Human beings are a complex web of emotions; love, happiness, sadness, etc. are part and parcel of our everyday life. Today, The Champa Tree delves deeper and looks at the ways of handling one such strong emotion in a child. It’s that one emotion which is a bit difficult to deal with even as we grow up, grow mature, and even when we grow old, managing it can be a problem. Yes, I am talking about the emotion we indicate with a red mark which in itself points towards its danger, which is anger.
“A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves hundreds of regrets.”
Agree? We all have our good days and bad days and anger just prove we’re human. Sometimes taking out all that rage is necessary too. But that doesn’t hide the fact that anger does lead to losses. Sometimes even monetary!
Growing up can take a toll on a child’s psychology. It can be frustrating, especially when you’re not capable of understanding your own emotions and how to deal with it. Hence, a child gets angry. This is where parents need to show their love and be more understanding. If they react in a certain way that may not be appropriate, it might lead to a lasting impression on their developing and fragile minds and who knows what the repercussions would be.
Parenting an angry child is not an easy job, I am sure, and we hear so many parents complaining that “My child gets very angry”, but it’s not rocket science and these points could be helpful.
1. Talk it out
Confused about what to do with an angry child, talking about problems helps us, adults, too, why should it be any different for children then? Try to understand what triggered that emotion. It not only helps you understand the problem but will also buy time to abate their anger. They might calm down while talking it out.
2. Think like a child
It is very important to keep in mind that what angers and upsets us, adults, is light years different from what would upset a child. So what might seem irrelevant to us might be important to them. Don’t ignore the problem just because it seems inconsequential to you.
3. Punish them for the behavior, not the emotion
It is indeed necessary to teach them to control their anger, but don’t be too harsh on them. Studies show that too much harshness pushes children to behave even more negatively. The important thing is to teach them how to behave when they’re angry. Let’s say, they damage property or lash out physically at someone in their anger, then punish them for the action, not for being angry. Next time around they’ll know to control their actions. This could well be your answer to the question of how to discipline an angry child too.
4. Control your own anger in front of them
It is a known fact that children model the behavior of parents and the adults around them. If they have seen you arguing or talking loudly, it is very likely that they’ll do the same when they’re angry. So first teach yourself, and then only you’ll be able to teach them.
5. Pay attention to your physical reactions
Your body language and gestures speak can make a huge difference. Even if you’re speaking calmly, and your body is visibly uncomfortable, e.g. twitching or say you impulsively lash out at them, it won’t go unnoticed.
I’m not saying that these are the best ways to deal with an angry child and it might also be that you have better ways and ideas to deal with it. But, there’s something new to be learned from every suggestion and experience. So, I hope these will help you out in dealing with a cranky child the next time around, even if in the smallest possible way. Let’s teach our children to be better in dealing with their emotions; after all, we do see a lot of it being used negatively already.
A few phrases to calm an angry child:
1. Instead of: “Stop throwing things”
Try: “When you throw your toys, I think you don’t like playing with them. If that’s so, we can give them away?”
2. Instead of: “Don’t be angry”
Try: “I get angry too sometimes. Let’s try our warrior cry to get those angry feelings in check.”
3. Instead of: “You’re being so difficult”
Try: “Let’s figure this out together. No point getting hassled. What say?”
4. Instead of: “Brush your teeth right now”
Try: “Elmo’s teeth require some brushing?”
5. Instead of: “You are grounded unless the room gets clean.”
Try: “How about we just start cleaning this itty bitty corner of your room? Happy to help.”
6. Instead of: “Stop complaining”
Try: “I hear you. Let’s not discuss the problem, but find a solution?”