Managing anger in children is crucial to their upbringing and helping them prepare for life, which starts with explaining the consequences of anger, all the way to teaching them strategies to confront and overcome it.
Controlling children’s anger represents a difficult challenge for mothers and fathers, especially since it requires special experience in dealing with their various feelings and the reactions that may result from them.
Children’s anger is not always their fault
Writer Harsha Prakashan says in an article published by the “Happiest Health” website that the first basic steps in managing children’s anger lie in identifying its causes. If parents do not meet their children’s demands, or feel that they will be found out if they lie, they may use anger as a defense mechanism instead of admitting the truth.
Dr. Samira Kwasi, a pediatric intensive care consultant at Sparsh Hospitals in Bangalore, India, explains, “The brain consists of two hemispheres, the right and associated with emotions, while the left is associated with logic. The right hemisphere develops faster than the left hemisphere, which leads to children’s emotions overpowering their ability to… Logical response: It takes time and experience to fully develop the logical part. Therefore, the child is not always ready to respond to the situation appropriately.”
Deepali Batra, chief clinical psychologist and director of academic psycho-learning services for children and adults in Delhi, explains that the causes of anger in children are:
- Underlying psychiatric conditions (such as ADHD and anxiety)
- Parental violence towards the child or others
- Bullying and problems adjusting to peers
- Poor sleep schedule
- Violent video games
- Trauma or abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual)
How do you control children’s anger?
Child psychiatrist Shachi Dalvi stresses to Happiest Health the importance of acknowledging a child’s anger and telling him that it is normal for a person to feel negative feelings.
It provides a strategy for disciplining an angry child, which is:
Anger coping strategies
Dr. Kwasi says parents should not confront their children’s tantrums with counter-anger. Rather, the parents should move away if they are angry, then return to approach the child once things calm down. In this way, the child is taught healthy coping strategies. “If you respond to his anger with counter-anger, you are showing him that anger is normal.”
The child can also be calmed by urging him to engage in activities such as drawing or doodling (for young children), or taking him for a walk. Parents can also encourage him to write a diary if the child is older.
“Sometimes, children show tantrums due to feeling ignored and trying to attract the attention of the parents,” explains Kwasi. “Parents should make time for their children. They can play board games and listen to the child’s feelings and emotions towards school and friends.”
Tips to control a child’s anger
Most children learn from a young age that teasing their parents into submitting to them is one of the best weapons they have, but every time they respond to them, the idea is reinforced that teasing is a good way to get what they want,” according to Dr. Fiona Haddada, a consultant in child and adolescent psychiatry and family counseling. .
In a previous interview with Al Jazeera Net, Haddada advised the following:
Three steps to deal with your angry child
Haddada also suggested that parents follow 3 initial steps to deal with:
- Parents must learn to know and respect the child’s feelings.
- Failure to respond to requests that were not agreed upon, such as extending play time, postponing bedtime, or even buying sweets or toys.
- Be careful not to criticize the child, but you can remind him of the positive things he did during the day and praise him.
Behavioral therapy is the solution
Anger is considered one of the most undesirable characteristics of children for parents, and it also leaves negative effects on the child’s personality.
Natalia Ghandour, an educational psychologist, told Al Jazeera Net that children need controls and rules so that they realize that there are limits at home, as well as in school and life in general, and that they learn that they cannot always get everything they desire through anger or screaming.
She warns parents against striving to please their child and surrender to him whenever his anger increases, because this will become a gateway to blackmailing and controlling them.
Therefore, it is necessary to adopt behavioral therapy, as it is the most appropriate solution, according to the following:
- Parents agree on the guidelines that must be followed, so that the child does not exploit their disagreement to get what he wants.
- Establish very clear rules and regulations within the family, and enforce discipline at home.
- Avoid threatening, mocking, or abusing the child.
- Involving the child (depending on his age) in assuming responsibilities at home.
- Be strong so that you are not affected when your child resorts to blackmail, and you must remind him of responsibility and the rules of the house.