Anger is the strongest emotion that often leaves children in distress. Yes, children do get angry. The reasons behind their anger could be anything – from losing a game to not getting their food on time. Sometimes, emotional or physical pain could be the cause of anger too. If you expect your toddler or teen or learn anger management tactics easily, you need to be patient! Children have a different response to their emotions.
Handling a child’s anger is often draining, distressing and bewildering for adults. However, instead of tutoring the child, parents, teachers, and counselors should remember that we did not learn the theory of anger management in childhood. Wrongly though, we were made to accept that anger is bad and we should be guilty of such behavior. As the first step, we need to get rid of this strange notion. Just like any other emotion, anger in children should be addressed thoughtfully. Only then, as parents, we can overcome anger issues in children.
Anger Management in Toddlers & Preschoolers – Do’s and Don’ts
#1: Do Understand Your Child’s Anger
- Before helping your kid deal with anger, parents should have an open mind.
- Remember, what you see is just the reaction of an angry child – you have to understand why your little one is so angry?
- Sometimes, the reasons for anger in children can be startling. Firstly, parents cannot imagine that a toddler can be angry, and for what reason!
- Acknowledge your child’s feelings and empathize with him.
- Do not discount the child’s anger or experience as it might just intensify his anger.
#2: Do Not Yell At Your Angry Child
- If your kid has come back from school in a very foul mood, do not yell back.
- Yelling at a child can only increase his frustration and he might never open up.
- Children do have grave issues in mind, which parents should understand and prevent anoutburst.
- Stay calm and let him express.
#3: Do Not Tease/Taunt
- Toddlers are too sensitive to handle. If you taunt or tease them when they are angry, you are encouraging them.
- Parenting an angry child is difficult – instead of making fun of the situation, understand how badly your child is affected.
- Allow your children to feel all feelings. Instead of terming anger as “bad”, explain that it is an emotion too.
- Do not go down to the child’s level and shout.
#4: Do Pay Attention to Children’s Physical Reactions
- Toddlers express their feelings through their physical reactions. Pay attention.
- If your child is fidgety, there must be something wrong at school or with friends.
- Notice any cuts/wounds on their body.
- Give your child an affectionate hug, a nice bath, and his favorite meal.
#5: Do Teach Anger Management Tactics
- Talk it out with your kid – ask questions, let him ask questions, and reply
- Dealing with anger in children involves patience. You have to teach your child how to breathe deeply and easily when emotions are heightened
- Tutor him to handle his anger by looking at the ground – age old stories we have heard
- If someone speaks dirty words, teach him to deliberately ignore such behavior
- Use rewards and promises to make your child smile once again
Anger Management in Teens – Do’s and Don’ts
Toddlers and above are still easier to deal with, but teenagers are not! Parenting angry teenagers can be a challenge. What begins with anger goes on to become moodiness and aggressive behavior. While psychological and hormonal reasons are often responsible factors, there may be deep-seated tension and stress factors too.
#1: Don’t Call Names or Curse
- Aggressive behavior in children is terrifying. Parents have a tough time handling it. Still, you should not take names, curse or yell at your teen
- Teenagers are very sensitive. They can hide their emotions very well. So, if you were verbally abusive, it would only make things worse.
#2: Do Not Try to Control Your Teen
- Do not try to control an angry child. Anger leads to fury and misbehavior that is avoidable with love and compassion.
- Do not hold your teen accountable for situations. Do not threaten them with consequences.
- Don’t set limits.
- Don’t get physical.
#3: Don’t Try to Win
- To help your kid deal with his anger, try not to compete and win.
- Give your child the space he needs to cope up with his anger.
- Because he is angry, he is guilty too. Understand that.
- Do not punish.
#4: Do Comfort and Empathize With Your Teen
- Deal with your teen’s anger sensibly. Talk to him, let him speak, and empathize.
- Try to comfort him with a broad smile, a warm hug, and a nice meal.
- Let him burst. It would help you to understand the reason behind the bad body role he is playing.
#5: Do Remind your Teen of His Good Behavior
- When your teen is losing his mind, remind him of how good he has always been.
- Forget your distress and reward him.
- Discipline your child with rewards rather than threats or consequences.
- Understand the cause of pressure and anger.
#6: Do Show Your Love and Affection
- Shower your child with love and affection. He needs you the most.
- Be humorous and help him to overcome his anger.
- Consider depression – a very common problem in teenagers due to environmental and social stress.
- Never quit trying.
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Finally, your child learns from you. Role modeling is the best way to teach your toddlers and teens how to behave in distress. This one anger management technique begins at home. If you do not want your child do behave aggressively, or irrationally, do not behave that way.