Recently, we have been considering anger in children; how we can deal with it when it occurs and possibly even preventing it. Last week we wrote about taking a “timeout” from your child when they are in the middle of an angry outburst and helping them once they are calm. This week we share our fourth tip:
Predict & Avoid
The chances are, as you have been a parent to your child for quite a long time now, you know them pretty well. Better than anyone! If you thought about it, you could probably quite easily come up with a list of events and situations which would make your child angry. If you did so, could you also consider if some of those could be avoidable?
No one can go through life, living it to the full, and avoid anger. Life in our fast paced world is unpredictable. However, with forethought, you may be able to help your child avoid some of those instances. Get to know what their “triggers” are. Is there a child they clash with at a group they attend? Could you move them into a different group? Does going round the supermarket drive them (and you) mad? Could you shop without them or online? Are they easily frustrated if you are always rushing to dance class? Could you manage your time better?
In the least, even if you can’t help them avoid these “trigger” situations, you might be able to prevent them from entering full meltdown mode just by knowing what types of things wind them up, being ready for those early signs (clenched fists, crying, shouting) and having an action plan or if necessary, removing them from the situation. Taking a distraction with you if you are out; a favorite toy, a colouring book. Be ready to take them for a little stroll if that’s what calms them. Have a book nearby to read, calming them. You’ll never be able to avoid every meltdown but you might be able to reduce them and make them more manageable.
Next week we share our fifth and last tip!