Help! My child gets angry

Why may your child be getting angry:

I am going to focus todays topic on children who have difficulty managing emotions such as anger. Neurotypical children and children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, Tourettes typically tend to get angry at times.

Here are certain possible causes for what makes your child angry:

The child may not be getting what he or she wants
The child may be asked to do something that they don’t want to do
Some children may lack social skills such as kids with ADHD and maybe bullied at school
Some other kids may be so disorganised that they forget their homework, get called out in class and eventually get stressed.

I am going to give you certain tips that I use at my clinic to manage anger and help children regulate their emotions.

1. Get your Childs vestibular system working. When we invert our heads for short periods of time in the day like a few seconds we regulate and organise our nervous system. Hanging upside down from monkey bars, trees and a sofa is very calming on the nervous system and can help calm an angry child.

2. Take a magazine and cut out faces of people with different emotions such as anger, sadness, happy faces and calm face. Ask your child questions such as which one of these faces represent anger/ sadness/ joy. Identifying their own emotions helps children to label and identify their friends and other peoples emotions too. This is a good starting point for children to know when and how to approach another person when they express different emotions. It also helps a child recognise the point at which they get angry.

3. Ask the children what makes them angry or upset?
What do they do when they feel angry or upset?
How do they stop being angry or calm themselves down?

4. Practise mindfulness with your children everyday. Ask your child to take 5 deep in breaths every time they get angry. This can be started in children as young as three years of age.

5. Make two cards for your child. In one card write down, ‘When I am angry I can sing a song’, In another write down, ‘When I am angry I can remember a happy time, like the visit to the beach/ fun park’. Put these cards in their pocket everyday. Ask them to reach out to these cards and read them every time that they get angry.

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