While anger can be a perfectly normal, useful and healthy emotion for children, it can also become a problem if it gets out of control and turns into aggression. If your children are experiencing a lot of angry emotions, there could be a multitude of reasons for this, and several different ways in which you can help them to tackle their anger in a healthy way.
Your child is angry, but why?
A child can display anger for a whole host of reasons, and some of them are listed below:
- Witnessing anger and arguing from family members or other adults that your child is close to
- Experiencing friendship problems at school
- Being bullied
- Struggling to cope with schoolwork
- Feeling stressed, afraid or anxious about something
- Coping with hormonal changes that occur throughout puberty
While it may be obvious that your child is feeling angry, the reasons behind the anger may not always be clear, particularly if they are not comfortable talking about it with you, or if they themselves are not clear about why they are feeling angry. If this is the case, then it’s important that you help your child to work out what might be causing their anger so that you can both move forward.
How to tackle your child’s anger together:
Helping your child to work through their anger is the best way of showing them that they are not the problem. If you’re helping younger children to cope with anger, then it’s easy to make it fun and creative. Try giving anger a name and asking your child to draw it as best they can. It could take the form of a volcano that will eventually explode, for example.
Remember that how you respond to anger can have a huge influence on how your child responds to anger, and when you tackle the problem together, it can be helpful to both of you.
Helping your child to spot the anger warning signs:
Being able to spot the warning signs of displays of anger early, can help your child to make positive decisions about how they handle their emotions. It’s important to talk to your child about the way they feel when they begin to get angry, and some of those feelings may include:
- A quickening heartbeat
- Tensing of muscles
- Clenching of teeth or fists
- A churning of the stomach
- Reddening of the face
Tips to help your child cope with their anger:
Working together with your child to discover the triggers for their anger and discussing coping
mechanisms with them, can be hugely helpful. Here are a few simple ways in which your child can learn to manage their anger:
- Encourage them to count to 10 when they feel themselves getting angry
- Walking away from the source of their anger
- Taking deep breaths
- Clenching and unclenching their fists
- Talking to an adult that they trust
- Going to a quiet, private place to calm down
If you see the onset of anger symptoms in your child, you could try to communicate this to them so that they can begin utilizing their coping mechanisms.
If your child continues to struggle with their anger, then it may be time to seek professional help, as counselors are well trained to help kids of all ages identify the roots of, and make peace with, their anger.