If you are a parent, you know that it is often difficult to handle your children’s angry behavior. Anger is a normal emotion but for children it can be confusing and frustrating. Not being able to articulately express it will result in tantrums and screaming matches.
When you choose to ignore or mishandle your children’s anger, more issues precede it like aggression, bullying, selfishness or ungratefulness. As parents, you want to raise well-mannered children but an angry child one can be demanding and exhausting.
How to manage your child’s anger?
Your child’s anger can be caused by various reasons. However, because of this strong, intense emotion you view this as bad behavior. Therapists and counselors near me say that expressing their anger in unsubtle ways is their way of communicating. Since they are young, this feeling is overwhelming and they do not have the skills yet to manage it in an appropriate way.
1. Stay calm and focused.
When your child is acting up, you want to respond to their outburst in a negative way. You want to scream at them, spank or scold them but you must control yourself. You need to calm down and be mindful with your words and actions. Make sure that you do not say or do anything that will cause them to be aggressive and defiant.
2. Do not yell at your child.
There will be times when you want to challenge your kids and yell at them. Instead of pacifying them, this will only lead to more outbursts and tantrums. The best thing you can do is look for ways that will calm them down like giving their favorite toy, singing their favorite songs or watching an interesting movie.
3. Initiate positive reinforcement.
Your child’s anger escalates when you punish them for their rude behavior according to therapists and counselors near me. No matter how many times you do this, kids tend to forget that they have done something terrible and only remember the punishment. Rather than punishing them, give them a reward for their good behavior. Their good deed will likely occur again because of a positive reinforcement.
4. Praise good behavior.
Aside from giving them rewards, compliment them whenever they do simple, good things. When they take out the trash, praise them for helping in the house. When they get a good grade in school, let them know that they are excellent students. Commending their good behavior makes them happy.
5. Encourage physical activities.
It is not uncommon to find angry and impatient children who spend so much time on gadgets. They are easily annoyed and irritated when things do not go their way. It is hard for parents to discourage screen time but looking for ways to make them more active and play outside brings more benefits. Studies show that active children are happier and calmer.
6. Do not let them manipulate you.
Kids throw tantrums because they want to control the situation. They want you to give in to their demands or else they will scream and cry. As much as you want to surrender, never let them manipulate you. This will just give them the upper hand and use tantrums to get your attention and their wishes.
7. Teach them to express their emotions in healthy ways.
Validate their feelings and tell them that it is okay to be angry. Encourage them to use their words in expressing their anger. Teach them healthy coping skills. If they want to have ice cream for dinner, do not yell at them but explain why it is not good to eat one. If they feel that they are losing their temper, train them to go to a quiet corner and count down.
8. Find a safe and quiet place.
When your child is having an outburst in a public place, take them to a quiet place and try calming them down. This takes off the pressure from people staring and judging you. This allows you to solely focus on your child and ask what is wrong. The less noise there is, the faster your child calms down.
9. Avoid triggering situations.
There will be instances where you know what exactly triggers your child’s anger. It could be a sibling snatching their toys or when they are reprimanded for their behavior. There are children who feel uneasy when asked to talk to a stranger or they need to stop playing. You need to find the best ways to deal with your children in any given situation that you know will result in an outburst.
10. Model healthy anger management skills.
They say that children do not listen to your advice but they copy your actions and behavior. Make sure that you also know how to handle your own anger. Show them how you handle your emotions. Admitting that you are angry and want to have a time-out is not a sign of weakness. They will easily pick up the way you deal with your anger in a gentle, calming and matured way.
When to ask for help?
Parents often perceive their child’s anger as a form of rebellion. It is the dire need to get attention and give in to their demands. It is okay to ignore their meltdowns and tantrums. But when they happen too often and already involve physically hurting themselves and others, you need to immediately intervene and seek help.
Mindshift Psychological Services provides behavioral approaches and techniques that will regulate their aggressive behavior. Speaking with a therapist or counselor will guide parents how to consistently manage their children’s tantrums and meltdowns.
Visit our website to inquire of our services. You may also contact us at (714)584-9700.