Anger is a perfectly normal emotion to experience and it does happen to all of us. What can get tricky is if the anger starts to rule your family. What to watch is how you respond to your anger, and how you deal with the anger from your children or spouse. One of the biggest myths out there is that anger is uncontrollable. It simply isn’t the case, and with family support and working together you can help deal with the anger issues in your family before they spiral out of control.
Learn to talk about things early on
There really is nothing worse than letting a mild irritation or disagreement turn into something worse by ignoring it. If you have a disagreement it really is best to talk about it and get feelings out in the open early so you can start to try to work on a solution. Learn to notice the signs with children; so if they are despondent or snappy with you for no reason then perhaps something is bothering then at school or with their siblings. Not making a big deal of it, take them aside to have a heart to heart, as they may just need to talk things out. If it’s your cohabitation partner or husband who’s got a bug bear then tread carefully and don’t joust in view of the children.
As said before, anger is a perfectly normal emotion and it shouldn’t be ignored, dismissed or judged. By this we mean acknowledging that your child is angry and explaining to them that they are not the problem in this situation, but anger is. You can make this fun by turning it into a creative exercise, for example getting your child to draw what their anger loos like; perhaps it’s a thunder cloud or a volcano. You can make them feel more human and less judged by explaining that you also get angry sometimes and explain what you do to calm yourself down.
Don’t fight anger with anger
If your child has an angry outburst, don’t shout back or tell them off as this can cultivate a normality around the anger. Instead talk calmly to your child about what it is that vexes them, not only will your calming attitude have a positive effect on them, but they will see that anger won’t get them anywhere and in turn they will probably end up feeling a little guilty, which will help them want to work out how to control it.
Work out a strategy
Whether you’re dealing with a 5-year-old or a 25-year-old, anger is a delicate subject and also needs a strategy to stop it taking over your family life. Think about how you deal with your anger, is it a counting strategy? A breathing exercise? Perhaps you need to work one out for yourself at this point? Whatever the cure you need to teach your child how to recognise the anger bubbling to enable them to control it with their breathing or counting methods
Anger comes in many forms, not just the standard verbal or physical, so if you notice that a member of your family is acting strangely or is prone to angry outbursts, try to intervene in these ways.
“Anger Management Games for Children” by Deborah M. Plummer is a great boo that helps parents and adults to learn more about the anger their children feel and assists adults to better understand and cope with the anger of their children. With playful games that are directed to successfully foster anger management strategies for children aged 5-12.
Another good book is “Calming the Family Storm: Anger Management for Moms, Dads and All the Kids” by Gary d. McKay and Steven A. Maybell. This book aids families to make the necessary changes that will help to reduce anger and enhance a harmonious family life. The strategies described in this book can assist adults, youngsters of every age and even professionals.