Anger Management Tips for Children

Teaching children to control anger is one of the important things which parents can do to raise them as a well balanced individuals. Controlling anger is an important life lesson which children should learn. Here are some parenting tips for helping children to control anger.

There are many potential causes of Anger and Aggression.

Victims: Some children who are too aggressive have been the victims of aggressive behavior. Abusive parents, siblings, or peers can be imitated by the abused.

Overindulgence: If children are accustomed to get what they want when they want it, they may become verbally or physically aggressive with other children when their wish is not immediately granted. They may even bully their parents and siblings.

Roughhousing: Aggressive behaviors may also be imitations of play for some children. Rough housing and fun teasing may be defined as love for children, and hitting and touching become an automatic way of interacting. They may not understand they are being aggressive. If this is so, curtail aggressive play.

TV and Video Games: Sometimes children’s programmes involve as much aggressive behavior as adult ones!

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Parent Sabotage: Another important source of aggressive behaviors is parents who are not parenting as a team. If a parent takes the child’s side against the other parent, aggressive and manipulative behavior is often the result. This is because the child is given more power than the other parent. This especially happens during or after a divorce.

Inner Anger: Sometimes children have inner anger because of something that has gone wrong in their childhood that they do not understand. Adopted or foster children, who have been neglected as infants, children involved in predivorce arguments, children whose parents have serious medical problems, all could be acting out their unconscious unhappiness and frustrations.

Illness: Hearing, visual, or intellectual deficits that children cannot explain to parents can cause frustration and lack of understanding that result in angry and aggressive behavior

Strategies to Control Anger:

Some of the following suggestions for dealing with the angry child were taken from The Aggressive Child by Fritz Redl and David Wineman. They should be considered helpful ideas and not be seen as a “bag of tricks.”

 

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Catch the child being good. Tell the child what behaviors please you. Respond to positive efforts and reinforce good behavior.

E.g:: “I’m glad you shared your snack with your sister”; :“I like the way you’re able to think of others”; and “Thank you for telling the truth about what really happened.”

Deliberately ignore inappropriate behavior that can be tolerated. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore the child, just the behavior. The “ignoring” has to be planned and consistent. Even though this behavior may be tolerated, the child must recognize that it is inappropriate.

Provide physical outlets and other alternatives. It is important for children to have opportunities for physical exercise and movement, both at home and at school.

Use closeness and touching. Move physically closer to the child to curb his or her angry impulse. Young children are often calmed by having an adult come close by and express interest in the child’s activities. Children naturally try to involve adults in what they are doing, and the adult is often annoyed at being bothered.

Ease tension through humor. Kidding the child out of a temper tantrum or outburst offers the child an opportunity to “save face.” However, it is important to distinguish between face-saving humor and sarcasm, teasing, or ridicule.

Appeal directly to the child. Tell him or her how you feel and ask for consideration. For example, a parent or a teacher may gain a child’s cooperation by saying, “I know that noise you’re making doesn’t usually bother me, but today I’ve got a headache, so could you find something else you’d enjoy doing?”

Use promises and rewards. Promises of future pleasure can be used both to start and to stop behavior. This approach should not be compared with bribery. We must know what the child likes–what brings him pleasure–and we must deliver on our promises.

Model appropriate behavior. Parents and teachers should be aware of the powerful influence of their actions on a child’s or group’s behavior.

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