My 5 year old son is very animated. He is also very expressive. So most often, in the house, he shouts to get attention and he gets mad easily. I have been having a hard time teaching him how to control his anger. Of course, I don’t want him to deny or suppress his emotions, but I want him to learn to control it as he grows up. There are probably other moms out there who are facing the same situation, so I would like to share this parenting article I received from my email.
When we talk about calming down and controlling anger, we don’t mean denying it. Some people may think that controlling anger means ignoring it, pushing it away, or stifling it. That is unproductive. We want to teach children a strategy to address their feelings and manage them in a healthy way. Anger should not be stifled and ignored, but rage does need to be controlled.
Some people believe that the only way to get rid of anger is to drain it by venting. Unfortunately, this venting doesn’t take into consideration the person upon whom that anger is vented. Venting anger is selfish and hurtful to others; it’s a demonstration of a lack of self-control.
Often the expression of anger is harmful and hurtful to other people. Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” Venting anger may bring immediate resolution on a feeling level. Exploding and venting anger often helps a person feel better. The problem is, allowing children to vent their anger doesn’t teach them how to manage their emotions in constructive ways. So the next time the child feels enraged, he is more likely to be explosive.
The solution is to help children learn to control their emotions and funnel the energy into constructive solutions. The most important key in any anger management plan is to learn to stop and take a break from the situation to settle down and then reenter in a more self controlled way.
Refuse to dialogue with children when they’re angry. Require an angry child to sit in the hall or on the bottom step and settle down before proceeding. If you dialogue with an angry child you may even get angry as well and then a battle will ensue. Don’t let anger control your family dynamics. If your child even begins to get angry, stop the process sooner.
This tip comes from Chapter 5 “Dealing with Anger in Children” in the book Home Improvement, The Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.