Sunday, 29 September 2013

How to teach your child to deal with anger.

As adults, we have a pretty wide range of strategies for controlling our anger. That is what we like to think and we also compliment ourselves on our self-control. We can use strategies such as turning away, counting to ten, taking time out and of course talking about it and verbalizing the whole anger issue.

But sometimes, we too lose control and we all have had flashes of temper. Outbursts, shouting matches and even banging doors.

Our kids have very little experience of anger so the initial temper tantrum, outburst, and violent physical reaction are all ways which seems perfectly natural and instinctive to them.  But how do we help our kids to control their anger issues?

Younger kids are simply unable to verbalize their feelings or even talk about how they felt afterwards. But with older kids, there are many ways that we can raise the whole anger issue.

The secret to good parenting is to help the child to channel his or her anger and to be aware that violent reactions can only worsen the situation.  Channelling anger into harmless physical activities such as games and sports usually works quite well.

But first we need to be aware of the situations where the child is liable to get angry and to steer clear of these situations, if at all possible. The school setting will not be under our control which is why it is so important to give the child strategies that he or she can put into practice when the need arises.

Here are some things that make children angry and want to lash out:-
  • frustration
  • loneliness
  • lack of friendship
  • hunger
  • tiredness
  • pain or discomfort
With younger kids, parents can help them understand what is going on by telling stories and using these as an example.  Talking about anger afterwards and helping kids to manage their issues more safely and in a more socially acceptable way is also excellent.

 Using the story as a basis, talk about:-
  • how they feel
  • possible reactions
  • alternative ways of dealing with the issue
Here is one great story which does this very well as kids can easily identify with the tiger in the situation in which he finds himself. 

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