A lot of people tend to be hot-tempered and quick to anger. Anger in itself is a negative energy and emotional state characterized by antagonism towards a particular person or thing. Everybody feels angry at a particular point in life including children but adults seem to have much more control should a temper arise. Children, however, may not have enough self-control to manage their anger and may tend to turn the negative energy towards violent behavior.
Some children get angry when they are being deprived of a particular item or occasion. Anger itself isn’t bad but neither is it good. The way your child copes and controls with his or her anger can either be constructive or destructive and as a parent, you may want to scold or sanction your child for acting out of bounds. Rather than scolding your children on a regular basis on their unacceptable behavior, it is advisable that you teach and help your child to control and cope with them.
Why Should You Help Your Child?
Anger can affect an individual positively and negatively but the effects of anger on a child can be serious and critical. The constant flood of stress chemicals and associated metabolic changes that go with recurrent unmanaged anger can eventually cause harm to many different systems of the body.
Some of the short and long-term health problems that have been linked to unmanaged anger include headache, insomnia, anxiety, indigestion, depression, high blood pressure, skin infections such as eczema and heart issues.
1. Bulimic behavior
One bad effect of untreated anger is bulimia which can have a huge impact on your child when he or she grows up. Negative and harsh emotions have been considered to be linked with bulimic behaviors. Bulimia nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a cycle of bingeing and compensatory behaviors. Anger is one of the relative negative aspects in the case of bulimic behavior and the relationship between negative emotions and eating disordered behaviors may partially depend upon personality variables such as impulsivity. In North America alone, Bulimia statistics tell show that the lifetime prevalence of bulimia nervosa in North America is 1.5% in women and 0.5% in men. This translates to approximate 4.7 million females and 1.5 million males who will have their lives threatened by this potentially deadly disorder.
2. Heart disease
Another effect of unmanaged anger is coronary heart disease. Your child may not experience such at a young age but in the near future, if care isn’t taken, you may be looking at another situation as a parent. One side effect of anger on some children is worrying. Worrying is associated with stress which in turn affects mental health and heart health and over time could lead to diverse heart diseases such as angina and coronary heart disease.
The relationship between diabetes and anger has also been linked with lifestyle factors, suggesting that anger temperament may have a greater influence on behavioral and/or physiological changes that lead to obesity and thus, to diabetes. There are several mechanisms by which anger temperament might lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. Chronic anger can lead to poor health behaviors leading to central adiposity and type 2 diabetes.
5 Tips to Help Control Your Child’s Anger
It has never been an easy job helping a child out with anger issues. However, a handful of children seem to have an unlimited supply of anger hidden in them. Children get frustrated and aggressive over minor events which may lead to yelling and all sorts of havoc but as a parent, there are diverse ways in which you can help your child control their anger. If you’re raising a child whose angry outbursts have become a problem, it’s important to teach him the skills he needs to deal with his feelings in a healthy way.
Below are a few ways in which you can help your child control their anger:
One of the easiest ways to understand how an angry child feels is by talking to them. Most parents are afraid of talking to their kids when they hit ‘angry mode’ with fear that they may further trigger their child’s emotions. Some parents rather observe their child’s actions and try to conclude a possible reason for their actions and this is wrong in itself.
Calmly ask your child to give a detailed explanation of what may have caused him or her to become angry. A simple conversation with your child could help them manage their anger and calm down. In every conversation, you can help your child find new ways of controlling their anger. Encourage your child to use words to express their feelings rather than being aggressive and reward them whenever they choose a nonviolent behavior. You can also discuss the diverse ways your child could solve problems in a much more peaceful manner.
2. Set a proper example
There is no how your child can change overtime if you don’t practice what you preach. Children often mimic and copy their parent’s actions from time to time so if you’re not setting a proper example on how to handle your own anger and frustration then it sure would affect your child. Try modeling good anger management skills that calm you down when you want to get out of a frustrating situation. Your child might just do the same.
3. Set firm and consistent limits
Being too lenient with a tempered child may give way to more misbehavior. Try setting firm and consistent limits as to how they should behave. Your child needs to know and understand what behavior is acceptable and what is not permitted. Also, let close relatives and friends know your set limits by making them aware of the rules and regulations you set and how they should react and response should your child exhibit bad character. Many kids kick, hit and bite people whenever they feel angry and should this happen at any point in time, they should be rebuked immediately so they know they’ve gone out of set limits.
4. Offer affection
It’s good to let your child know you love them from time to time despite their unacceptable behavior. Let your child know you really care about his or her situation and feelings. Children both young and old can be comforted by your presence as an adult whenever they are facing a tough time. It’s also good not overlook the importance and power of a hug to make your child feel loved and accepted. Praise good behaviors when it is exhibited and make your children realize that you notice and appreciate them whenever they handle their anger in a positive way.
5. Introduce fun activities
Getting physical is a great way to distract your kids from their aggression. Most children let out their emotions and aggression through stomping their feet, punching a pillow, pulling, twisting or pounding on a soft object. Introducing dance classes or hiking may help soften the aggression. Try encouraging things your child likes to do such as drawing, walking the dog and reading. These activities can help refocus your child’s thoughts away from anger.
Things to Avoid Doing
Most parents act on certain ideas to sanction their child for a particular behavior which ends up eventually back firing. This is known as a parenting mistake. As a parent, there are certain actions you may be taking that affect the overall behavior of your child. In the case of being rude and aggressive below are some disciplinary actions you should avoid.
1. Do not encourage toughness
In most families across the world, aggressiveness is greatly encouraged especially with the male gender. Parents usually compliment their kids with words like “tough” and “big bully”. This can send a negative message to your child that he or she may need to become aggressive, tough and rude in order to gain your approval.
2. Do not spank
Some parents hit and spank their children as a form of discipline. A child who has constantly been spanked may think offering a beating may be and being aggressive is the right way to treat people when you do not like their behavior. Physical punishment only increases a child’s punishment towards other individuals. Most children that experience spanking tend to become much more stubborn than they previously were. This makes spanking a failing disciplinary action.
3. Avoid violent media
If your child struggles with rude and aggressive behavior, permitting him or her to watch violent movies or TV shows won’t be helpful at all. Try exposing your child to books, movies, and games that teach healthy and positive conflict resolution skills.
In conclusion, some kids showcase angry eruptions because it’s an effective and positive way (in their opinion), to get their needs and desires met. If your child happens to throw a temper tantrum or any sort of outburst, make sure their reactions aren’t effective. Parent’s that meet their children’s demands to keep their child quiet aren’t helping their child at all. Don’t give into your child to avoid a meltdown. Although that may be easier in the short-term, in the long run giving in will only make behavior problems and aggression worse.