How to Deal with a Child Having Frustration and Anger Issues
Does your child often lash out at you without any apparent reason? Are you facing a hard time communicating with your child? You need to comprehend that anger, especially in young children, is like mercury bottled up in a thermometer. Our children know what they want, but they often fail in explaining their situations to their parents.
There are many young children who struggle with frustration tolerance. Both anger and frustration are powerful emotions, and if left ignored, they can turn deadly. Their intensity changes quickly to other dangerous things like bitterness and keeps on building until the point of rage.
When you see your child suffering from frustration, don’t think it will get better with the passage of time. You will have to make an active effort to help them work their way through it.
Teaching Your Child to Deal with Anger Issues
In order to deal with your child’s anger issues, you will need to understand precisely what it is, and what causes it.
Frustration is when children find a path leading to their goals being blocked. It starts as an emotion to do better. If followed by the same unhappy results, it can result in a negative chain of emotions. When this chain of resentment is not dealt by you effectively and on time, it moulds itself into anger.
Not only is it normal for children to feel frustrated, it plays a big part in their development as well. It’s okay to be angry, but it’s not okay to deal with it incorrectly. When toddlers behave violently, especially in front of other people, we often act in response to their anger with some of our own. We reach the level of threats and punishments. Some parents totally ignore their children’s emotions and keep on living life thinking that once they grow up, they will be fine. On the contrary, if they are not taught how to cope with their anger issues, the same children transform into adults with destructive personalities.
Anger Dos and Don’ts
Let’s check some dos and don’ts regarding a child’s frustration and anger management.
- What is the cause behind your child’s frustration? Can you find it? If you do, decide on what to do about it.
- Sometimes, providing children with immediate solutions will make them angrier. Let them vent out their anger, since it’s a healthy emotion, and don’t ask them to suppress or hide it.
- It’s okay to let them show their anger, but not okay to be angry along with them.
- When you are laying down rules, always establish the standard acceptable/unacceptable anger displays and tantrums.
- When they are having a meltdown, unless it’s life threatening, stand by at a distance and simply observe.
- When they are done being angry, hold them, sit beside them and talk about it.
- Practice empathy with them.
- Teach them different relaxing techniques.
- If they are older, make them write down their feelings on a paper. You can later go through it together.
- Don’t try reasoning with a screaming child. Instead, wait for the storm to get over.
- Don’t lash back and give them threats. They will copy you.
- Don’t miss a chance of talking to them about it later, when they are in control of their emotions.
- Don’t become a child yourself—one is enough.
- Don’t lie or break your child’s trust at any cost.
- Never strike your children when they are having tantrums.
- Don’t clean up your child’s mess after their wildness. Ask them to do it.
- Don’t give excuses to other parents about their behaviour. This will encourage them to do it more next time.
Recognise and Acknowledge Your Child’s Feelings
The most important part of dealing with aggravated children is recognising and accepting their feelings. When you validate your child’s emotions, you are not providing them any more reason to be angry. They will feel assured and light when you practice empathy.
For instance, if your toddler is screaming because of their broken toy, instead of ordering them to “stop crying”, you can be a supporter and say, “I know that hurts a lot, so it’s okay to cry.” By doing this, you are making yourself an ally in their tragedy. This tactic will definitely result in making your child feel better enormously.
Acceptable and Unacceptable Behaviour in Children
In child upbringing, it’s crucial to have some ground rules laid down, where showing angry emotions is concerned. If you recognise your child’s thoughts and feelings to be dangerous and unacceptable, seek help in counselling.
Some acceptable behaviour includes clenched teeth, fists and tightness in the body language. Anger outbursts and frequent lashings are also seen among toddlers. However, things need to be taken care of if your child is causing harm to other things, little children or people around them. Anger could be eating your child from the inside if they are hitting other children, and are repeatedly being punished at school for bullying other class fellows.
Unresolved anger can be negative for your child’s future relationships, because they will later on become passive aggressive. It can also affect the other young children around them, who follow their elder sibling’s footsteps now and then. If you often see yourself getting unreasonably angry at your child, you need help as well. To be able to remain calm in difficult situations, you will have to join anger control sessions yourself, as there is a big chance that your child might have adapted the bad behaviour from you. When your child is not getting any better, involve a third party and tell them about your particular case. Beware, your child may not grow out of their harsh attitude, but grow into it, without your aid.
© Teresa Boardman, Nanny Options.