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Anger in children often gets written off as normal tantrums during the terrible twos phase but when the anger turns into aggressive behavior and disrespect later on it can be a sign that your child is having a difficult time processing and appropriately expressing their outrage. You don’t want to ignore it as it can harm them and you don’t want this behavior to turn into a habit! Habits, like anger, can become harder to change in children so the best thing you can do is to help your child deal with their anger early on with these three ways!
Acting on emotions
When kids are young they are learning that they are different entities from their parents. Along with that, they learn to spike a balance between being independent and still being dependent on their caretakers. This psychological principle is one that children have to learn if they are to be mindful of their emotions and to those around them. Make it clear to your kids that their relationships with themselves and others matter and that they don’t have to act on their emotions, especially in anger.
Give them the vocabulary
Teach your kids it is okay to feel angry and give them the vocabulary to express themselves! A lack of knowledge leaves people in the dark and can lead to making bad decisions, even in children! For example if you are unaware of the existence of a family law guardianship, you might feel helpless and not know the way forward; the same applies to labeling emotions. When a child grows up knowing words like frustration, anger, hurt, embarrassed they can separate emotion from behavior. It also helps creates a foundation for a larger conversation of how they can process their feelings.
Be a role model
Children learn from copying the adults around them and are likely to manifest the same behaviors they witnessed growing up once they become an adult. That means when you lose your temper the kids will be watching and modeling your behavior so make sure you are a positive role model to them! Always do your best to keep your own anger at bay and be mindful about what you expose your kids to. Kids are learning the intricacies of the human emotion so your role is vital in regard to teaching them what type of anger is healthy and how to have a healthy relationship.