How many times have you come across a situation where you see a child throwing a tantrum over something tiny and a parent standing beside the kid helpless, not knowing how to help the child control his anger or reduce the tantrums? It is not an unfamiliar sight anymore. Many kids now have anger issues that lead to the throwing of tantrums and fits. Many times the child wants to control his behaviour but the anger consumes him/her. Therefore the child must be taught anger management to control and manage his anger when it goes out of hand.
Here are 6 Tips to Manage Anger in Kids:
1.Identification of feelings
Teach your child how to identify his feelings whether he is feeling sad, overwhelmed or angry. This can help him/her communicate with you as to how he/she feels at that particular moment. Many times children become aggressive due to feeling sad or overwhelmed. Make sure you talk to your child often about feelings. A way of encouraging your child to communicate regarding his feelings is to teach by example. Tell him/her how you feel. Be vocal about your feelings so that your children are also vocal with you.
2. Stay composed
It is easy to feel angry when dealing with an aggressive or angry child. But who said raising children was going to be easy. If you can manage to stay calm and composed, your child may learn from you and begin to calm himself in difficult situations
3. Be unbothered if the anger is to get something
Kids often get angry when they do not get something they want. It is their mechanism to get what they want. As parents, you mustn't give in to your child’s anger. If you do, it will become obvious to them that all they have to do to get what they want is just get angry. Giving in might seem like an easy solution but it does more harm than good in the long run.
4. Help with anger management practices
Teaching your child anger management practices can go a long way in helping your child controls his behaviour. An effective practice is to do deep breathing. Teach your child how to take deep breaths in a go and then release them slowly. This helps to calm the anger. Another way is to sit with them and ask him/her to sit down and think of a beach or just swimming in water or doing their favourite activity. Take him out for a walk in case you think it will help the child.
5. Develop techniques or use creative ideas to calm your child
Parents can develop techniques to calm their child. A quick technique is to have an anger-out chair in the house. This is where your child goes and sits whenever he/she is angry and can get up only once they have calmed down. Children are impatient and will calm down quickly since they would want to get out of the chair Parents can also get creative and create an anger meter on a sheet of paper and hang it where it is visible. Write down degrees of anger ranging from lowest to highest and ask your child to pinpoint what level of anger he/she feels from one to ten.
Parents could also motivate the child to engage in activities like colouring a book, drawing, taking a small nap, or reading a book that would help calm anger.
6. Appreciate proper behaviour
A child should not have the misunderstanding that bad behaviour has no consequences. This means that a child should be punished by taking away television privileges or less playtime. Whenever a child behaves appropriately, his behaviour should be appreciated. Do not give rewards like sweets or chocolates. Instead, parents can make a list of reward points that the child gets which can be redeemed for a new interactive toy or book.
Sometimes anger may also be a cry for help. This behaviour might be as a result of a particular change, or some other underlying health issue. Identify what triggers anger in your child so that you can take precautionary measures beforehand. If you have difficulty controlling your child’s behaviour, ask the child’s paediatrician for help. They are trained professionals and would know how to help in anger management.