Anger is that emotion that causes children to feel angry, irritable, resentful or angry at a situation that they do not like or cause frustration.
Anger has two forms of expression, one more internal in which it increases the heart rate, the blood pressure and the adrenaline; and a more external one in which the expression changes, the child raises the tone of his voice, his muscles tense… In a moment of anger, children can yell, break things, throw objects, hit or insult.
What can we parents do if our children react with anger? On our site we tell you 7 techniques that help children manage anger.
Anger is not an easy emotion for children to handle, the younger the worse. Not all children respond to the same situation with anger, but if the child does, we must teach him to channel it.
1- Keep calm: Parents have to show an example of an angry reaction in the child and avoid yelling, slamming doors or shaking the child. For the child to learn to manage anger, he has to see how we do it, even at times when it is easy to lose patience. In fact, when faced with an attack of anger in the child, it is possible that if our response is aggressive, the anger of the child increases even more.
2- Teach him to recognize anger: When the child is in a fit of anger it is difficult to negotiate or talk with him, but when the tantrum has passed, it is time to talk about what happened. You can put your own name to what happened and ask him so that he can explain why he reacted like this and how he feels afterwards.
3- Teach the child to act without anger: Many times children respond with anger because they lack skills to act in another way, they do not know how to solve a problem. To help them, we must train them to learn to:
- Identify what caused your moment of anger.
- Help you give solutions for upcoming situations.
- Explain what will happen if the response is anger and what will happen when the response is calmer.
- Reinforce the child if his response is not angry.
- If it was, go over what happened with him, explain what went wrong and how he can act better on another occasion.
4- Help him express anger: The impulse of the child who does not know how to handle his anger is to insult, hit or break things. If your child usually responds like this, let him do some activities that allow him to explore those emotions: like drawing, painting, or writing. You will learn to understand what happens to you, why and how to avoid it.
5- Teach him to release tension: sport is an excellent vehicle to channel anger and stress, releases endorphins and contributes to a feeling of well-being. Playing sports on a regular basis can help your child manage anger, as can activities that involve relaxation such as yoga or mindfulness.
6- Develop self-control strategies: Explain what self-control consists of, for example: not reacting badly if television time is over, if you have to clean up your room or if a child takes a toy from you. A good self-control technique is the stoplight. It is an exercise in which you are given a response to a certain behavior. To carry it out you need to explain to the child how a traffic light works and also, you must have 3 cards with 3 different colors: red, yellow and green. When you show him the red card, it means that the child must stop because he is not controlling his anger and the situation has gotten out of control, the yellow card indicates that he must analyze what is happening and why he is behaving like this and the green one serves to can express what you feel.
7- Encourage empathy: it is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish in children. It implies that the children understand the other and put themselves in their place, something essential for them to be able to manage anger.
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