Posted on: Sunday, November 18th, 2018
“I HATE YOU!”
Screams your child from across the room. Eyes wide. Fists clenched. Feet stamped. Your child is fuming with anger.
Anger can be a very uncomfortable emotion. It can be uncomfortable to feel, and it can certainly feel uncomfortable to be the target of another person’s anger. So how can we help our children regulate their anger?
Anger is the emotion people experience when something is blocking their goal. And often, people who are angry are hurting deep down inside. When our children are angry, they can’t think straight. They get so overwhelmed with their emotions they don’t know what to do. And sometimes, this can lead to them saying very hurtful things they don’t actually mean. But, this also goes for us as adults. When we become flustered with all sorts of emotions, we don’t know how to think. So, we need to try our best to stay calm and not get angry ourselves. After all, anger builds on anger.
The best thing we can do for our children when they become upset is to show them compassion. That is, to try and take on their perspective and understand how they really feel.
Ask yourself, “Why is my child upset?” and help them understand what they are feeling. Let them know that you can see that they are mad and let them know that you want to listen to them. Once all is calm, turn the situation into a teaching moment by going over what happened. Highlight what emotions you saw your child going through and what happened to cause them to feel that way. Work together on a problem-solving strategy that you are both happy with. By doing this, you are showing your child that you are someone that they can trust and respect, as well as providing them with the tools they need to recognize and control their emotions.
Remember – a behaviour can be bad and a behaviour can be corrected, but a child is not bad.
Teach your child with love and compassion.