At 5, children are still figuring out how to express their emotions and they may do so in ways that are a little inappropriate. One such example is not being able to control their anger when they feel upset. At a young age, it’s important that you teach your child anger management techniques. Here are a few ways you can do so.
Don’t Get Angry Yourself
First things first. We understand you may be frustrated at a child who can’t seem to control their emotions, but you have to remember that you need to set a good example. If you yell and scream back at the kid, you’re showing them that anger is the solution. If you feel your anger rising, release it in private and come back with a cool head.
Teach Kids That Anger Is Okay
Anger is an emotion that does get a bad rap. If you feel frustrated or wronged, being angry is okay. The problem is how you express it. Tell your kid that anger is okay, but how they express it may not be. If your child is angry, ask them to express why and how they feel.
Anger can motivate. If you feel wronged, you want to figure out a way to make it right. However, an eye for an eye is usually not the best way. Instead, using your words and trying to be diplomatic is the solution. You can express anger through words without yelling, too. Some people are the scariest when they are expressing their emotions in a calm voice.
Tell them that yelling, hitting, or throwing a temper tantrum is not the solution. Instead, they should talk to you or someone they trust.
Give Them A Safe Spot To Express Their Anger
A child being angry in public and yelling probably isn’t a good mood. However, a child expressing their emotions in the comfort of their own room isn’t a bad idea. A kid throwing their toys and breaking them isn’t good, but a child who rips a piece of paper to express their anger can be better.
It’s important you give your child a nice, safe location to express their anger. If you see your child growing anger, perhaps you can be able to help them express it in that way.
Expressing Emotions Is Okay
Let’s keep focusing on the idea that your child shouldn’t be afraid to express their emotions. Often, we want our children to be seen and not heard, and dismiss how they feel. What may irritate them will keep building up until it explodes.
Allow your child to express their emotions in a way that allows them to get something off their chest, that’s a good thing. Don’t have your kid yell or scream, but do have them talk about how they are feeling and how they can solve the problem.
Say a kid at school stole your child’s ball. Your child should express that anger by telling an adult, or explaining why stealing is wrong. They shouldn’t hit the other kid or shout at them. This just makes the problem a whole lot worse.
It’s always important to find triggers for a child’s anger. Sometimes, a child may have an outburst, but there may be underlying factors to it. For example, maybe a certain phrase or event makes your child angrier than usual. It’s important to find triggers and try avoiding them, or teaching your child techniques to manage their anger should they have no way to avoid them.
It’s important to have discipline when your child expresses anger. Again, don’t be angry at your child. Yelling at your child or using physical force as punishment just isn’t going to set an example. However, grounding a child, making them apologize to the kid they got angry at, or punishing them can help set an example.
You may not even treat the punishment as such. For example, if your child takes a time out, tell them that this is a time to cool down and figure out how to express their anger in a better way. Perhaps give them a stress ball while you’re in a time out.
Also, don’t forget to reward good behavior. Positive reinforcement should be another thing you strive for. Give your child a treat or praise them when they manage to control their anger and express it in a way that is much less toxic.
Get Them Into Physical Activity
If your child wants to express their emotions in a healthy way, try getting them into physical activity. At around 5, your child is usually old enough to participate in tee ball or another sport for a little one. Exercise helps your child get out their emotions in a healthy way, and it can help your child improve their mood too. The dopamine rush feels so good and it can calm down your kid. Don’t be afraid to try it, especially if your child isn’t getting enough exercise.
Don’t Feel Afraid To Seek Help
Sometimes, your child’s anger may be a sign of another underlying issue. Some children have developmental conditions that make them angrier and harder to control. On the other hand, some children just have anger management issues, but you may not be teaching them how to manage their anger in the right way.
Seeking the help of a counselor or a therapist can be the solution. Speak to one and see what they can do for you. Child counselors can talk to a young child and get down on their level. Usually, you don’t even need medication. Some cognitive behavioral therapy techniques may be able to help.
Anger is an emotion that isn’t inherently bad, but many children don’t know how to express it in a healthy way. To be fair, some adults don’t know how to, either. But by teaching them healthy anger management techniques, your kid won’t be one of them.
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