Teaching Children Anger Management
Anger is a natural emotion expressed by children. It gives them an outlet for frustration, fear, sadness, and many other feelings. Children who learn how to manage anger also learn to express the feelings that prompted their anger. This is a crucial stop in achieving healthy adulthood. Here are some ways you can help your children master anger control.
Identify Signs of Anger in a Child
The most common signs are:
- Body signals — fast heartbeat, feeling out of breath, breathing quickly, feeling not or cold, feeling stomach or back tighten up, face feeling hot, hands tightening up.
- Thoughts about violence that are expressed indirectly through drawings, dark humor and reactions that are out of proportion.
- Behaviors of a violent or threatening nature.
Analyze Your Child’s Anger
Ask questions to help you understand:
- The situation causing the anger.
- Your child’s thoughts or beliefs about the situation.
- What your child is saying to himself or herself. This is “self-talk,” such as “I am so stupid!” Teach your child to cancel negative self-talk and replace it with positive self-talk.
- How your child behaves when angry.
- Your child’s understanding of the consequences his or her angry behavior will bring.
Suggest Healthy Anger-Management Techniques
These can include:
- Calling a time-out.
- Walking away from a potentially violent situation.
- Counting to 10 (or 20 or 50).
- Asking for help from a safe adult.
- Talking things out. Encourage your children to put angry feelings into words rather that into physical actions.
Help Prevent Unnecessary Anger
By improving your children’s communication skills you can help them avoid or deal effectively with anger. Children who can clearly express their feeling, needs and opinions reduce the incidence of not being heard correctly and thus, the feeling of anger. Teach them to:
- Stand up for themselves when sage to do so, saying “no” to inappropriate behaviors in themselves and other.
- Take the time to think before they act. Talk with your children about the important difference between reaction and response.
- Respect the rights of others.
- Be an active listener. Hel you children learn to listen well so they avoid misinterpreting what other are saying.
Remember, You Are the Example
Keep you cool and handle anger in the best way possible.
© 2002 The Positive Line #79930 Rev. 11/04 Item # FCJ-22