Everyone experiences anger at time, from little ones to adults, and those with a natural proclivity toward anger have a more difficult time. Part of parenting is finding a way to help children calm down regardless of their emotions, in any situation. This becomes especially important for little ones who are preparing to enter a classroom in a preschool or a school setting. Here are a few ways to help you little one get a grip on their anger.
Create a Strong Connection with Your Child
Children who are share a strong bond with their parent(s) have less anger. These connected children have a positive sense of self, well-being, peace, and contentment. He or she will be able to control anger, not allowing it to completely overwhelm. Attached parents know their children so well, direction and discipline come more easily, allowing them to help their children handle circumstances and situations that bring on anger. For parents, this means listening to children, when upset and anger arises, and letting them express their feelings, which in turn helps them calm down. Parents who model calmness, also have greater success at helping their children calm down.
Children who do not have this connection with their parents often experience anger issues into adulthood. Anger, like this, leads to anger within families, and rifts between parents and children throughout their lives.
Sympathy and Release
When anger is rising, listening with a calm and sympathetic ear is crucial. What might seem miniscule to you, is likely of great importance to your little one. Supporting their feelings and emotions is important. In addition, you need to encourage your child to recognize when anger is rising. As they learn and you listen attentively, asking thoughtful questions, and presenting alternate views, your child will continue to grow in learning the fine art of releasing anger and regaining calmness.
Anger is Okay
Since emotions are part of everyday life, including your children’s development, you need to let them know that is okay. Everyone gets mad at times, but children need to learn there are consequences for uncontrolled behaviors as a result. Your discipline should always be aimed at behaviors, not at the emotion of getting angry.
If your child seems angry and acting out more often than not, it is important that you seek the reason. In most cases, something is upsetting your child – sometimes it is a family issue (like stressed out parents) or an issue in which the child feels threatened (like a bully at school). You can work to undo this ongoing anger by taking an assessment of the people in your child’s life, those who have the most influence and adjust accordingly. Always encourage your child, letting him or her know you will be there – helping him or her through the difficulty and the anger.
Outlets – Laughter Included
If you see anger rising in your child, try humor to diffuse the situation before it escalates. Often humor and a good attitude can win the day. Always remember to model right behavior in any situation where your own anger rears its ugly head. If you spill coffee on your new outfit as you head out the door, don’t rant, instead show your child that laughing at mistakes and solving the complication is a better solution than anger and ranting. Laughter is a great outlet for anger, but there are others.
You’ve probably noticed that children who tend toward anger are often physically aggressive. When anger rises and laughter won’t work, it is important to give your child another outlet to release the tension – it could be as simple as counting to ten and taking a deep breath, putting their hands in their pockets, squeezing a favorite stuffed animal, or getting a hug from mom or dad.
Always remember anger is not right or wrong – but rather the actions that follow. Build a healthy relationship with your child, teaching them how to handle anger in appropriate ways, always modeling thoughtful, positive responses.