With our parent trainings we often get on the discussion of anger and conflict. Below are some strategies to use when managing your child’s anger outbursts.
Managing Angry Outbursts
Pick a time when your child is calm and more apt to listen. We recommend soon after the emotional meltdown, but leave enough time for your child to calm down. Phrase the conversation as you are looking to better understand him/her and help with the anger. Replay the scenario and say something like: “ I would like for you to tell me what happened. I might have missed something when you got into a fight with your brother or sister and I want to see your point of view.” Have your child replay the situation and find out what is triggering the anger.
You can share that you don’t know how to communicate sometimes. Explain that you hate to yell, but when they do not listen or are mean you resort to yelling. You could also share that you don’t know how to communicate with them when situations escalate. Add in that they are growing up fast and you don’t want to treat your child like a kid anymore. If they could help you better learn how to communicate, you will make an effort to yell less. Having this conversation will really help you. It will clear the air and give you a chance to start over with your child.
When asking that question make sure you are genuinely asking and do not sound accusatory. Again, you are looking to understand. Then try to identify triggers that set your child off.
Ask your child:
- How can we avoid these incidents?
- What would they recommend to do?
- What can they do to not be mean or volatile?
- How can you help them?
Come up with strategies to manage your child’s anger:
- Walk away from the situation
- Go to their room
- Go listen to some music until they calm down
- Have a code word that you and your child use when anger strikes
- Take deep breaths
- Close their eyes and count to 10
Be yourself and show your child that sometimes you don’t know what to do and that is okay. You are an amazing parent filled with love, and you are doing everything in your power to help your child grow.