How can parents deal with their child’s anger?

teacher dealing with child anger

Children naturally experience anger, but in order to help them deal with it constructively, it’s important to know why it happens and how to see the warning signals. At DPS Warangal, we place a high priority on our students’ overall wellbeing, which includes attending to and supporting their emotional needs. Let’s discuss some important issues around how to handle children’s rage.

What are tantrums or temper tantrums 

A tantrum from a child is an uncontrolled outburst of anger, who is unable to relay what they’re feeling and why. Your child may become angry for reasons other than toys. Children feel a wide range of emotions –which includes anger, frustration, fear and the whole gamut! Emotionally charged situations such as siblings getting more attention, being deprived of attention, or being denied a second cookie can make them angry.

Unlike adults, who hopefully have better communication skills to express their feelings, kids don’t lack the skill to express themselves. As a result, they act out by crying, yelling, pushing, or lying on the floor and refusing to move or do anything else. There’s a degree of nuance in understanding this.

Let’s say you tell your child that they have to switch off the TV and go study they may yell and refuse to comply and start rolling on the ground. It only means that they’re angry and frustrated at being told to do this, and don’t know how to express this anger. Being unable to relay this anger in any other way is what leads to an outburst from a child.

What causes aggression in a child 

Understanding child aggression: Not all outbursts of rage are the same, despite how cute your youngster may appear to be when getting into trouble. The tantrums your child is exhibiting may be the result of reactive aggressiveness brought on by something as simple as a sibling stealing the last slice of pizza, assertive anger, or a cry for attention.

Come with me down to Earth. Like little gladiators learning the ropes, youngsters typically begin to test boundaries during the ‘terrible twos’. However, aggressive behavior isn’t limited to young children; adolescents and older children can also experience times of rebellion, frequently brought on by hormonal shifts. This behavior continues unchecked unless parents teach their kids how to communicate their disappointment and frustration. It’s also important to acknowledge that even the most emotionally mature children with the best communication skills will occasionally throw a tantrum. The bottom line is enabling and empowering them with tools to help them get their feelings across, in a way that’s positive and helpful to them. 

Early intervention is critical: teaching your child from an early age that a tantrum may not work for a long term solution is necessary. You don’t want to be held at ransom outside your car, because you didn’t buy a toy or a favourite dress. A tantrum may manifest as a loud crying, yelling, refusing to move, or simply physically attacking a parent to show their anger. Recall that early events shape your kids in every way possible and establish how they interact with their peers, other adults, and social settings. A little direction now can help avoid more serious issues later.

Teach your child to moderate their anger instead of attempting to suppress it. Consider it as arming kids with tolerance and comprehension for real-world conflicts. Keep in mind that even when your child is unhappy about something as insignificant as their teddy bear’s clothes, patience is essential. All of this is a part of being a parent and helping them navigate their feelings is part of your role in social conditioning.

Learning how to control one’s anger in children:

Understanding and managing your child’s anger is like mastering an art form. First, you need to manage your own emotions and not let them cloud your reaction to your child’s meltdown. Then comes the step of understanding why they’re having a bad reaction in the first place. Let’s break it down: 

First, let’s explore the deeper significance of your child’s rage. Simple things like cookies aren’t always the main concern. They could be experiencing anxiety, overwhelm, or a need for attention. Recognising and putting a name to these feelings is the most fundamental aspect of helping your child identify their feelings to prevent tantrums in future. 

After we have a better understanding of their emotions, we can help them learn how to control them. This can be by simply distracting them from whatever is distressing, or an even better solution is helping them cool down. Show them how to breathe, to calm themselves, by counting down with them. Sit with them eye to eye and help them breathe through the big feelings, or touch their face –by saying parts of the face out loud. Tracing your fingers or palm or their own is another tool.

There are scores of methods you can find as appropriate for their needs to help them get a handle on their emotions. Some parents also use cool down zones where a child is allowed to have a temper tantrum. Each toolbox of management is different, depending on the child’s needs and parenting styles, and there’s no one size or approach that works for all. 

It’s worth noting that the goal behind helping them self-soothe is not just managing their emotions but helping them to navigate through their own feelings for the long run. Dear parents, keep in mind to have tolerance, empathy, and a decent sense of humour as you go out on this quest to master your child’s wrath. These traits really are the lifesaver. We’re not advocating bottling up feelings –instead we’re recommending tactics to help them soothe and calm themselves down, and then having conversation once the big feelings have passed. 

How to handle your child’s anger –effective strategies 

There is a comparison between controlling your child’s rage and navigating a large ocean of emotions. Prior to providing instruction, it is more beneficial to listen intently to their feelings rather than giving them a lecture on respect and self-control. For example, if your child is frustrated because they can’t have extra sweets, you can help them understand better by validating their feelings and explaining the rationale behind your rules. For instance, you might remark, “I understand you’re upset that you can’t have more chocolate, but eating too much can hurt your teeth.”

Avoiding penalising bad behaviour

What is more enticing: a sincere “Well done!” or a punishment like “Go sit in the naughty corner”? Perhaps a shiny gold star sticker? It’s likely not the latter. Instead of focusing on penalising poor behaviour, it’s important to shift the emphasis to praising good behaviour and actions. Positive reinforcement is key to bringing about real change. For instance, celebrating achievements like, “Excellent job this week, we only had one instance of defying gravity instead of six – you deserve a gold star for that!” can replace threats.

One needs to be careful where kids shouldn’t associate validation as the sole motivation –helping them understand that their behaviours are normal, and even welcome is crucial. Else the danger remains that kids act or behave a certain way in front of parents, as long as there’s some validation and completely forgot that behaviour in front of others. Worse, they only do the right thing, in the hope that they will be praised and rewarded for it. 

Now, role-playing can be a powerful tool for teaching children healthier ways to express their emotions. By using furry puppets, action figures, or creating characters like the mighty spoon knight and the fork villain, children can act out their feelings without resorting to destructive behaviour. The lesson they learn is that while feeling angry is okay, acting out of rage is not. The idea is not to vilify any one emotion but help them recognise feelings and how to manage them at the right time. 

Three parenting tips for dealing with your child’s anger:

Are you equipped to deal with your child’s ire? It can be difficult, but understanding your child’s feelings is crucial. 

Before beginning any action, first think about creating a plan or establishing explicit guidelines and penalties. This assists in guiding your youngster toward improved conduct. For instance, you may set ground rules for your family before an expedition, such as holding hands and maintaining a close distance, with repercussions for breaking them.

Establish dependable procedures after that. Like following a script for discipline, making a daily plan gives your child’s day structure. Establishing routines for meals, homework, and bedtime, for example, can make your youngster feel more safe and less likely to act out.

And finally, engage in empathetic activities. You may encourage empathy and collaboration in your child by teaching them to see things from other people’s viewpoints. Having role-playing conversations with your child or having them act out scenarios in which they assume different roles are two ways to accomplish this.

The mental health and development of our students are our top priorities at DPS Warangal. By implementing these parenting strategies and fostering open communication, we aim to empower both parents and children in navigating and managing anger effectively. Through collaboration and support, we can nurture emotionally resilient individuals who thrive in diverse environments.