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Recently, I refused to allow my daughter to go to a sleepover at her friends’. She yelled at me that I was a bad mother and stomped towards her room, seething with anger. We are all capable of getting angry, and we feel like we will spiral out of control. It is not any different with our kids. It does not mean you are a bad parent if your kids get angry. There are, however, ways to appropriately react to your kids when they are angry and diffuse the tension. Here are seven ways of appropriating anger management in kids that I found extremely useful with my children.
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1. Learn To Stay Calm: How do you sort an escalated argument between your spouse and you? Don’t you take time off to calm down and then talk things out? So, when your child is throwing a tantrum, it does not mean your yelling back at them will give you control. Reminding your child that she is unreasonable or that it is her fault, will only aggravate the problem. I understand it is difficult for kids, but kids also need to cool off before they can understand your reasons. Otherwise, it is just another argument with the child that ends up leaving both you and your child feeling horrible. You can ask your kid if they want some time off and take it up later. You can calm your child only if you remain calm.
2. Reason With Your Kids Later: Logic and reasoning does not work well with kids when in the middle of a tirade. Never say to your child, “Why are you getting mad me? I put your lunch on the table, and you forgot to put it in your bag.” You have to approach the problem differently. Otherwise, you are challenging your child and encouraging a prolonged fit of tantrums. Try, “It’s okay. We’ll pick up something on the way to school.” Once your child realizes that she can fall back on you to help her out, she will calm down. Then you can ask her always to check if she has packed everything before she leaves the house.
3. Let Your Child Express: Sometimes children stomp around, throw a fit and act out. They complain about how life is unfair to them. You should let them. Once they are done stomping around, they will calm down. It is necessary for you to let your child cool down in the ways she thinks she can express her anger best. Allowing her room to cool off does not mean she gets into physical fights. It is unhealthy to ground her for throwing a tantrum. It only encourages you child to become more stubborn. Ground her for bad behavior, not for expressing her frustration or disappointments.
4. Listen And Communicate With Your Child: Parents and children tend to grow distant from each other if they cannot communicate properly. If your child thinks that you will only yell at him or pack him off to his room, then you need to strategize how to deal with your children in a better way. Children want their problems and frustrations to be heard. They need someone to listen to them without judging them for their actions. I tried reassuring my kids that I would not give them hell leaving their toys around and that they could talk to me about anything. It worked. When my children think they have a problem or are angry about something, they talk to me about it.
5. Be A Role Model: Children grow up attempting to copy their parents. So your kid deals with anger in the way that he sees you do. If the child grows up watching her parents yell at each other, she thinks it is justified for her to react in the same manner. The next time you are infuriated, take time off and let your kid know that you are taking time off because you do not wish to react in a way that is improper. You are a role model it is your responsibility to ensure your kid conducts himself in a manner that is appropriate even if he is angry.
6. Do Not Give Harsh Punishments: Most arguments escalate because the involved people do not stop and take a break. They keep going at each other until someone says something really horrible. Even if your child says a bad word, do not dole out a very harsh punishment like grounding her for a month. If you continue with the series of punishments, your kid will become accustomed to it. She will start thinking she can get away with saying anything because you are only going to punish him for it. She does not learn to not say unacceptable things. While punishments can be a deterrent, they are not necessarily the best solutions.
7. Praise Good Behaviour: If you want to stop your kid from continuous bad behavior, you need to encourage good behavior. Praising good behaviour is an incentive to children. Let your child know that you notice that she is dealing with her angry outbursts better. A little praise can go a long way to nurture good behavior among children.
Children are very impressionable and hence susceptible to bad behavior choices. Anger cannot be judged as good or bad, but its expression can be modulated. You can help your kids learn how to channelize their anger and express it in a manner that is acceptable. You just need to be more supportive as a parent and help them sort things out, and your children will grow into strong and sensible personalities.
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.