Caring for a child that is easily angered, or seems to be angry regardless of the situation, can be a struggle for parents and caregivers alike. Finding ways to communicate and care for a child when their anger surges out of control is much easier said than done. However, when you have the tools and knowledge you need to handle situations that are escalating out of control, you can better handle a child struggling with anger issues. Below is a guide you can use to help calm and relax children that have a tendency to be more angry than others.
Learn the Triggers
Kids that consistently struggle with anger will often have certain situations that trigger their frustration. For parents and caregivers, it is important to get to know the children in your care. This means taking the time to understand what makes them tick. If you notice a particular child tends to lose their temper, becomes increasingly agitated or completely melts down on a regular basis, observe them carefully. Doing this will help you identify their trigger points. Common triggers can include:
- Struggling when working with others
- Sensory overload
- Frustration with playtime activities or games
- Learning delay
Once you can identify your child's trigger points, you can remove them from the situation and/or talk them through their frustrations before things escalate to an angry response.
Keep Your Cool
It can be hard to keep your cool when working with a child that is constantly losing their temper or blowing up over minor things. If you have a child who is experiencing a meltdown, calm yourself before approaching the situation. There are instances where time won't allow you to take a timeout yourself. When that is the case, remove the angry child from the situation and both of you take a timeout before you address the problem.
Once you have regained your cool, speak calmly and softly to the child who is agitated. Help them understand the feelings they are feeling without discounting their emotions. Work with them to identify why they are feeling the way they are and teach them how to better respond to a situation.
Work Through the Frustration
There is a fine line between rewarding bad behavior and allowing a child to work through their emotions. Teaching children to channel those feelings in an appropriate setting is the best way to acknowledge that their feelings are valid.
For example, if a child is upset because another child has taken their toy, they may be angry and want to punish the person who took their toy. Removing the angry child before he can retaliate stops the situation from escalating. However, you still need to address that it is okay to be upset when someone does something they aren't supposed to do. The angry child can work through their frustrations by scribbling on paper, smashing play dough, or playing with a toy that is soothing for them until they have calmed down.
Anger can be a difficult emotion for young children to understand and control. Helping and teaching them how to control these emotions when they arise will be a tool the child can use throughout their lifetime. Be patient with the children in your care who suffer from anger issues; they need people who love and care for them to show them the right way to deal with their feelings.
For more help with child care issues, contact a school like Rainbow Montessori.