Having an angry child can be a headache as the home is often disrupted by angry outbursts, tantrums, or even kicking, fighting or biting. The other possible situation is that your kid retreats to silence, keeping the anger within and not saying a word. Either situation is difficult to handle and sometimes, it also triggers your anger towards the bad behaviour. How can you calm your child down and help him or her manage it better?
Here are 6 useful tips.
1) Teach your child the appropriate vocabulary to express anger
Your child could be reacting to a helpless situation in which he does not know how to express his anger through the correct words. Therefore, help him to develop a vocabulary that allows him to express anger so that he will not act out instead. Here are some words that you can start with: angry, upset, frustrated, furious, tense, irritated, etc. Do be aware that your child will use these words against you. When he does, do not discipline him. Allow him to express his anger healthily so that he can kick the bad habits of a tantrum or keeping his anger within.
2) Teach him to use “self-talk”
This is a trick that you can teach older children. If you have an older child who is struggling with anger management, suggest the method of “self-talk”. It can be a simple, positive message that he can say to himself in stressful situations. For example, “Stay in control, I can handle this”, or “Stop. Take a deep breath. Calm down”.
3) Teach him to expel his anger using physical exercise
We find this useful as adults so why not teach your child the same thing? Help your child to find out what is his favourite physical activity – be it running, kicking a ball or even doing household chores – and then encourage him to do these activities whenever he is angry or feeling stress. If you have a kid who love to do household chores, you are seriously in luck!
4) Teach him to find a calm spot in the house and in school
It is useful to have a calm spot in the house that your child can go to whenever he is upset about something. It works on 2 advantages – your child has a space to calm down, and you know that he is upset. The same can be worked out in school if he has a tendency to get an outburst. Speak to the teachers and work out a place that your child can go to when he gets upset.
5) Teach him to imagine a calm place
If it is not possible to have a physical place for your child, teach him to imagine a calming place instead. It can be his favourite place like the beach, or Grandma’s kitchen, or it can be an imaginative place like a meadow. The important effect for this method to work is that the image of the calm place must put a soothing effect on your child.
6) Teach him to draw and tear his anger into pieces
If your child is artistic, you can suggest that he draw out his anger and then tear the piece of paper into pieces. Tell him that it symbolises the venting of his anger and by tearing it up, he is tearing away the anger that is in him. The physical exertion will also help to calm him down.
There are many other ways to teach your child to calm down, but these are 6 useful ways to make him feel better and learn practical tips on how to manage his anger in a healthy manner.