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Helping Kids deal with Anger

Anger is something that kids learn. From too much violence on television, to video games, the internet, and music, violent images and words surround us all. While adults can listen to or view these things without having them directly impact the way they behave or treat others, children are an entirely different matter.

Children are impressionable and easily swayed by the things they see and hear. This is why it is important for parents to take the necessary precautions to keep their children shielded from as much violence as possible while they are growing up. Fortunately, there are things parents can do to help their children learn to manage their feelings of anger when they arise so that they do not resort to aggressive behavior.

Preventing aggressive behavior

Just as violent behavior and getting angry are learned habits, so is calmness. While all of us experience degrees of anger at one time or another, there are constructive ways of handling those feelings that are much healthier for us.

One thing you can do to help your child deal with feelings of anger is to help him develop an appropriate vocabulary. If children do not have any other method for venting their feelings, they are more likely to scream, throw things, or hit or kick others out of sheer frustration.

It will not work to ask a child to explain to you how he is feeling because he will not be able to express himself in this way. You can, however, create a chart of descriptive words that he can use to express how he is feeling. First, however, you will need to take the time to explain what each word means. You should be prepared to go over this information with him on several different occasions.

Words such as irate, mad, frustrated, ticked off and angry can be written on a chart and then used by you to try to talk to your child about how he is feeling. If you teach your child a variety of different words that he can use to express his emotions, it will help him to express himself more appropriately. He will then be much less likely to have violent outbursts. You might also want to teach your child anger control methods such as silently counting to ten, or taking several deep, slow breaths.

Calling in a professional

If your child’s anger issues are out of control and you just cannot seem to reach him, you should strongly consider taking him to a therapist for help. It is always best to deal with these issues when a child is still quite young. A professional will be able to offer you some guidelines that your entire family can follow that will have everyone responding to anger in a much healthier way.

When children have anger issues that remain unresolved, the feelings of bitterness and resentment can build up and remain with them far beyond childhood. It is best to obtain professional assistance so that your child can learn at an early age how to properly handle his feelings of anger and aggression and have a better chance of leading a peaceful, enjoyable life.

By Jamell Andrews

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