Dealing with your kid’s outbursts can be very frustrating. You may get mad at your child for being angry in the first place. It can be a vicious cycle, ending with everyone in the family feeling resentful and even angrier.
So what is the best way to handle your children’s anger?
Accept and understand that kids will get angry. Feeling disappointed and frustrated is normal for children as they proceed through childhood. Tell your children that it is okay to be mad and that you will help them handle their strong emotions.
Teach your children acceptable ways of expressing their anger. Emphasize the importance of not being hurtful with words or behaviors. Teach them to speak respectfully even when angry by using “I” messages to express feelings. For example, instead of name-calling or hitting, they can say, “I am really mad at you!”
Help your children to find ways to calm down. Useful techniques include:
- taking deep breaths,
- counting to 10, doing jumping jacks,
- rocking in a chair,
- or being alone for a while.
Once they are calm, then your children can talk about the reasons why they were angry. You can work together to find solutions.
Children do not get angry on purpose and they are not out to “get you” with their strong feelings. Your job is to model and teach your children as they grow and that includes how to handle difficult emotions. With this in mind, you can approach an angry situation with a little more empathy.