Aggressive behavior can be a scary thing for a parent to encounter. Witnessing your child scream and lash out makes even the most confident parent feel powerless and panicked. If you have a child who can quickly spiral into a raging tantrum without much warning, rest assured that you are not alone. This is a common behavioural problem, and there are plenty of solutions to help you manage your child’s anger.
Create A Counting Game
Stopping negative emotions and counting to 10 is a well known way to calm yourself down and center yourself in the moment, and it can work for children just as well as adults. When you see that your child is beginning to get worked up, ask them to sit down for a moment and breathe deeply, counting each breath until they get to 10.
If you have a child with a lot of pent up energy who finds it difficult to sit still and count or gets even more angry at the suggestion, have them do 10 jumping jacks or run around the backyard 20 times- then stop and see how they feel. Sometimes just letting off a little steam and helping them to be distracted from their anger is enough to prevent the anger from escalating.
Take The Time To Talk
We often assume that our children get angry for no good reason, or that they won’t be able to express their feelings to us in a way that we can understand. Your child may be using rage as a way to let suppressed emotions come to the surface, so it’s important to try to sit with them and discuss their feelings before the tantrum occurs.
Make time to meet with your child on a daily basis and encourage them to open up to you about how their day was and what positive or negative things happened to them. Encourage them to explore feelings of anger in a calm, focused way through talking rather than spiraling out of control.
Find Anger Outlets
Bored kids can quickly turn into angry kids, especially if they’re energetic and need constant distractions to keep them from getting frustrated. Find anger-busting activities like kickboxing, karate and team sports to give your children the opportunity to let off some steam in a healthy and constructive way. Don’t push them into doing an activity that they’re not interested, but encourage them to look around for physical activities that sound fun to them.
Ask For Help
While anger is a normal human emotion, some children do exhibit behaviors that can stretch us beyond our parenting limits. If you’ve tried all of these suggestions and haven’t felt able to contain your child’s anger, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for some extra professional help.
Talk to your child’s paediatrician and ask for a referral to a reputable child psychologist- they should be able to help get to the bottom of what’s really bothering your child. Hopefully with a little extra support you’ll have your calm, happy child back again.