Anger in your child is due to the build-up of different stress-creating situations that is happening, or has happened in the past. Your child become angry in different situations like if their peers jeer or tease them, or if they compelled to do something not to their liking, or if others push or hit them, or if somebody takes away their things, or if their peers refuse to mingle with them, and such.
After the initial arousal of anger, different children find different ways of expressing their anger. Children form different ideas about expressing their anger.
They normally view expression of anger in video games, television programs, movies, or by reading books. Some sulk or cry while some others resort to physical means of assaulting. Some abuse others verbally and some others try to move away from the situation and seek refuge in the company of elders like teachers and parents.
Children would usually thereafter open their heart out about any specific incidents triggering anger in them.
The third step involves evaluation of anger. Your child has limited knowledge and ability to manage many situations they are facing with. Therefore, for you as a parent, you will need to guide them to evaluate their feelings of anger. You can help your child manage anger in the following ways:
You need to be responsible for expression of your anger, acknowledge its existence, and adopt non aggressive methods of expression. As your children normally emulate your actions and expressions, they also adopt such defensive methods of expression of anger.
This shuns aggressiveness.
Develop a healthy attitude of expression of all kinds of emotion in your child. Do not label anger as any bad or a shameful emotion to your child. You can also try to categorize different levels of anger as annoyed, mad, irritated accordingly.
Your child will feel free to express their degree of anger in such relative terms. However, keep to specific boundaries and limits to develop a disciplined attitude in your child.
Stories and Books
You can explain different anger management techniques as available in different stories and books to your child. However, you need to preview such books before presenting to them, as some of them might fuel irresponsible expressions and management of anger.
Suppression of anger is very dangerous and detrimental to health. Therefore, encourage your child to express or talk about their anger, and lend a kind ear to their expressions. Giving vent to anger solves most of the problems arising from anger.
Besides, these also help them to voice out their anger arousing situations or incidents.
Start teaching your child at a young age about the ways to control and manage their own anger effectively without bringing any harm to their own self or others. Learning such skills in their early childhood period can help them to grow and develop similar skills in later life too.
Hence, although anger is a natural human emotion, you need to discuss and teach your child about the different aspects of anger. Your child’s uncontrolled anger very often leads to many complications to yourself, your child and others. Therefore, curb these fiery emotions right from childhood.
Additionally, you can also explain the ill effects and negativity of anger to your child at times. Slowly, with time and age, your child will adopt a non aggressive and harmless method of managing their own anger.
Excerpted from “Child Anger Revealed” by Jamie Sullivan. Reprinted with permission.
Note: As of this article is posted, Jamie is offering a special price for her book Child Anger Revealed. You can get a copy at a lower price during the promotion. Alternatively, read our Child Anger Revealed review to find out more about the book. When I wrote the review, the price then was $27.