People of all ages are affected by intense anger issues – and children are no exception. Although everyone gets angry at one point or another, some of us are better-equipped to process those feelings in a constructive manner than others.
If your child responds to anger with loud outbursts, profanity or violence, there’s no time like the present to get on top of this issue. While confronting a child’s anger problems can prove difficult for parents, addressing these issues early stands to have a positive impact on your little one’s entire life.
Identify the Cause(s) of the Intense Anger
If your child has habitual rage fits, there’s a good chance that their anger is being triggered by specific things. For example, some children respond with anger when they feel that they’re being ignored, while others commonly lash out in response to unfairness.
There’s also the possibility that other people’s anger has impacted the way your child responds to sadness and/or disappointment. If you or anyone else in your household frequently displays intense anger in the presence of your child, they’re likely to think that intense rage is an appropriate response to things they don’t like.
If the root cause(s) of your child’s anger problems are unclear, you’d do well to reach out to a professional. You can start by consulting your family physician, who should be able to refer you to a good therapist or child psychologist.
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Don’t Respond to Their Intense Anger by Getting Angry
When your child is in the middle of a rage-fueled outburst, you may not be able to help but get angry. However, you should take care to avoid expressing this intense anger in front of your child. Responding to anger with more anger will not only make your child even angrier, it will also reinforce their belief that rage is an appropriate response to things they don’t like.
If you suffer from anger issues of your own, seeking professional treatment stands to benefit both you and the people around you. In addition to helping you become a more even-tempered person, therapy and anger-management classes can provide you with the mental toolkit you need to respond to your child’s intense anger in a healthy manner.
Develop a Cooldown Routine
Developing a cooldown routine can help stop your children’s rage fits in their tracks. As the name implies, cooldown routines involve engaging in calming activities whenever one feels consumed by rage.
So, the next time your child begins to act out, task them with doing something they find relaxing. Drawing, deep breathing exercises and describing their feelings out loud are all examples of activities that can calm children down in a relatively short span of time.
Don’t Reward Anger
When a child engages in a seemingly endless outburst, the temptation to placate them can be overwhelming. Even if parents realize this isn’t the appropriate course of action, they can forgive themselves if it means a return to peace and quiet.
While this approach may give you momentary relief, it will ultimately pave the way for future outbursts. After all, if anger results in rewards, why wouldn’t a child have outbursts more often? That being the case, you should always stand firm and avoid rewarding tantrums.
Impose Consequences for Certain Behaviors
Anger is a perfectly natural human emotion. Although some people certainly feel it more intensely than others, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who never gets angry. However, this doesn’t mean that every method of expressing anger should be tolerated.
For example, if your child responds to intense anger by hurting people, breaking things or engaging in other destructive behaviors, they should face punishment, lest they come to believe that such actions don’t carry any consequences.
There are a variety of reasons for which children – and adults, for that matter – exhibit anger issues. In some cases, children’s anger is a direct response to perceived unfairness or personal injustice. Other times, the root causes are unclear and require professional help to identify.
Regardless of what triggers a child’s intense anger, it’s important for parents to deal with said anger calmly and constructively. To this end, remember the pointers discussed above the next time your child becomes unreasonably angry.