Your constantly called to meet with your child’s teacher and principal. The report; your child has been acting out in class and during lunch period. His anger has made it impossible for school staff to work with him academically and you feel that they are looking at you as a bad parent. Just because your child is dealing with anger issues, it is not your fault, but it is your responsibility to get to the bottom of his anger before it gets out of control.
Talk to, not at your child
Communication is key to helping your child feel that you care and love him; however some parents opt for lectures and shouting to get their point across. Instead of following these examples, have a discussion with your child. Allow plenty of time for him to respond to questions and encourage him to share his feelings and thoughts. This can lend valuable insight into why anger is such an issue. The reason many children don’t talk to their parents is that no matter how hard they try, most parents won’t let their child express themselves fully, so children end up feeling alone and frustrated. Remember, your child is a human with feelings and emotions that need to be let out and nurtured, not shut up and controlled by an outside force.
Laughter is the best medicine
Do you take the time to laugh with your child? Well, if the answer is no, its high time you started. Children who bond with their parents through family time at least twice a week, has been shown to improve mood and family relationships. Laughing together not only relieves social stresses but creates an unbreakable bond and fond memories. Don’t be afraid to share appropriate jokes or a good-humored teasing with your child. We all need to laugh at least daily to prevent us from crying or lashing out. Try having a family movie night once a week and rent a comedy to get you and your child guffawing in no time.
Keep marital problems out of sight
Spouses commonly fight over money and other problems such as jealousy, unfairness and parenting issues. The problem: many parents fight in front of their children. These negative emotions are quickly picked up on and manifest into bouts of rage and hostility in your child. Avoid fighting or discussing these things with your children around. Everyone deserves a happy childhood, not one full of stress and turmoil. These negative emotions can make your child feel helpless, unwanted and like a common burden. Discuss these issues behind closed doors when your child is not around to hear or see.
Re-evaluate your discipline technnique
Parents get angry too, and sometimes to the point of doling out unjust punishment or name-calling. Its human nature, but what is also human is the ability to suppress this anger and find ways to cool off. Before chastising your child harshly, take time to cool off in another room. This will help you gather your senses and choose the message you wish to convey without screaming, cussing and putting your child down. Once you are calm, talk to your child and come up with a punishment that befits the crime. Take the time to explain why are angry and that you love her but what she did was wrong.
Many parents have high hopes and dreams for their children, which is a normal part of parenting. Sometimes, these expectations reach unrealistic proportions and you may find that you are pushing your child to the point of perfection. Our children are in fact a product of their parents, but they each have individual personalities and talents. Instead of demanding your child bring home straight A’s or he attend functions that do not appeal to him for the sake of clicking with social groups of your choosing, try just supporting him. If he brings home a report card with A’s, B’s and C’s, congratulate him on his efforts and offer help if he is finding certain subjects difficult. Allow him to choose his circle of friends, with information you have armed him with regarding peer pressure and the wrong kind of friends. Putting your trust into your child’s decision making process helps him feel appreciated and independant.
Let it out
Children with anger issues tend to keep emotions bottled up until they burst. This is why so many children get in trouble for hitting, yelling and defiance at school and at home. Holding emotions inside is unhealthy for children and adults. Encourage your child to express emotion as soon as it manifests. There is no shame in crying, screaming or punching a pillow as long as it is done in a loving, supportive environment. Once your child displays these emotions, soothe her, listen to her and don’t judge. Allow her to work these things out once the emotion has subsided. You will find that with all your hard work as a parent, she may just make the right decision.
Keep your child active
Overly stressed children tend to have more anger issues than children who lead a more peaceful, relaxed life. Lack of exercise and coping technique could be to blame for this. Encourage your child to get outside and get some sun. Sign him up for sports or take him to the park often to interact with other children and use up excess energy reserves. Exercise is an ideal way to alleviate stress and stay in shape. Another wonderful thing for older children is to introduce aromatherapy, meditation or yoga. All three are wonderful stress busters. If your child fears that these techniques are weak or too feminine, try letting him into one little secret. Many of today’s macho stars participate in yoga, meditation and you guessed it, aromatherapy.
In some cases, anger in children may be so bad that despite your efforts to dispel negative emotion, you may be wise to consider counseling. There could possibly be some unresolved emotion that you are not aware of or an emotional disability such as ADHD, oppositional defiance disorder or other learning disabilities. Active parenting goes a long way in nurturing a healthy, emotionally balance child, ushering her or him into a successful adult life.