Anger is a normal and useful emotion.
But anger can become a problem if a child's angry behavior becomes out of control or aggressive.
Why is my / our child angry?
There are lots of reasons why your child could be angry,
here are just a few examples:
- seeing other family members arguing or being angry with each other
- Problems at home
- Friendship problems
- Being bullied
- Struggling with schoolwork or exams
- feeling very stressed, anxious or fearful about something
- coping with hormone changes during puberty
It may not be obvious to you or your child why they are feeling angry.
If that's the case, it's important to help them work out what might be causing their anger.
Tackle anger together
Team up with your child to help them deal with their anger. This way, you let your child know that the anger is the problem, not them.
With younger children, this can be fun and creative. Give anger a name and try drawing it – for example, anger can be a volcano that eventually explodes.
How you respond to anger can influence how your child responds to anger. Making it something you tackle together can help you both.
Help your child spot the signs of anger
Being able to spot the signs of anger early can help your child make more positive decisions about how to handle it.
Talk about what your child feels when they start to get angry. For example, they may notice that:
- their heart beats faster
- their muscles tense
- their teeth clench
- they clench their fists
- their stomach churns
Anger tips for your child
Work together to try to find out what triggers the anger. Talk about helpful strategies for managing anger.
You could encourage your child to:
- count to 10
- walk away from the situation
- breathe slowly and deeply
- clench and unclench their fists to ease tension
- talk to a trusted person
- go to a private place to calm down
If you see the early signs of anger in your child, say so. This gives them the chance to try their strategies.
Never use your child’s bedroom for punishment of any sort!
Be approachable and keep calm and positive
Positive feedback is important. Praise your child's efforts and your own efforts, no matter how small.
This will build your child's confidence that they can manage their anger. It will also help them feel that you are both learning together.
Call me if you would like some help…