Managing anger and learning to cope up with the negative aspects of anger is what makes us better human beings. Parents can help their children acknowledge their anger, and overcome it using a few tested methods.
Practical Methods to Overcome Anger
A child should be able to express negative feelings without being judged:
An angry person doesn’t want someone telling him not to feel the way he is feeling. This situation often makes an angry person either bottle up his feelings, or to shout back, both of which are detrimental to a situation.
Really listen to your child:
Children when angry, usually throw a tantrum to draw attention. Wait for the tantrum to subside, then listen to what the child wants to say before telling him/her what you think about the situation. Acknowledge that you are affected by him trying to draw attention. You can respond with, “You have my full attention now. Tell me what you want me to know”
Talk about your Child’s Feelings:
Ask the child what is frustrating him so much- “Can you talk to me about what is making you feel this way?”
You need to guide your child to take a moment to think about how he is feeling. If the child’s comment is hurtful, you might want to tell the child that the comment hurt your feelings.
If there is anger between siblings, instead of them fighting, you might want to ask the kids how to be fair in a situation, and make them contribute to the problem-solving process. This way they know that they can solve a problem without arguments or by venting out anger.
Explain it Again:
If you disagree with what your child is saying, instead of admonishing the child, you can ask him/her to repeat slowing again, so they are able to clarify their feelings.
Correcting and Discussing:
Even as you correct a child, talk about his behaviour at a given point. Instead of judging, try to picture with them the consequences of their behaviour and not just tell them what to do.
Set Limits and Let the Punishment Fit the Conduct:
Asking kids to go to their rooms is a good limit to set. You need to tell them that they have been sent to the room to calm themselves. When punishing a child, make sure that the punishment doesn’t supersede the gravity of the ‘crime’. If the child has spilt his cereal, he needs to clean up, and not be sent for ‘time-outs’
Notice and Praise Efforts in Managing Anger:
Always observe the child while he is being good, or doing something appropriate. The desire for being praised for good behaviour will encourage the child to keep up his good conduct. You can respond in this way, “I like the way you remained calm when your friend took your toys”
More importantly, children are watching you all the time. Before wanting to help your child manage his anger, it is important to note how you are managing your anger. Children imitate their parents. It is important to watch how you deal with difficult situations, and manage your anger. Set up an example by staying calm in stressful situations as it will inspire your child to follow your behaviour.