Learning How To Deal With Angry Children More Effectively
By: Robert Porter
Updated February 04, 2020
No one ever said being a parent was going to be easy. You've probably heard your parents or other loved ones tell you similar things in the past. This is a sentiment that rings especially true when your child is dealing with severe anger issues. Some kids seem to carry a lot of anger inside, and angry outbursts can become very pronounced.
When a child starts to develop an anger problem, it can be difficult to know what to do. You love your child, and you just want them to be able to cope with anger. Sometimes children are going to get angry just like the rest of us. It is also possible that this issue may have progressed beyond the point of simply being an angry outburst.
Many people have problems controlling their emotions and anger. This is a common issue with adults, and it can impact children as well. It can be difficult for the family to deal with someone being angry. Angry children can be just as troublesome as an angry parent. Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to try to defuse the situation and get things back to normal.
Avoid Physically Punishing Children
When children go out of their way to anger parents, it can be very tempting to try to punish them right away. Your parents may have spanked you or physically punished you when you acted out in the past. This is likely not going to be the best course of action to take. A child who is exhibiting anger issues is generally only going to get angrier and start lashing out more frequently if you choose this method of punishment.
You also want to avoid punishing them due to the anger itself. For the most part, angry outbursts are something that your child has difficulty controlling. They get overwhelmed with emotion, and then the emotions manifest in anger. What you want to correct is the behavior that led to the angry outburst or the misbehavior. Experts of child development discourage the idea of punishment and focus instead on teaching and discipline through using consequences. The goal is to correct the misbehavior, not to make your child feel pain or shame.
One thing you can do is send your child to their room to let them calm down. It is likely going to be ineffective to try to teach them while they're in this angry state. It just prolongs the angry episode, and it makes things worse. You can remain in control even if you are waiting to talk to them until they cool down.
Simply send your child to their room and tell them that you'll speak to them later about what happened. Be stern but do not yell. After the tantrum has subsided, you can speak to them about what happened and lay out the consequence you think is appropriate. This is the logical way to go about handling a child with an anger problem, and it should keep the severe anger to a minimum over time.
Don't Let Your Child Get What They Want Due To An Angry Outburst
It's important to maintain your authority when it comes to dealing with your children. If your child starts to see that having an angry outburst is going to get them what they want, then you will be in for a world of trouble. As an example, if a child throws an angry tantrum due to not being allowed to purchase a toy, then you should not acquiesce to their demands just to get them to settle down. This shows weakness on your part and is going to cause the child to lash out further.
Whether your child is doing this on purpose or if they cannot control the outbursts is not important when it comes to this advice. You just need to stick to your instinct and avoid rewarding this behavior. Your child should never be able to lash out to get what they want. It's up to you to teach them that this behavior is unacceptable.
Develop Effective Ways To Calm Your Child
Your child needs to be able to calm down when they are feeling angry. If you have a system in place to deal with this behavior, then it is not going to seem so problematic. Children are going to get angry and have emotional moments. Knowing how to deal with these moments will help to keep your household peaceful.
One of the most effective things to do is to put your child into a timeout situation when they are showing signs of anger. This separates them from others and likely takes the child away from whatever was causing the anger. Another good idea is to allow your child to do a quiet activity in their room or to focus on another approved activity to calm down. You just need to remove them from the situation so that you can stop the angry outburst before it gets too pronounced. The things that help your child to calm down may be different than the things that work for others. A good way to make a list of calming activities is by talking to your child about what helps them feel calm when they are not in the middle of an angry outburst. You can also think of things you notice they enjoy doing.
Lead By Example
It's important to lead by example when you're raising a child. You do not want to let your children see you lashing out in anger. Everyone has bad days and gets emotionally frustrated sometimes. It is not even unusual to have disagreements with your spouse or partner. Try your best not to let your anger get the best of you. If your child grows up in an angry family, then it is easy to see why they would lash out in anger. Manage your anger and try to show your child healthy behavior. If you're feeling angry or upset, simply verbalize how you're feeling and let your child know that you need a moment to gather your thoughts. This is a healthy way to deal with your emotions, and your child will have a good chance to start to exhibit that healthy behavior as well.
Talk About Feelings
It's also very smart to take the time to talk about feelings. Your child might be lashing out in anger due to not being able to express themselves properly. You should try to encourage being open about emotions in your household. If your child doesn't feel as if they can tell you how they're feeling, then extreme responses such as angry outbursts start to feel natural.
If you can teach your children to speak about how they're feeling, it will make a big difference. Your children should be able to talk to you about whether they're feeling upset or angry about a specific thing. Then you should be able to talk to them about it calmly. Kids may become angry or upset about things that seem silly to adults, but you shouldn't dismiss their feelings. Try to explain things to them calmly, and you will have much better results.
Children who understand their emotions are empowered to deal with them. Emotions are very powerful, and you need to know how to express them in positive ways. Talking about feelings and different ways to cope with feelings is often going to be enough to curb extreme anger problems.
Consider Anger Management Therapy
It's possible that your child might need to see a professional. If the angry outbursts are severe and frequent, then this is not an isolated incident. When the anger starts to become all too common, it is time to take action to help your child. A therapist is going to be able to help them with anger management therapy.
Anger management therapy is designed to help children deal with their anger more effectively. Some kids may have certain emotional issues that will need to be dealt with by professionals. They will be able to make a big difference by teaching important anger management techniques. These techniques can help to diffuse a situation effectively and should help your child to regain their sense of calm.
Anger management techniques such as taking deep breaths and closing your eyes can work well. Other techniques that can help out include counting to ten and taking a long walk to cool off. It's just about removing your child from the situation so that they can regain their composure. Eventually, this should help the child to be able to do these techniques on their own to stay calm.
Realize that this is not going to be an easy process for every child. Anger issues may stem from problems at home or issues that they're going through at school. Just try to be understanding as your child goes through this. It can be very frustrating but having a professional therapist working with you will make things more manageable.
Online Therapy Is Also An Option
You will also have the option of seeking out online therapy. Online therapy can be a good option for helping children to deal with anger issues. Sometimes this might even be a more convenient option due to being able to reach out to the therapist at any time. These licensed therapists are qualified and understand how to help your child with their emotional outbursts.
If you sign up for online therapy today, then you will be able to start making progress right away. Your child can speak to the therapist through video chat or over the phone. Once they have started learning how to deal with their anger more effectively, it will be much easier to manage the situation. Things may seem very dramatic right now, but it will get better over time. If you child is not old enough to use online therapy, you can sign up for yourself to get help and coping skills for raising a child with anger issues. You can find a local therapist for your child by talking to their doctor and doing an online search of local therapists for children.
Your child needs your support to get through these issues. Making use of the methods above can help, but sometimes therapy will be necessary. Consider reaching out if you're having trouble getting your child's anger under control. It just might bring peace back to your household.
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