Anger management in children:
What parent hasn’t prayed for an instruction manual on how to manage anger in their toddler when he turns crimson, screams his head off or bangs on anything he can get his hands on!
What is anger for a child?
First of all, relax and put things into perspective: every parent faces this kind of situation, you are not alone.
Secondly, the latest advances in neuroscience have proven that a baby’s brain is not able to start regulating its emotions until the age of 3-4 years*.
So it can be very exciting when they are happy but totally disarming when they are frustrated or sad.
Anger is the translation of the flood of feelings and sensations that overwhelm the little one when frustrated, afraid or faced with some kind of embarrassment.
Now that we know that this little one is NOT throwing tantrums or tantrums at US, but is simply struggling with the intensity of the emotions that are running through him, what should we do?
How do we react to tantrums?
It is easier to give a benevolent answer if we consider that this child is in emotional “distress” and
that through this manifestation (anger) he/she is asking for our help and attention.
When your child is angry, get down to their level and hug them if they allow you to (some children refuse contact until everyone is ready to talk).
(Some children refuse all contact until all the crying has been unloaded). Now it is a question of welcoming his
by rephrasing in words what may be happening in his body:
What is happening to you? I can see that you are very upset?
You can also let him know that you understand and accept his frustration but that you do not agree with the way he expresses it: shouting, hitting, biting…
With patience and repetition, the anger will be much less strong and especially if you offer him the opportunity to put his emotions into words, the anger will pass more quickly.
On the other hand, if in the midst of anger you choose to raise your voice and punish, it’s a safe bet that the intensity of the anger will increase and that your little one will excel in the art of rolling (see the supermarket episode, or the merry-go-round episode – yes, I can see that you’ve seen it all before too!)
See you soon.