Kids are full of emotions! They express more through their emotions than words. Since children are in the process of developmental growth, they often find it confusing to choose an emotion which is particular to a situation. For instance, if you say “No” to your toddler, instead of asking why or being sad, he/she might burst out in anger, leaving you bewildered. Are you a parent of an angry child struggling to calm him/her down? Then let us understand about anger in children and how you can help them manage it.
Anger is a healthy and innate expression experienced by all of us, even children. There is no harm in your child expressing anger as it shows that he/she is capable of exhibiting more than one emotion. Anger is usually the result of an unpleasant experience or thought. As adults, we are able to prioritize our emotions and their importance in life. However, children, especially toddlers, are not mature enough to categorize their emotions.
While there is no such thing as good or bad anger, it is important to observe the actions of your angry child. Identifying the reason behind their anger, understanding which reasons can be ignored and which ones require your attention, can help you deal with a child with anger issues. If your angry child throws tantrums and lashes out at petty situations frequently, then you must address this behaviour. There can be multiple underlying reasons to support your angry child’s behavioural patterns. We have listed 6 common ones
for you :
- Connectivity Issues – No, we ain’t talking about internet connectivity! The bond between parents and children should remain strong at all times. Children long to stay connected with their parents emotionally and physically to be in a state of belongingness. Lack of connection with parents often leaves toddlers to feel left out, making them angry.
- Anxiety and Tiredness – Kids nowadays have a jam-packed schedule to follow even on weekends. This gives them less time to relax and indulge in playful activities. Being in a never-ending loop of school worksheets and related activities, makes them anxious and feel frustrated because of feeling tired all the time. This anxiousness leads to changes in behaviour in your angry child.
- A Major Event – Go back in time and think of instances that might have occurred which could be impacting your angry child. There are certain events in life which could alter the behaviour of a person. Something which may seem like a small incident to you, can be a huge change in your child’s life.
- Home Environment – If your child lives in an environment that is stressful then it is likely that your child will feel aggressive in and out of the house. Children learn from their elders. If they watch their parents argue in anger frequently then it sure will have an impact on their emotional development.
- Disrupted Physical routine – Don’t you feel off the entire day after skipping your morning coffee or not getting enough sleep? It’s the same for toddlers! They too require ample amounts of sleep and a proper diet to maintain emotional as well as physical balance. A lack of either will make them hangry all day long!
- Learning Disability – After you have scanned for these probable reasons for the unusual behaviour of your angry child, you should also look for any underlying symptoms of learning disability in your little one. It is observed that parents whose children have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), often don’t know how to deal with an angry child at home. A toddler’s inability to cope with the academic pace or difficulty in understanding a concept makes him/her feel quite low and irritated for being behind in class. This feeling of being a “bad student” makes them feel angry about themselves and others around them.
“But how do I help an angry child to calm down?”
- Calm yourself down – Unless you are patient and calm, your child’s temperament is not going to hit a low. Take deep breaths and approach your child with a not-so-furious face. Toddlers become more aggressive if treated harshly when they are angry.
- Talk – Once your kid has cooled down, sit with him/her and ask if something is bothering them. You will be surprised to know that they had a bunch of things to share that was actually triggering them to become an angry child! Let them know that you are there for them and you will help them to control their anger.
- Soothing activities – Get a peek-a-boo into their life and see what makes them feel happy or good about themselves. Is it music? Is it watching a fn show? Plan a few soothing and calming activities with you little angry birds and watch the change unravel! You can also plan a parent-child yoga session every evening to spend a quality soothing time as a family!
- Techniques to the rescue – For a 10 year old, anger management technique can be a great way to calm down. These include taking deep breaths while meditating, going for a walk, etc. If you are unable to do it on your own, you may seek professional guidance to manage your angry child.
- No Violent Exposure – Children are surrounded by media and its content all the time. There are many shows and cartoons that show violence which may aggravate your child’s anger. As a way to manage them, avoid their exposure to such violent content. Non-fictional books, dancing or a sport may help your toddler’s mind divert towards productivity, ultimately calming him down.
Pro-tip : You can draw a scale to measure your child’s anger! Take a chart paper and mark numbers 0-10 from starting from below. Draw/stick an emoji beside every number indicating the level of anger. As your child’s anger increases you can mark it’s level on the scale and let them know how angry they are getting. You can also draw a list of emojis to cool them down beside it! This will help them understand what level of anger is bad for them and how quickly they can cool down.