How To Teach Children How To Control Their Anger
It seems there are so many angry adolescents these days. Why are children so angry?
While we have always had angry kids, the level of violence has increased part of which may be due to the media. Although some of the school shooters were probably very angry---in general, kids are no more angry than they have been in the past---Parents now are more sensitive to it. So it seems that children are more angry, because adults are paying close attention to the problem; which is a good thing. Remember, children need to be taught how to control it.
Do children show their anger differently at different ages?
Yes. Infants display anger when they’re hungry, tired or frustrated; toddler begin to display temper tantrums, throwing things; adolescent: stop following rules, break things and fight. Some children suppress anger, which can lead to depression, underachievement, and isolation.
What can parents do to help their children with anger?
Understand that anger is a legitimate emotion that should be accepted. Be tolerant of the feeling. The parent must remain calm for the entire time, and lovingly acknowledge the painful feelings. If the child is acting out, begin by calming the child. Encourage him or her to take a deep breath or to do other calming actions. Ask questions to find out more. Is the anger appropriate to the cause? Is there an underlying cause that is being masked? Give problem-solving suggestions, but not too many—just enough to get the child thinking for himself. If necessary, end by acknowledging that even though anger is acceptable, certain behaviors are not. Above all, be a good role model about handling your own anger in front of your children.
If children are not taught how to manage their anger when they are young, what effect does that have when they are adults? Why is it so important to teach children to control their anger?
Uncontrolled anger in a child often results in an unhappy adult. They may not be able to express their true feelings, and have difficulty in problem solving. Because anger affects others, these adults may find themselves in unhappy relationships. It also can result in higher crime rates with people resorting to violence to express their feelings because they know no other method.
What if the child is out of control?
If the problems are severe in your family, you might call Heartland Family Service to ask for a counseling appointment. The counselor will help you evaluate your situation.
For more information on parenting angry children, call 553-3000 or toll-free (877) 553-3001 or email email@example.com
Reprinted with the permission of the Heartland Family Service. © 2008 Heartland Family Service
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