Anger is a normal emotion; however it can quickly turn into aggression, disrespect, defiance, and temper tantrum if your child is unable to deal with his emotions.
If left unchecked, this aggression in children including teasing and fighting could result in academic problems, poor mental health, and peer rejection in adulthood.
The following anger management techniques for kids can greatly help parents when it comes to anger management for kids:
Be calm during a blow-up
It is very important for parents to remain calm when things start to escalate. It is very easy to start yelling and look fed-up. A cold, terse attitude at such a time will not be of help but will definitely worsen the situation.
Instead, keep your tone sweet and your composure calm. Your body language should convey empathy and compassion. Anger management for kids becomes very simple when you show loving support and do not try to lecture at such a time.
Offer comfort touches (a hug or rub his back) and keep your words at a minimum as this is not a teachable moment. When you speak use a calm, neutral tone and repeat the same phrase.
When they are angry children are not processing information; therefore, repetition ensures that they hear what you are saying.
Start with yourself
The best technique in anger management for kids is to show them how they can deal with their emotions when they are angry by following your example. If you repeatedly lose your temper in front of your kid, he is also likely to do the same.
However, if you deal with your feelings in a calm, rational manner, he is also likely to follow suit.
Although, it is vital to keep your child away from grown-ups problems tell him when you feel frustrated and how you handle angry feelings. This will help your child understand that adults get angry too.
If you do lose your temper in front of your kids, take responsibility for your actions.
Apologize and discuss with your children what you should have done instead to diffuse the situation.
Teach problem solving techniques
When your child is calm help him to communicate his feelings and encourage him to come up with solutions that can help solve conflicts before they turn into full-scale aggressive outbursts.
Try to come up with a few different solutions and then try one to find if it works. If not then move to another solution.
Another important thing when you are looking for ways of anger management for kids is to avoid triggers.
According to research, most kids have meltdowns at particular times like bedtime, homework time, or when it is time to stop playing (be it PlayStation or Lego).
The trigger is usually when the children are asked to stop doing something they like or to do something they do not like.
Time warnings (bedtime in 10 minutes), preparing your child for situations (ask your brother for permission before playing with his favorite toy car) and breaking down tasks into one-minute directions (wear your jacket first then we will go to the park) can help avoid meltdowns.
Establish anger rules
Different families have different rules regarding what behavior is acceptable and what isn’t when it comes to anger. Some parents do not mind voices being raised or doors being slammed while others do not tolerate such behavior.
Write down rules that mirror your expectations. Stress upon respectful behavior towards others at all times.
Address issues like name calling, destruction of property, and physical aggression so that your child knows that such behavior is not permissible when he is mad.
Motivate with consequences
Motivate your child with positive consequences when he upholds the anger rules such as the token economy or reward system and apply negative consequences when he breaks them. These may include loss of privileges or time out.
Suggest ways to your child to help manage their anger
Kids require skills to manage their anger. Anger management for kids becomes easy when you make a list with your child of constructive ways to handle emotion. Some anger management activities for kids are as follows:
- Go to a quiet place
- Breathing exercises. Ask your child to deeply breathe in through his nose while you count to four and then breathe out from the mouth while you count to eight
- Put on some music and dance
- Watch a favorite movie
- Play a board game
- Make a drawing or color in a coloring book
- Move to another room away from the trouble
You can also try some anger management worksheets for kids. These worksheets help people understand their behavioral and physical responses to anger.
Some kids find it hard to manage their anger at all times. Make sure that your child is sleeping well, eating sufficiently and is not under any undue pressure to excel in school. Your help and guidance will definitely help him develop better-coping skills for anger.