Temperament is something you see very early in a child. Some kids are laid back and go with the flow. Others seem born angry. Whether they are a Type A personality, or are easily frustrated, they need help in learning how to deal with anger. Here are ten ways you can help your child with anger issues.
- Consider your child’s age. Helping a two-year old deal with anger is far different from helping your elementary child.
- A toddler may be overwhelmed and overstimulated. You may need to remove her from the situation.
- An elementary child may need to discuss his anger issues and need help finding constructive ways to vent.
- DO NOT ignore the situation. Pretending a child isn’t angry may only make her angrier
- DO NOT teach your child to deny (bottle-up) her feelings. Stuffing anger only causes it to come out in unproductive ways later.
- Look for triggers. Is there some situation that causes the child to become angry? Talk about it with your child.
- Acknowledge with your child anger is a normal reaction to something. We all face disappointments. We all face people who just seem to know how to get under our skin.
- If the anger is directed at a sibling, separate the two, then come back to mediate the situation. Allow each child to express their anger with words. Make sure the children talk about the offense and not about the other sibling’s personality or flaws.
- If the angry child causes destruction, use it as an opportunity to make amends. The child needs to know destructive anger has consequences.
- If a child destroys property, have them work to pay back the destroyed property.
- If a child hurts another person, take away privileges until they child feels remorse. A forced apology isn’t a real apology.
- When you feel angry about something, discuss it with your child. Let them know how you feel and how you are coping with it. Focus on your feelings and not on the offender.
Above all, if you’re angry over a child’s anger, that is not the time to correct his behavior. Give both of you some time to cool off before you correct him. Whether you’re a child or an adult, anger can cause you to make decisions you may later regret.