Children get angry from time to time. Little people express themselves in very loud, untidy, demonstrative & creative ways – and often at the most inappropriate times! But remember We are raising humans not robots, NOT every book/blog/method works on every child, and I believe parents need to think outside the box on discipline and boundaries and view as one of life’s adventures to work out what works OR what doesn’t.
‘a hot tempered person stirs up conflict but the one who is patient calms a quarrel’ prov 15 v 18
note: key to this- Don’t give up trying because there is always a way to help your children grow up as healthy adults BUT it’s your hands to find out how.
Kids get angry when (feel free to insert your own) ……
- If they don’t get what they want
- When they are fearful or ashamed
- If they are hungry or tired.
- When They are bored or over excited
- And if under or over stimulated
- When you put the wrong clothes out
- When you looked in their direction
- Sometimes for no obvious reason
They are learning the world doesn’t always revolve around them, learning to share their possessions, their parents & their space.
Psychologists would say children are either a dandelion or an orchid or any where in between, meaning they are like the dandelion who can be trampled on and bounce back seemingly unharmed or like an orchid which need perfect conditions to flourish, so it could help our response in times of intensity to bear this in mind.
Here are a few life saving techniques that helped us:
1) Taking a Time out – creating a pause moment, This method works well for the child who struggles to get a grip of their emotions and shouts their every un-filtered thought!
Find a spot in the house not too far away where the ‘expressive’ child can sit and wait.
( a 2-year-old will not sit alone for 20 min, some use the 5 min per age starting at 2, but don’t go over 20 mins or everyone will forget what actually happened),
The child sits in the same spot for the allotted time, if they leave, start the timer again, TIP put a countdown on your phone so everyone knows when T/O is complete. Then when the timer beeps T/O has been successfully achieved
1st Well done you made it, add a party ringtone for fun!
2nd Mummy put you there because (insert reason) please can you say sorry (trust me; take any muffled sorry at first it’s a hard word to say and perfect in the early days)
3rd smile big and make up, go carry on with the day
I personally liked this one A Lot!! as it gave me time to gain a moment of pause too.
NOTE: This method requires consistency , T/O only works if you are committed to seeing it through.
2) Hold them close – this method works well for the child who gets angry because of anxiety and turbulent atmospheres, SIDE NOTE : also helps if you are looking for an opportunity to fix your bingo wings
1st A long strong hug : can disarm; overwhelm the intensity of their emotion and takes them a place of safety & strength. It’s important that our kids know that mum & dad are stronger than their emotion & love them no matter what they do.
2nd After a few minutes when you feel them melt into your arms; pause, try not to rush in with the list of their misdemeanours
3rd use reassuring words and then good clear instructions along the lines of… maybe next time you could use your words…mummy didnt notice that you were sad or needed something …mummy thinks we could work together to fix this in the future.
STAY CALM, STAY WITH THEM, don’t wander off too quickly.
3) Fix the problem There will always be One that always gets angry when they have a physical need ;
2nd after the food/ bladder release had taken effect only then talk about their “hangry” feelings & how we could “use our words” to ask for what we needed in the future.
3rd It’s important to apologise for the bit you can take responsibility for, lead the way… Mum is sorry she didn’t notice you hadn’t eaten …what part are you sorry for?
Even with great techniques; Sometimes because of our own fear or embarrassment we try a “fire blanket” approach what I call the ‘Elsa Model’ -Conceal -don’t feel- Quickly covering & suppression emotion & expression. It may feel like the easiest way to manage the meltdown or for simple time management, but it doesn’t allow for full expression . Create safe places for outbursts & then time /age appropriate reflection as the child learns to journey from anger to appropriate response .
And be encouraged WE (the parent) are not their mistakes, it’s okay and normal to feel bad/sad they did/ said something wrong but that does not make YOU a bad parent.
We can teach our children to own & manage their own emotions & behaviours through positive reinforcement! Make it easy for them to get it right
Hopefully one day they will be leading in business, government, writing policies growing their own family and making the world a better place, fighting for justice & what a quality to have an understanding of how to feel things deeply and then how to convert it to positive action.
Can I encourage you to keep a short account too, forgive them quickly and don’t take what they say too personally, your kids might have a bad 5 mins but don’t make them pay for it all day.
‘hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offences’ prov 10 v 1
we are all in this together & if you are having your own mum meltdown click here