Parenting an Angry Child
Do not teach your children never to be angry. Teach them how to be angry.
Mary walked out of the Principal's office with her son Kevin in tow!
The Principal had informed her that Kevin had gotten into a fight with another child and had broken his nose. He was on suspension from school for a week!
Mary was at her wit's end. Of late, he had started getting angry at the smallest of things. He was rude, would shout, throw tantrums, slam the doors, not go out to play, and was generally irritable all the time.
As they pulled into their driveway, they saw someone waiting at the door—Grandma Betty! Both Kevin and Mary were thrilled to see her. For Mary, she was a Godsend! Her mother's always had a calming influence on him.
Kevin ran to hug his Grandma... then ran inside to dump his school backpack. While he was away, Mary apprised her mother of the situation.
He was even more delighted when Grandma gave him a gift—A box of crayons! He loved doodling with colours. But Grandma had one condition before she gave it to him — Every time he got angry, he would have to draw out the reason for his anger. This did not seem to be an unreasonable demand, so he accepted.
His Grandma sat next to him while he drew pictures of things and people he did not like. As she watched him draw, She started asking him questions like, 'Tell me about your picture' or 'Who is this person?
He drew a picture of a boy bullying another.
Next came his teacher!
There was one of his parents too!
This exercise went on for days on end, and slowly his pictures started looking less aggressive, even happy! It was almost like the anger in him was dissipating slowly.
Smiling parents came first!
The teacher looked more human!
Happy, friendly boys featured too!
Their conversations led his Grandma to conclude that Kevin was upset that his best friend had moved to another city and found it difficult to cope. The more they talked, the more Kevin realized how he could not think clearly when he was angry.
Grandma Betty gave him a few Anger Management Tips.
- Draw or write what he was feeling angry about.
- He could take a deep breath and count to ten before reacting.
Mary realized that while they could hear Kevin, they were not really listening to him. She decided she would spend more time with him by doing activities together, getting him to open up about his feelings.
Like adults, all kids get angry and use it as a shield to protect themselves from emotional distress.
If your child has anger management issues, remember that it is a cry for help to deal with fear, hurt, or grief.