We all get angry, children as well as adults. Knowing how to deal with anger and maybe even prevent it is something well worth doing. Last week we considered how managing your own anger as a parent can help teach your child/ren how to manage theirs. This week we share a second tip.
Let it go!
Sorry, undoubtedly you now have that song running through your head, and, to be frank, that can be anger inducing! Maddening hit songs aside, it is very important to have an outlet. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, anger and frustration need to be released. But, if you are careful, it can be done in a way that doesn’t result in anyone else getting hurt, physically or emotionally. Various techniques can be employed with children (and adults!) it’s just a case of finding the one/s that work for you and your family.
Some children get very wound up and need a physical outlet. This is when having a “punching pillow” or an “angry spoon” can come in handy. A punching pillow is quite self explanatory. Nominate a pillow, cushion, or similar, that is kept in their room or playroom which they can hit, throw (within reason) and shout into. Obviously, it’s important there are rules, such as; don’t throw the pillow at people or objects! An “angry spoon” is similar. Buy a wooden spoon and, with your child, draw on a silly face. Tell them that it is their “angry spoon” and when they are feeling angry, or frustrated, they can pick it up, have a good shout at it and use it to thump cushions/pillows (but do stress, never people, themselves or other objects!).
You know your child/ren and what works for one person won’t work for another. Maybe taking them out for a walk or run around would help. Perhaps they would feel better kicking a ball into a goal. Having a good shout and scream in the garden or their bedroom. As long as they aren’t hurting themselves or anyone else, getting to release those feelings is a great thing!
For some children, they might respond to more calming activities such as blowing bubbles, drawing, listening to music, talking, singing, dancing. One calming technique involves imagining your anger (or any negative emotion) as a cloud in front or above you. Imagine the cloud, take a deep breath (calming in itself) and simply blow it away.
It’s important to remember that we are all human. No matter how hard we try, you cannot control every outburst, that in itself is a lesson worth learning and remembering!
Next week we share tip three.