6 Steps to Solving Anger Problems
- Get yourself ready for a talk. You need to be CALM.
- Say what the Problem is. Say this in a firm but respectful way,
- Listen to the other person. Nod; Don’t interrupt. Repeat back what you think the person means. Ask questions if you don’t understand.
- Explain how you feel. Use I-messages to do this.
- Talk about ideas for solving the problem. Brainstorm as many ideas as you can.
- Choose an idea to try. Set a time to see how it is going.
Anger is art of the human condition. It is as normal as sorrow, joy, fear, contentment. Yet, as a parent, it’s hard not to be concerned about the aggressive and sometimes violent ways children and adults express anger. For most people, anger is an especially difficult emotion to deal with. It is a complex feeling, closely linked to other emotions including guilt, jealousy, grief, frustration, worry and fear. Further complicating anger is the way many of us learned to handle it.
Psychologists tell us that it can be helpful to think about anger as a kind of survival emotion. If a child is angry, it’s a signal. The signal might alert us that the child needs to overcome something developmentally (such as being accepted by peers, learning to compete, or mastering a skill in school). It might let us know that the child needs to deal with stresses that occur in relationships (such as teasing, unfair treatment, or feeling pressured). Or it could be a sign that the child is struggling with self-doubt, low self-esteem or feelings of powerlessness.
Kids need more information than: “It’s okay to be angry, but it’s not okay to yell, hit, kick, throw things..” They need:
- have ways to release energy when they want to explode or strike out
- understand why they are angry
- be able to express their angry feelings, share them with others and talk about them
- learn how to deal with the situations that lead to anger
- find ways that they can manage angry feelings
Besides handling their own anger, kids need to know what to do when other people are angry.
How to Help Kids Deal with Anger:
- Make it a point to deal with your own anger in positive ways. If you are in a power struggle with your child, WALK AWAY until you can calm down. Then talk about what happened in a non-blamming way.
- Model appropriate ways to handle anger. Tell your child what you are doing: “I’m feeling angry right now, so I’m going to take a walk and calm myself down.” OR “I am mad about something that happened at work today. I’m going to call my friend and tell him about it. Talking things through helps me figure out what to do,”
- Make it a goal not to argue heatedly with your partner in front of your children. Children are very sensitive to how their parents treat each other during arguments. They feel torn when the people they love most are fighting.
- Set reasonable rules at home. Think of the goal of discipline as self-discipline; set clear and logical consequences that help children control themselves and get along with others.
- Know the signs that a child needs help with anger.
- Recurring behavior problems
- sleep problems
- changes in eating habits
- unhappiness the child can’t explain
- physical outbursts like slamming doors, kicking furniture or intentionally breaking things
- ongoing irritability
- harming people or animals
- fighting at home or at school
- When children are angry, try to discover the reason. Invite conversation when everyone is calm. Listen carefully. Avoid shaming your child for being or acting angry – even when the actions aren’t acceptable. Once you know the reason for the anger, find ways to help solve the problem.
- Help children learn anger-management skills. Many kids yell, fight, swear, or throw tantrums because they simply don’t know another way to show how they are feeling. Teach them words for strong emotions, so they can understand and clearly express powerful feelings. Help them find ways to calm down and gain control of themselves, and to talk things through with you and others. It can really help to role-play situations where anger and conflicts might happen – have kids enact different approaches to the problem.
- Let kids know you expect them to manage confilcts in respectful constructive ways. Give them a chance to handle the situation on their own.
- Keep the lines of communication open between home and school.
- Monitor TV, movie, computer and video game content.
- Get outside help if needed.
Giving children the confidence and skills they need to cope with anger is empowering. It offers kids hope, security, and self confidence – a chance to end the cycle of unresolved anger and lear more peaceful and constructive lives.
Purchase book click here