REALITY CHECK: Does your child have difficulty controlling his anger? Do you resort to using aggressive behaviors such as biting, hitting, spitting or fighting? Do you scream or lose control quickly? If so, you are not alone.
Signs that a child may have anger problems:
• Frequent outbursts of anger, even for minor problems
• Unable to explain feelings when angry
• Trouble calming down when you are frustrated or upset, even to the point of hyperventilating
• He resorts to the use of physical aggression such as hitting, fighting, kicking, screaming, spitting, cursing, tantrums
• He does not seem to care about the feelings of animals or people.
• He accepts no responsibility for his aggression; blame others
• You need reminders, persuasions or reprimands to control your temper
• Problems recovering from frustrations
• Act without thinking
• Behaves recklessly
• Super sullen, silent and with feelings
• Talk, write or draw about violence.
• Bullying or aggressive action towards others.
Of course, any of those problems could mean something else. So, watch the behavior closely. Also, track it. Mark how often you see the behavior that occurs on a calendar. (You may also want to mark the time and place where it occurs. Anger is usually situational: it occurs more at certain times, with certain people or with respect to certain problems. If you track the behavior (as you would for a disease) You can see a pattern that will be immensely useful for curbing anger.)
1. Develop a vocabulary of feelings.
Many children show aggressiveness like kicking, screaming, hitting, biting because they simply don't know how to express their frustrations in another way. They need an emotional vocabulary to express how they feel, and you can help your child develop one. Here are some words to start: angry, upset, angry, frustrated, agitated, furious, apprehensive, tense, nervous, anxious, irritated, furious, angry, furious. Once your child learns words of emotion, encourage him to "talk about his anger."
2. Use the internal dialog
Teach a simple and positive message that your child can tell himself in stressful situations. For example: "Stop and calm down," "Stay in control," "I can handle this."
3. Hit it
Hit the clay, hit a pillow, throw baskets, hit a sandbag, throw stones at the wall (away from people), hit the wall with a foam bat. Help your child find the most effective way to calm his temper and then encourage him to use the technique. Caution: Most research finds that this strategy can be counterproductive and increase impulsivity. Use it only if you notice a decrease in your child's anger.
4. Go to a quiet place
Ask your child to help you establish a place where you can go to get control. Offer some relaxing things, such as books, music, pens and paper, to your child and then encourage him to use the place to cool off.
5. Break your anger into pieces
Tell your child to draw or write what bothers him on a piece of paper. Then break it into small pieces and "discard the anger." You can also use the concept by imagining that your anger is slowly breaking it apart. Be sure to provide eraser paper!
6. Teach: "Stop and breathe"
Show your child how to slowly inhale by counting to five, pausing twice and then exhaling slowly in the same way, again counting to five. Repeating the sequence creates maximum relaxation and reduces the stress that can turn into anger.
7. Teach "1 + 3 + 10"
Explain the formula: "As soon as you feel that your body sends you a warning signal that says you are losing control, do three things. First, stop and say," Keep calm. "That's 1. Now take three breaths. deep and slow in the belly. That's 3. Finally, slowly count to ten inside your head. That's 10. Put them all together and you have 1 + 3 + 10 and doing so helps you calm down and regain control. " (Teach a younger child to use DRAGON BREATHS. Exploit your anger like a dragon!)
8. Imagine a quiet place
For example: the beach, his bed, the grandfather's backyard, a tree house. At the moment when your child feels that the warning signs of his body are activated, tell him to close his eyes and imagine the place, while breathing slowly. Taking a picture of the real "quiet place" or drawing it and then framing it and putting it next to your child's bed can be a great visual reminder.
9. Draw it!
Some children find that drawing is relaxing. If this is your child, store a basket with markers, crayons and a sketchpad and encourage him to "take out his anger." You can also store a spare drawing pad in the bottom of your backpack.
10. Write it down!
Other children find that writing their anger can be effective. If this is your child, then provide a diary and a pen or paper and pencil and encourage him to go to a quiet place and "write his anger." Some children prefer to write a letter to the person they are irritated with, even if they warn the child about presenting the letter to the person. It is best to write it when you are upset and then break it.
By: Preeti Narula