How we handle children's anger crises. Tips from the psychologist

How we handle children's anger crises. Tips from the psychologist

Volcanoes are a spectacular natural phenomenon, but just as dangerous. We like and find absolutely delightful the spectacle that a volcano does when it erupts. The element of surprise keeps us with a tight heart and soul at the mouth. The fire, the orange-reddish lava, the thrown stones, the greatness of the ash that rises to where you can no longer grasp with your eyes let the fantasy take it wherever it wants!

But one is to be near the volcano and the other is to watch it from miles away, possibly on a TV screen. The experience near children who are angry and facing real crises are similar to the explosion of a volcano, but this time, we are exactly near the volcano, it is "live". The lava fry us, the skin cracks us, the stones fall on our heads and hit us, and the ashes suffocate you. As a parent, I think you went through this at least once.

It is well known that explosive disposition is a combination of genetic, environmental and educational factors. As a parent, your role is to help the child by mediating environmental and educational factors.

Although unpleasant, anger is an emotion that is as "natural" and necessary, because it signals to us that something is wrong; it is like an alarm signal that our body pulls and communicates something to us.

Anger is needed up to a point. From the point where it takes proportions and gets out of control (usually everything happens in the order of milliseconds), anger turns into a dysfunctional emotion and does not give us the energy to help us reach our goal, but on the contrary , prevents us in solving problems.

The anger comes accompanied by psychological and physiological changes: the heart rate increases, the breath intensifies, the adrenaline level in the body increases, and the sensation of heat invades the whole body.

The natural question that comes to mind is: "What exactly causes the volcano to erupt?"

The very little ones simply put their parents to the test; others are frustrated or suffer, and others have oppositional behaviors.

Children of all ages between 3 and 6 years he gets angry as a result of frustration (at the store, Alin, 5 years old, gets angry that his mother doesn't buy him chocolate); refuses to give up a pleasant activity (Georgiana, 3 years old, refuses to leave the playground, so that when her mother asks her to leave, she starts screaming, kicking with her feet and hands), or as a result of fatigue (because she did not sleep at noon, Ana, 4 years old, became tired after 5 pm, and her only way of communicating was screaming and screaming); the volcano can erupt at these ages and as a consequence of the impulsivity of the child, as a result of the child's impatience (when you have to wait at the doctor, or in the store).

In children aged between 6 and 10/11 years, anger can be caused by the difficulties the child has in school (whether they are problems of concentration of attention, of memory, of learning); refusal to follow the rules, lack of ability to manage conflicts with other children, fear (fear of failure), disappointments.

In adolescents, anger can come from a rebellious attitude, lack of the same ability to manage conflicts with others or with oneself, fear of not disappointing, comparison with others of the same age, low self-image, gray thoughts, failure to follow the rules (because it is "cool" or from the desire to belong to a group).

But, most of the time, anger is based on irrational thoughts. What should you do as a parent? To help the child understand his thoughts, to "control" them, to put others in place of the irrational ones, but also to teach him a series of skills (such as conflict resolution or assertive communication skills).

But why "must" we "tame" the volcano? Because studies have shown that those who master themselves better are more pleasant, they make friends easier, and friends are happier, they do better in school, and all in one place they make a happy child, who will later, he became a happy adult. The same skills he now develops to make friends, to play with others, to share with others, to do well in school will help him later in the workplace, in relationships with friends, with his family. it will form, with itself.

Did you know that volcanoes were named after the Roman god of fire, Vulcanus?! Anger is like fire, and we all know how to make fire. and we also know that if you want to keep the fire burning, then you just have to put wood and breath a little, and if you want to extinguish it, either stop putting wood or pour water on it to extinguish it faster. As a parent, you probably want to put out the fire as soon as possible! What to do?

When your baby is between 1 and 3 years old (and now it's like a sponge that absorbs everything), listening to his emotions and giving him the feeling of safety can be of real help. After the "crisis" is over, just listen to it and be a mirror to it, a mirror that understands it, loves it and holds it in your arms. Avoid labeling the child ("you're bad!", "You're ugly!"). Also, a good method is to distract her when you feel she is "about to" get angry. When he is already angry, be careful not to get hit, not to hurt himself, not to hit someone else, or to throw objects. The best time to intervene is before the volcano explodes, because at the time of the eruption, no method or technique bears fruit.

When he is young, the child needs routines, and their absence can give birth to one insecurity, and this uncertainty is a favorable ground for the emergence of anger. Give them alternatives! Communicate firmly that you do not agree with what he / she says! Don't get hot, because two hot volcanoes are more dangerous than one. If he is more energetic, you can encourage him and let him do sustained physical activity. Sometimes a simple massage works wonders! you know well that an angry child is a tense child, and the massage will help him relax.

Between 3 and 6 years old, the child learns very easily that anger is effective in achieving what he or she wants, only if the parents "will" quickly calm down their child by giving him or her what he or she wants. You will have to learn the opposite! Listen to him! Be empathetic! Encourage to find his words to express what angered him! Encourage him to recognize his emotions! When you are shopping, involve him and encourage him to behave like a buyer. It will feel USEFUL and ... ADULT (isn't this what kids want, be adults!?!) If you have to wait, play! Give responsibilities and give positive feedback to the child. If he gets angry, however, teach him how to cut off his accumulated energy: to go to his room to scream (slower), to squeeze a pillow in his arms. Give him alternatives: when he feels he is about to get angry, he could go to his room to lie in bed, listen to music / story - and keep his favorite animal in his arms, he could ride his bike in the park, with the reels or he can talk to a friend or to you, as a parent, about what he feels is happening to him. you can build stories in which the main character learned how to control their anger states.

Teach him to breathe! When he feels that he is about to become angry, teach him to breathe deeply 3-5 times. This will cool his mind and body.

Communicate firmly, calmly, lowering yourself to his level (including physically), do not ironize him (not even in joke), do not change your mind along the way.

For older children, between 6 and 11 years, but also for teens, it is important to appreciate the positive behaviors, their strengths, to hold them accountable (to increase their confidence in their own strengths), to praise them with your friends, to involve them in discussions and decisions. teach them to resolve their conflicts (offer alternatives to solving problems, conflicts). It may be helpful to help him draw up a list of things that "get him out of his mind," and then write down the thoughts that go through his mind when that thing happens (that is, to notice the connection between thoughts and emotion). Then give them alternative thoughts (If instead of "it is bad!" You would say "it is unpleasant! | How would you feel?").

It highlights the things you lose if you become angry and the things you gain if you can control this emotion.

Regardless of age, cause and method you want to apply, one thing remains essential: BE THE FIRST who does everything you want to learn! The power of the example is too great to be challenged.

If after all this you find it difficult to stay calm whenever the volcano erupts, do not hesitate to call a specialist!

Mirela Tiganas


Tags Child anger attacks Parent reactions to child anger attacks