Anger is an emotion which is viewed in a rather negative light. But anger management in kids is a very crucial parenting task. Anger stems out of a situation that causes sadness, irritation, failure or embarrassment. An obvious reaction to that, whether it is an insignificant situation or an extreme one, would be anger. It is also important to understand that the negative behaviour which spills out of anger causes anger to be viewed as negative. If it is not managed effectively, it can lead to issues in child discipline as well. Many of us struggle with anger management issues with our children at home. The anger of a child can also frustrate us mostly because we believe that as adults, the authority lies in our hands.
Stop. First think about your own reaction to anger. How should you respond to your little one’s tantrum? It makes all the difference. A universal implication is that children see, observe, learn and practice what the parent behaviour contains. Not only will the child learn from you, but also the root of the issue will never be sorted. Be watchful of your reaction to an angry child. As soon as your child realises that you have a point of weakness, the immediate response would be to use it when there is a demand. So, what it is that you can avoid? We’ll look into three main areas here.
1. Never ask for explanations when the child is angry :
It would be futile to reason with a child at such a moment. But most of the time, her parent immediately demands reasons for her reaction. However, we must understand that most often a child herself is unaware of her reaction to anger. Instead, stay calm, respond with empathy, let her know that you can see anger in her reaction and that you will discuss about it later.
2. Don’t Jump to conclusions about your child’s anger :
There is always a reason for your child’s temper and toddler anger management is not very easy. The emotion of anger is justified by a prior situation while the behaviour/action might not be justified. Don’t be worried to think why your child would get so angry ‘without any reason’. Maybe you’ve not figured out the reason yet. Ignoring her anger would make her get the message that this huge emotion of her is unacceptable and that could lead her to frustration in the long run. You can always reward or punish her behaviour but her feeling must be acknowledged. You cannot be upset about the way your child feels. So,
- Accept her emotions
- Let her know that it’s ok to be angry
- Be compassionate when responding
- Talk about it later when she calms down
3. Don’t decide the consequence of her actions at the heat of the moment :
Obviously, an irresponsible action of your child requires an intervention of some kind, out of which a learning is established. However, if you set a consequence for her in the heat of the moment, it will surely be influenced by your own reaction. At that moment, when a boundary is drawn, the child only views it as hatred from your end and not being approached with an attitude of positive parenting. This view reinforces the behaviour pattern negatively especially when it has to do with temper tantrum. Therefore, allow your child to express herself and her behaviour can always be corrected at a later time when the kid is able to think a little more rationally. Of course, set limits to her actions. You can tell her to express her feelings the way she wants but not by hitting you. Once she can express her tantrum freely and have you on her side, she will reach the next stage of healing herself.
Hopefully our ideas will help you deal more effectively with your angry child. Do share your views on the same.