5-Question Technique for Teaching Children to Manage Anger

Many parents wonder how they can teach or help their children deal with anger, anger, or anger. The first thing we have to accept is that children, just like adults get angry and enraged, but that, unlike adults, they don't always have tools to manage their emotions.

Many times as adults we make the mistake of treating children's emotions or behaviors from the prism or adult perspective. But we cannot forget that children are not miniature adults, and therefore we cannot reason with them as if they were adults, nor can we demand of them as if they were adults. Therefore, so that you are aware of this emotion, I always propose a little game that could be called the 5-question technique.

So that the child learns to manage anger, the first thing you will have to know is what rabies is, what makes you angry and what you feel when you get angry. If you don't identify your emotions, you will hardly be able to handle them. But, we are going step by step, and we are going to ask ourselves the questions one by one.

1. What is rabies?
For children to know how to handle and manage emotions, it is important that they know what they are and how to differentiate them from each other. Therefore, it will be important that the child knows them. There are books and stories that can help us in this task, in addition to naming what children feel from a young age. 'Anger is what I feel when Fulanito takes a toy from me, or when Dad won't let me watch TV.'

Beyond 'behaving well or badly', the child must be told what he is feeling called. If a toy breaks and he cries, for example, it is a good time to validate that emotion with phrases such as 'Honey, it is normal that you are angry because you have broken a toy' or 'I understand your anger'.

2. What things make me angry?
It is essential that children know what things make them angry or have made them angry. They are usually normal things: being told that they have to do something they don't want, someone breaking or taking their things from them, excluding them from a game, other children cheating, not paying enough attention to them ... The list is infinite and depends on each child.

Here it is important to help them distinguish rage or anger from other types of emotions such as shame, guilt, jealousy, etc. that often hide behind anger.

3. What do I notice in my body when I get angry?
The body usually sends us notices of when we are starting to get angry or when we are already suuuuper angry. It is very important to recognize those physical signs that warn us when I am getting angry, and if we know how to recognize them, we can act in time, before exploding completely.

4. What do I usually do when I get angry?
It is very important that children identify their behavior when they are angry and that they learn to distinguish between emotion and behavior. I can be very very very angry, but that does not justify me breaking things, yelling or hitting someone. Children have to learn to channel that anger, and to do it in a positive way.

5. What can I do when I get angry?
If I have already managed to properly identify that emotion, it is important to learn strategies that help children manage them.

  • Get away from the 'focus' of anger.
  • Find a quiet place to stay until our anger has subsided and we can talk about what happened. Here we can apply breathing and relaxation techniques.
  • Think of ways to channel the energy of anger. Going out to play with a ball, painting, listening to music, squeezing a stress ball with your hands ...

It is important to take into account the age of the child. Anger is not the same in a 2-year-old who is barely able to speak, as in a 7-year-old who already has more ability to think about what is happening around him. With 2 years, it will be more about understanding their anger, staying calm, accompanying their tantrum and putting the appropriate consequence to the behavior and age (if the child hits, or breaks something).

In addition to taking into account the method of the questions, it will not hurt to know the following tips. These are some guidelines to apply at home, on what to do and what not to do.

- Do not suppress the child's anger
Anger is an emotion, and how such is valid and positive. What you will have to manage is the behavior when you are angry. We all get angry, adults and children, we have the right to be angry and upset by things.

- Do not emotionally 'blackmail' the child when he gets angry
The typical phrases of 'if you get angry like that they will not love you', far from achieving our goal that the child change his behavior, can make children insecure and submissive.

- Correct from calm
If the child is enraged and I try to correct him with a shout, I will hardly achieve my goal!

- Do not put consequences to the child's anger, but to the behavior
That is, I am not going to leave the child without pictures for getting angry, but for kicking. I have the right to be angry, but not to hit, insult or break things.

- Educate by example
If parents get angry and yell every time the child does something we don't like, or something happens in the environment that bothers us, the child will learn that this behavior is valid and that when something happens that we don't like we can get angry, scream and howl. How important it is to set an example!

- Offer tools, help and alternatives to anger
Children are not born knowing how to manage their emotions, it is learning, therefore, just as they need someone to teach them to read, they need us to teach them to manage emotions.

And you, what do you do when your child feels angry or when he gets angry?

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