Guilt, disappointment, anger, so many negative things. An angry child brings all this to you with one single incident. You sometimes feel disappointment because you sacrifice a lot for them. Guilt because you sometimes yell at them, or slap them in return of their anger. You have hot heads because your child is just refusing to have a conversation with you no matter how hard you try. In such situations, as a grown up, we need to understand that it is absolutely fine with children having tantrums. Agreed that anger management for kids can be a challenge. However, remember that berating this behavior will just be like denying the natural behavior of the human being.
Is anger harmful to the children?
Children getting angry is as normal as any other emotion that they express. The root of the anger is frustration. But there is no need to consider it as bad for children. What counts is how we, as parents mold that anger in the right way and for the right thing. We see that young ones express their anger in a destructive way, which can be harmful to any relationship. In such cases, anger management for kids become too difficult. Chances can be we lose our calm too.
How do children learn about these destructive ways?
Parents, teachers or caretakers. The answer is an adult that is in contact with the children on daily basis. Children observe adults reaction in certain situations. We know, children are good imitators. Parents are their role models. If they see that their parents are not raising their voices even when they are throwing tantrums, it calms them down.
Let’s me explain it with an example. Kirti is a mother of an 11-year-old daughter, Yajna. Her recent unit test results weren’t satisfying for Kirti. She felt an utter need to discuss with Yajna about it.
Kirti tried conversing with Yajna few times. In return, the only answer she got was, ‘Don’t expect more marks from me than this. I get this effortlessly’, or ‘I don’t want to talk about it.’
Sometimes, Yajna, just banged the door to avoid this conversation with her mother. The only thing that Kirti maintained is her calm and composed gesture in front of Yajna, irrespective of the responses that she received.
One day calmly, Kirti again approached Yajna, said, ‘ if you wish to continue your badminton classes, you must sit and talk with me about your studies.’
What do you think was the result? Yajna threw her badminton bat, went inside the room and locked herself for hours. A couple of days passed normally after this incident. On the following Sunday, Yajna started studying. She came to her mother and said, ‘ Mom, I am unable to plan my studies, can you help me with it?’
Mamma, without saying a word about what happened in the past few days, said, ‘Yes, of course, I will come in five minutes.’ Do you know what the result was? There have been no tantrums between them since then.
Didn’t Kirti feel annoyed during this? Yes, she did. But what mattered was a go-to strategy of expressing her thoughts.
Here’s are some smart tips that will help parents in anger management for kids.
Well of course you know, slapping children never helps. It just can’t be the right way. But it’s not about that. It’s an acronym for 8 smart tips that will guide you to anger management for kids.
What are they?
D O N’ T
D – Do not blame or Complaint
Do you find yourself saying, ‘ You get angry for no reason’, ‘You deal with situations only by getting angry?’ These sentences are actually making mind blockages in your children. They will not have an open mind to take what we parents are trying to tell them. Rather they may get angrier. In such cases, the whole point of anger management for kids goes missing. Whenever the kid gets angry, we have a tendency to blame them. Kirti didn’t blame or complaint about Yajna’s anger. She also made a point that she can’t let go of this important conversation just like that.
We know the results!
O – Oppressed or Scared
Anger management for kids may be difficult, but with some smart ways, it can be made practical. ‘O’ stands for oppressed or scared. Parents need to analyze the reason behind the tantrums. When the children are oppressed, they refused to talk about anything. Reason being, they feel that they are not understood by their parents. Children want parents to accept them as grown-ups. Talk to them on the same level to make them feel understood. Secondly, the possibility is that children are afraid to open up with their parents. Reasons can be various. What if I fell? I don’t want my parents to disown me, what if they do? What if I will be all alone in life? All these questions are on top of their minds which triggers the anger. The only way to handle this is by empathizing with them.
N – No to Noise
Yes, it’s the key! Let children increase their voice. You as a parent do not increase your voice. If possible rather decrease it. Children will know, no matter how louder I become, my parents are always speaking with me in a soft and empathizing tone. Once they know this, they will also start discussing things in a low tone.
T – Timing the Discussion
When Kirti analyzed the scenario, she realized that her timing to start the discussion was wrong. Her daughter was already disturbed with low grades, and she pushing her to the conversation added to the further frustration. She thought of giving it a little time. We know the saying, time heals it all! That exactly what happened with Kirti & her daughter. Always time your discussion. It gives the best outcome.
S L A P
S – State the Issue directly
While starting a conversation with a child, it is always better to state the issue directly. Tell them where they are going, is it about their studies, is it about lack of cooperation, is that you fear your child is going to go off track. State the core issue to make the conversation simple and to the point.
L- Listen without Judgements
What children complain about the most?
“We hate to talk to our parents because they judge us, they cut us off mid-sentence and they make their own conclusions.” Children say that parents do not listen to their point of view. It annoys them when they are disrespected and judged all the time.
So, one, listen without judgments. Two, allow them to talk. Three, do not disrespect them. These three things will make the conversations go easier.
A- Agree for Changes
You better know what triggers your child. Do you often call them to know where they are? Do you blame them for every small thing? Are u giving them less pocket money? There can be any small reason that you may not be aware of. Know about it. Agree to change it. At least have a non-judgemental discussion about it. Then come to an agreement.
P – Propose Solutions
Yes, when you know the triggers, have a discussion, and propose solutions than forcing it on to the children. For instance, your children have an issue with you calling them often throughout the day. Propose a discussion. If they agree, sit with them. Discuss and put your point of view. Ask your children when to call and when not to call. Know their schedules. Propose a time period. Schedule it and it will be solved. Now, these tips make it easier for all the parents when it comes to anger management for kids.