Uncover the secrets behind your child’s anger, delve into their behaviour, and unlock expert tips to empower you in effectively guiding your child towards managing their anger with success.
Imagine a world where children hold the tools to transform their anger into a force for growth and understanding. A world where destructive outbursts and hurtful words become relics of the past. This world is not only possible but within our reach.
I remember it vividly, the scene replays: I stand there, as my sweet 6-year-old unleashes a storm of screams and kicks on the kitchen floor. His disappointment from a drawing that didn’t work out fuels the fury. Clenched fists and gritted teeth, the intensity so strong, he literally shakes with anger, turning red before my eyes. Does this ring a bell?
Childhood anger is a complex and challenging emotion that can sometimes overwhelm young minds. The intensity of anger may drive children to engage in destructive behaviors or unleash hurtful words upon others. However, with the right guidance and effective techniques, even young children can learn to perceive anger from a different perspective and regain control over their emotions (Snowden, 2018).
Anger management techniques have proven beneficial not only for children but also for adults. These invaluable approaches plant the seeds of lifelong habits, empowering children to steer their anger down a path of health and constructive expression.
By providing children with the freedom to choose the strategies that resonate with them, we gift them with a lifetime of emotional resilience and well-being. Welcome to a world where childhood anger finds its rightful place as a catalyst for positive transformation.
What Lies Beneath…
What is Anger?
You survived the terrible twos, wrangled the dreaded threenager and thought it would be a smoother road from here on in.
No matter how much time and effort you’ve invested in nurturing and parenting with compassion, it can be disheartening to find yourself still confronted with an angry child. It can feel like a frustrating déjà vu of those toddler years, leaving you wondering what more you can do to help them navigate their emotions.
Well, this time it’s not just a simple case of ‘age and stage‘.
You’re completely taken aback, scratching your head, wondering where this sudden surge of anger is coming from. The truth is, it’s got you gobsmacked.
The anger seems to always be simmering just beneath the surface, ready to boil over at any given moment.
I’ve witnessed countless parents facing similar challenges, and I’m here to provide you with the knowledge and expertise you need to navigate this turbulent terrain.
uAnger isn’t inherently bad; it’s a natural and valid emotion that we all experience at times. It can be a helpful emotion for children when channelled and understood appropriately. Anger serves as a powerful signal that something is bothering them or that something isn’t right. Embracing this fiery emotion empowers children to advocate for themselves, establish healthy boundaries, and courageously address injustices they encounter. It can ignite a sense of passion and determination to effect positive change in their lives and the world around them.
Understanding what our child is going through (and teaching them what they are going through) will help get your child onto the path to peace.
Rather than demonizing anger, it’s crucial to recognize it as merely a signal from the body and mind that something is amiss. It can indicate unmet needs, frustration, or injustice. Viewing anger as a messenger helps us approach it with curiosity and a problem-solving mindset. By addressing the underlying issues causing the anger, we can help our child to work towards resolutions and promote healthier emotional well-being for them and those around.
Fundamentally we need to distinguish between the emotion and the behaviours that arise from anger. Download the Anger Emotional Awareness activity for your child here.
What we see on the surface when someone displays anger may not fully capture what they are feeling inside. When it comes to anger, the behaviours that come along with it are often seen as negative because, let’s face it, they tend to impact those around and really affect us (parents). For a child who hasn’t quite mastered the art of expressing their emotions verbally, they will often show it instead, the only way they know how, in ways that catch us off guard. We’re talking about the classic yelling, aggression, and maybe even some physical outbursts. As uncomfortable as it may make us feel, these behaviors serve as a pretty effective way for kids to let us, their parents, know that they’re feeling angry. It’s their own unique language of frustration.
You know what?
Even us adults, with our fully developed brains and years of experience, can struggle when it comes to dealing with anger. Let’s be real, it’s not the most pleasant or easy emotion to handle. And yet, somehow, we expect our children and teens to magically “manage” their anger when they find themselves in stressful situations. It’s a bit of a double standard, isn’t it?
When guided and supported, children can learn to harness the energy of anger to navigate challenges, communicate their needs effectively, and develop valuable skills for emotional resilience and assertiveness.
How Can Kids Learn How to Control Their Explosive Behaviour?
Alright, here’s the deal: if we want to help our kids to handle their anger, the first step is to give them the lowdown on what anger actually is and make it crystal clear that feeling angry is totally normal and something that everyone experiences from time to time.
In our Connected Kids Academy groups, children as young as 4 have the opportunity to hear stories from their peers about times and situations where they experienced anger. We talk about those familiar situations that bug us all, whether it’s at home or school. It’s a chance for them to connect, share, and realize that they’re not the only ones dealing with those frustrating moments.
Next, we take a deep dive into emotional understanding, where we uncover the hidden feelings that often lie beneath the surface of anger. You see, anger tends to act as the bodyguard or enforcer, protecting a multitude of other emotions that have been silently simmering within. It’s like a complex dance of emotions, with anger taking center stage while other underlying feelings have been silently at play. By unraveling these intricate layers, we can gain a deeper understanding of what truly drives anger and help children navigate and express their emotions in a healthier and more authentic way.
With our approach, we empower children with strategies to effectively communicate their anger. We place strong emphasis on the importance of expressing emotions while maintaining respect and objectivity, steering clear of blame or escalating the situation. By teaching kids to peacefully voice their feelings, they experience a profound sense of relief, while others gain a deeper understanding of their emotions and the underlying reasons behind them. By providing kids with tools to express their emotions in a respectful and objective manner, we empower them to feel understood without the need to act out or behave in an unruly way. This sense of control over their emotions allows them to navigate challenging situations with greater confidence and composure and fosters stronger connections and mutual understanding between parent and child.
Befriending ANGER- What Can Parents to do Help Their Children Handle Anger?
1.Recognizing and Validating Your Child’s Emotions:
To help your child with anger, it’s essential to create a safe and supportive space where they can freely express their emotions without fear of judgment. Let them know that feeling angry is a normal and valid part of life. Foster open communication by actively listening to their thoughts and feelings, and demonstrating empathy and understanding. By acknowledging and validating their emotions, you provide them with a sense of being heard and supported in their journey of managing anger effectively.
Create a safe and supportive space for your child to express their anger without judgment.
Let them know that it’s okay to feel angry and that their emotions are valid.
Encourage open communication and actively listen to your child’s thoughts and feelings. Validate their feelings by acknowledging and empathizing with their experiences.
By accepting their emotions, you help them feel understood and supported.
2.Teach Effective Strategies & Techniques:
Support your child in developing practical and healthy strategies to manage their anger effectively. Encourage them to pause and reflect on their emotions, emphasizing that feeling angry is normal but expressing it in a healthy and controlled manner is crucial. Teach them calming techniques such as positive self-talk and nervous system resetting exercises that resonate with them. Additionally, encourage engagement in activities like drawing, writing, or physical exercise, which can serve as outlets for their anger and aid in emotional regulation. Collaborate with your child to identify the strategies that work best for them and establish a routine of practicing these techniques regularly for optimal anger management.
Help your child develop practical and healthy strategies for managing their anger.
Encourage them to take a pause and identify their emotions, helping them understand that it’s okay to feel angry but it’s essential to express it in a healthy and controlled way.
Teach them calming techniques (eg self talk and nervous system resetting) that they respond well to.
Encourage them to engage in activities like drawing, writing, or physical activity that assist with regulations and are useful as outlets for their anger.
Work together to identify what strategies work best for them and practice them regularly.
3. Normalizing & Modeling the Experience of Anger
To help your child with anger, it’s important to share your own experiences with anger in an age-appropriate manner. Discuss how you personally manage anger and highlight that it is a natural and normal part of being human. As children learn by observing their parents, it’s crucial to model healthy ways of dealing with anger. Demonstrate qualities like patience, empathy, and problem-solving skills when faced with challenging situations. By showing your child how to express anger without resorting to aggression or destructive behaviour, you empower them with effective alternatives. Additionally, remember to praise and reinforce positive behaviour when your child manages their anger constructively. This encouragement helps them build confidence and reinforces positive coping mechanisms for future situations.
Share your own experiences with anger in an age-appropriate manner.
Discuss how you manage your own anger and emphasize that it is a normal part of being human.
Children learn by observing their parents’ actions, so it’s crucial to model healthy ways of dealing with anger.
Demonstrate patience, empathy, and problem-solving skills when you encounter challenging situations.
Show your child that it’s possible to express anger without resorting to aggression or destructive behavior.
Additionally, praise and reinforce positive behavior when your child manages their anger constructively, helping them build confidence and reinforcing positive coping mechanisms.
Nurturing Big Emotions
The journey to understanding and guiding our children through anger is a transformative one. As a parent helping your child navigate and manage their anger, you have the opportunity to delve beyond their behavior, opening the door to empower them with effective tools.
It is through this process that we unlock the potential for our children to successfully manage their anger, paving the way for growth, understanding, and emotional well-being.
No longer must anger be a destructive force in our children’s lives. With the right guidance, they can learn to harness the power of their emotions and transform anger into a catalyst for positive change. By providing them with a safe and supportive environment to express their feelings, teaching them practical strategies for managing anger, and modeling healthy responses to our own emotions, we equip them with the skills they need to navigate life’s challenges.
As an expert in children’s emotional development, I invite you to take the next step in supporting your child’s emotional well-being.
Take a look at our upcoming Workshop specifically for children How to Calm my Storm where we unlock the power within your child to conquer anger and cultivate calm.
By working together, we can uncover the unique source behind your child’s anger, delve into their response to anger (behaviour), and unlock personalized strategies that empower them to effectively manage their emotions. Through our collaboration, your child will gain invaluable tools to transform their anger into a force for growth, understanding, and positive change.
But the benefits extend beyond your child. As a parent, you will experience the joy of witnessing your child’s emotional growth and resilience. You will gain a deeper understanding of your child’s needs and be equipped with practical techniques to create a more supportive environment for their emotional development and develop a stronger relationship.