that you not aware of or you could actually be causing it. I know as parents we never want to believe we are causing something negative like that, but it can happen.