Anger management is the art of learning how to identify triggers that make you angry, identify signs that you are becoming angry, and steps you can take to manage the anger.
Identifying triggers can be especially hard for adults, leave alone children and that to ones with special needs. It is a process that requires a lot of self-awareness and introspection. Identifying signs that one is becoming angry and managing anger are much easier and more teachable. So as parents, we recommend you focus on those till they reach a certain level of maturity.
Identify when your child gets angry
Angry children might demonstrate many different behaviors. Some of the common ones are listed below:
- Fidgety and uneasiness
- Clenching their jaws or grinding their teeth
- Loss in appetite
- Sweating, shaking or trembling
Understanding what you are feeling is one of the first steps to managing emotions in general and the same applies to anger. This allows the individual to identify the feeling and accordingly use an appropriate strategy.
Reinforce support and affection.
One thing you could do is to change the setting. Take them to a different room in the house or maybe outside, amidst nature. Physical touch calms a child so does deep breathing. Try and distract them from what is happening and get them to focus on something else. Ask them to tell you what they see around, play their favorite song, or give them their comfort toy.
Allow your child to express their feelings, freely.
Sharing your feelings is one of the best ways to get rid of negative feelings, especially anger. Lead by example, do this with your child when you are angry, tell them how you feel and why you feel that way. This gives children the confidence to do the same and not be afraid. Be receptive and let the child express freely and without any interruptions. Encourage your children to express their thoughts and feelings through art. It is a wonderful medium to express yourself. Playing an instrument, singing, drawing, craft, painting, etc. are ways to channelize your emotions into something creative and productive.
Appreciate their positive efforts and reward with motivation.
Appreciation from a parent is one of the best feelings in the world for a child. Think of a time when you were a kid and your parents appreciated you or said something nice to you. Apart from the feel-good factor, it is an excellent way to reinforce positive behaviors. It does not have to be something dramatic or expensive, a few words of appreciation will do the trick just fine.
Physical activity and exercise serve as an excellent outlet for emotional charge and helps calm the mind. Playing a sport or running or anything which involves breaking a sweat is an excellent way to start your day. To know more about how physical activity also helps anxiety click here.
Talk to an expert
If you feel the intensity and frequency of your child’s anger outbursts are getting worse despite trying multiple things, seeking professional help could be a good option. There are multiple forms of therapy such as PCIT (Parent-child interaction therapy), CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) which help with anger management, CPS (Collaborative and Proactive Solutions), etc. which can be helpful. Do not be weighed down by the stigma associated with seeking professional help, there is nothing wrong with it.
It can be difficult for parents to learn how to handle children with anger management issues, but sustained time and effort will make a difference eventually. Being consistent, calm, and confident will go a long way in helping your child deal with anger effectively.