Helping Children to Control Anger - Anger Management Techniques
By Andrew Loh
Parents may use a number of useful methods to help children
express their minds in a positive way. They can do this by training their
children learn how to control anger in a meaningful manner. The basic
method is to learn how to express thoughts and feelings in words and in
a positive manner. This approach depends entirely on their mental age
and brain developmental status. Here are some of the age-appropriate
methods for anger control and anger management in your children.
Young children, especially in their pre-school age, do not possess the
ability to control anger. In fact, they may not be able to meet
their own life needs. They rely on their parents to get their daily
needs and requirements. Small babies possess an in-built anger display
mechanism by crying aloud. Episodes of crying occur in small children,
when they fail to get something that they want immediately. If parents do not respond to initial
crying, babies can lose their control and start crying ceaselessly and
with anger. Frustration leads to rising anger.
Parents will need to respond to crying immediately, so that they can
bring down the level of frustration. Preschoolers are notorious for
their tendency to get angry immediately, because they display a limited
ability to express their mind and get what they require. Therefore,
parents will need to provide them what they need and when they need it.
If you find that your children are extremely angry, give them some time
to cool down before satisfying their needs. While they are settling
down, you can use consolatory keywords like "stop", "don't", "enough"
and "it is ok". These words may look very simple. However, when you
repeat them consistently over time, they will slowly sink in their mind
to reinforce a positive behavior.
Points to note:
Learn to differentiate between different baby
cries and respond according to the priority.
Never ever, neglect a toddler's cries.
If older babies (in the age range of 1 to
2 years) get angry, distract their mind by using music or action play
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
Crying is the main way through which children at this age group tend to
display their anger. Confusion, neglect and anything that is
overwhelming could start the process of anger. Stopping escalation of anger should be
the top most priority. Parents may also need to teach ways through which
children can express their minds.
Children at this age need constant attention from their parents. If they
do not get the attention they want, they may start building a phase that
could eventually burst into anger. Do not try to neglect anger episodes
in your children. If you are casual in your approach, you may not
develop the ability to control it in the future. Dousing episodes of
anger could be a big problem at this age. Parents will need to find out
alternate ways of responses to distract children from getting angry.
Some children may dislike going to school at this age; separation
anxiety is the biggest culprit that might make some children develop
situations that may eventually lead to anger. Schools
may look and feel like a jail for a majority of children. Schools also create frustration, hurt and
anger in some children. You can contact the class teacher with a request
to look after your children; in many cases, KG and lower class teachers
display a remarkable ability to manage anger in young children.
Points to note:
Assist your children to express their minds and
expressions. Teach them most useful words and expressions that can help
them express their opinions.
Calm them down immediately when they get angry.
Get to know why your children is getting angry.
Teach them how to solve their problems on their own.
Let the ambience inside the home be casual, relaxing and joyful.
4th grade to 7th grade
Older children in the age group of 10 to 14 years are also prone to
developing occasional display of anger and aggressiveness. However,
they possess some rudimentary abilities to express their feelings and mind.
Excessive anger in the form of temper tantrum is a dangerous trend and
you may need to take stern action to control it. You
can sit down with your children and tell them why getting angry is bad.
You may also try to teach them the basics of breathing exercises and
Children belonging to this age also know how to control anger in their own way. It
is also very easy to convince them how to avoid getting angry. Spanking or beating
is counter-productive and repeated incidents will make children
violent and aggressive.
Points to note:
Be friendly with your children and listen to their problems.
Teach them the basics of yoga, breathing exercises and meditation.
Let them express their feelings and bare their minds. Occasional crying is
good for health.
Teach them the basics of self-control; cooling-off
is a self-generated controlling method that can help children bring
down the intensity of anger.
Teach them the ways and techniques that will help manage
anger episodes; counting from one to ten, drinking a glass of water, using a
punching bag, listening to music, walking down in the open and washing
the face are some cooling down techniques that you teach your children.
Anger is an in-built mechanism through which people can exhibit their inner mind and its
behavior. Anger used in a positive manner, could be a big advantage. On
the contrary, negative anger is quite dangerous and detrimental to health.
The Angry Child: Regaining Control When Your Child Is Out of Control
By Timothy Murphy, Ph.D and Loriann Hoff Oberlin
Will a hard-to-handle six-year-old make headlines later for shooting up a school? It is unlikely, but
parents need to know how to deal with an angry child--how to help the child manage anger and aggression,
and how to recognize the signs of serious problems. Psychologist, child development expert, and Pennsylvania
state senator Murphy offers "easy-to-follow strategies for coping with all the conflicts, both large and
small, that arise each day."
With simple, direct techniques, Dr. Murphy shows it is possible to help an angry child understand what
triggers his outbursts and develop new approaches for coping with potentially explosive situations.
Identifying the ten telling characteristics of an angry child, Dr. Murphy provides examples from his
clinical experience to help adults guide their children to more responses that are appropriate.