5 Ways to Help Your Children Cope with Anger and Stress
One of the big challenges parents face is in helping their children manage their emotions, especially relating to anger, frustration and stress. Children tend to lose control easily since they are unable to fully express or articulate their emotions through verbal communication.
Here are 5 useful stress management tips to help your children cope with feelings of anger and stress:
Educating them about their feelings
Teach your children how to identify their emotions, such as being “happy”, “sad”, “angry”, “scared”. This allows them to understand and be aware of their emotions better, and be better able to classify their emotions in that particular instance.
Do not condone bad behaviour
It is common for children to have tantrums in order to get their way. But by giving in to children’s demands, it only encourages these tantrums as they feel the tantrums are effective methods to get what they want. Make it clear to your children that meltdowns are not to be tolerated, and instead, work to engage with them and understand them better, so that they know that you are doing your best to meet their needs.
Have a method of calming your kids down
Develop a go-to plan whenever your children start to feel angry. This can be in the form of an activity such as bringing out their favourite toy, or reading a book together, or doing a jigsaw puzzle together, or going out for a walk together. This helps to take their minds away from the stressful situation at hand, and engages them in a more positive activity.
Reduce exposure to violent content
Avoid exposing your children to media that is violent in nature, such as violent video games, TV shows, or even cartoons, as these may have a negative influence on their young minds and cultivate aggression.
Do not neglect discipline
Children need to understand that all actions, be they good or bad, have consequences. Thoughtful discipline is essential in helping your children understand that aggressiveness and rude behaviour are unacceptable. Make sure that your discipline is applied consistently, so that it does not send confusing signals to your children. Discipline can come in the form of a stern warning or withholding certain privileges such as TV time or their favourite snack.
Understand that children often have angry outbursts due to their inability to manage their emotions and articulate their feelings fully. As parents, we should do our best to help them navigate these emotions, and guide them towards having better control of their responses. This will in turn have a positive impact on their behaviour and lead to better relationships with their family, friends and all those around them.