Monday, February 27, 2012

Child Anger

Growing up as the youngest of six, my older siblings would pick on me a bit. Sometimes this would make me angry because I could not make them stop. Other times I would get angry because I did not understand the games we were playing. For children, anger covers an array of emotions from embarrassment to confusion. Many children will not talk about it because they have been taught that anger is bad. On the contrary, children need to know that anger is normal. What matter is what they do with the anger. 

As I got older, my mother found a few ways to help me express my emotions – many times help me realize what it truly was. She taught me that I could always go talk to her about what I was feeling, and I would not get in trouble for it. I definitely was not perfect, but we worked together as she helped me control myself and my emotions. Taking that moment out of your day to talk with your child about how he is feeling is extremely important. This shows that you respect his emotions and want to help. At first he may not open up, but after a while, he will realize that you are there for him and talk to you about problems as they arise. As y’all talk, he will begin to understand his emotions and you will be able to help him work with him emotions.
As you continue working with your child, remember to not only tell him what not to do, but tell him what he can do. For example, when he is angry, tell him he cannot hit his sister, but he can come and talk with you or go run outside to cool-off. Do not just punish your child and think that this will stop his behavior. Punish when you think is necessary but also explain in a loving way. Make sure to live that way yourself and set rules that your child understands and stick to them. Try picking three to five rules that really mean a lot to you and your child understands. Enforce those rules and see how his behavior changes. Allow things to slide that do not really bother you such as him pulling on your pant leg to get your attention while you were on the phone.

Most importantly, when your child does something good, tell him. Praise your child for his good deeds. This will mean more to him than anything. As you do this, he will want to continue doing well because he wants your attention and praise. Make sure you take interest in your child and his activities. If he does not do as well as he wants, comfort him and tell him that is a part of life. It happens to everyone, and you still love him. Say that you love him often; do not assume that it is implied.
Children are constantly seeking the attention of their parents sometimes they do things they know they should not just to get a quick second of attention. Make sure you are giving your child attention. I know life is busy but being a mother and father is the noblest calling one can ever receive. What are some things you have done with an angry child?

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