How do you usually react to your little one’s temper tantrums? Do you help them deal with their anger? Or is it mostly a game of who out-screams who? An alarming statistic reveals that kids below the age of four years may have up to nine temper tantrums in a week. This points at how anger is becoming a common emotional problem in kids these days. And that’s why modern parents must know how to help an angry child calm down.
How to help an angry child calm down?
Teaching your child to deal with their temper problems can be quite demanding on your own emotions. So, keep your calm throughout. Remember that cooling off when angry can be a task for adults even. And it could be more difficult for your little one to practise this. But with you on their side, they can achieve this.
Here are a few techniques you can teach your child to calm down when angry
Rating the anger
The first step is to help your little one to identify the emotion of anger. Teach your child to rate the intensity of their anger from 0 to 9. Help them associate a word with each numeral, for example, 0 could be ‘calm’ and 9 could be ‘lost it completely’. This can help them to identify how angry they are. Along with this, also talk to them about physical signs they may be displaying with each of these numbers. When they learn to correlate these three elements they can understand when they need to adopt a calming strategy.
Using relaxation techniques
When you find your little one seething in anger, you could remind them to start counting numerals till they feel calm. Deep breathing can also help them lower their anger levels. Teach your child to breathe in deeply and breathe out slowly when they’re angry. You could encourage your child to visualise relaxing scenes with their eyes closed. Visualisation can be done with or without the breathing exercise. Another effective relaxation technique is to ask them to alternately tense up their muscles and then leave their bodies loose for 15 seconds.
Coping with self-talk
You can also teach your child to talk to themselves to calm down. They could use statements like-
– Take it easy.
– Take a deep breath.
– Calm down.
You could also teach your kids to repeat affirmations as part of self-talk. Some affirmations they could repeat are-
– I am calm, focused, and relaxed.
– I am at peace.
– I am a loving person.
Useful tips to help your child avoid anger
- Practise what you preach. Remember that parents are the greatest influence in a child’s life. And it’s only natural that your child will observe and mimic your behaviour. So, if you wish that your child deals with anger in a healthy way, you need to display the same when you are angry.
- Encourage your little one to develop healthy hobbies. Hobbies help to channelize your child’s aggression in a positive way, while they engage in their favourite activities. So, send your chatterbox to learn to sing or your hyperactive kid to a self-defence class.
- Make your home a safe place for your child. Help your child feel stress-free when at home. Make sure the environment is free of arguments, accusations, and blame games. Allow your little one to have a space for themselves.
- Instead of shouting back or showing annoyance, support and comfort your child when they’re angry. Empathising with them can go a long way. Talk to them about how they’re feeling. And most importantly comfort them physically with a head rub or a hug.
- Reward your child when they succeed at anger management techniques you’ve taught them. This will reinforce positive behaviour and your little one will feel encouraged to keep their anger in check every time.
Help your child to cope with their anger in the right way. Because it’s a powerful tool for a well-adjusted adult life.