While we may wish to protect our children from all situations of danger or stress, in reality they will have to work to have control of their own lives. Anger is a common response to such a situation and can be a frightening and yet inevitable emotion. The important part is knowing how to react when we feel overwhelmed with he emotion of anger. It is easy to go from “zero to sixty” when we get angry. Sometimes we get angry after a hard day, siblings screaming over a game, stepping on a toy left on the floor, etc. As children are incredible imitators, they often emulate the response to stress that they witness. Consequently, we must model appropriate behavior for our children while discussing with them alternatives to losing their temper. We must understand the value of preserving our self-esteem in even the most difficult situations.
Responding to an Angry Child
- stay calm
- don’t give in
- help instill problem solving skills
- time -outs
- praise appropriate behavior
- avoid triggers
While we work to control our own anger, we must help our children understand the value of controlling theirs. Parents are often surprised by how easily their children may become frustrated about minor incidents. Often children learn much about their reactions from their environment. Whether in your home, school, or television, they are sponges that learn how to deal with situations through mirroring. It is important to discuss openly with them what their trigger is and how to deal with difficult situations.