1. Use Your Words
Don't just tell this to your child; model this behavior. Verbalize your own feelings. This may feel silly, but it can help your child work through the process. Having a word to express a feeling is the first step in dealing with it.
2. Help your child consider the "why"
Sometimes our perceptions are not in tune with reality. For example, did your child become angry because they misconstrued something that happened?
3. Encourage Empathy
Encourage your child to see things from another point of view. Even young children can understand when someone else feels sad or angry. If they don't want to talk about their feelings, try inserting a favorite character from a book into the narrative.
4. Step away or take a "time out"
Teach older children to make a conscious effort to
act – to remove themselves from a stressful situation and take a break to cool down. Advise waiting before sending an email or text. Suggest walking away when someone antagonizes you, creating time to think before deciding the next step.
5. Be generous with hugs & praise
Physical contact can help defuse a challenging situation. A well-timed hug can ward off feelings of jealousy or frustration that can lead to anger. A gentle touch on an arm can help calm escalating nerves. Remember to praise your child for their attempts, not just their achievements.
6. Be a good role model
Be aware of your own anger. Studies show that parental emotions influence their children. If you think you don't exhibit anger often, pay attention to how many times you yell or otherwise show anger.
We can't prevent anger, but we can teach ways to express it assertively without harming others. If your child, or anyone else in your family is struggling, please reach out to the Wellness Center for a consultation.