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How Do You Calm an Angry Child Down?

What is anger?

As parents, you should let your children know that getting angry sometimes is okay. But, you also need to teach them how to quickly release anger by using these techniques.
As parents, you should let your children know that getting angry sometimes is okay. But, you also need to teach them how to quickly release anger by using these techniques.

Anger is the feeling of being mad, ticked off, frustrated, or furious. Feeling anger is healthy and okay. But, it can turn into a problem when it becomes difficult to manage and control. It can negatively affect your behavior, feelings, and relationships.

Children usually display big emotions in different ways. Younger children are likely to react with meltdowns, tantrums, and outbursts.

This display of emotions may seem irrational and unnecessary to parents. But, instead of reacting to their child’s anger, parents need to empathize with them and learn parenting strategies to calm them.

Managing your child’s anger

As parents, you should let your children know that getting angry sometimes is okay. But, you also need to teach them how to quickly release anger by using these techniques.

Validate your child’s feelings

You want your child to know that having their emotions is fine. You don’t want them to feel like they need to hide their feelings.

Validation is a powerful parenting technique when it comes to helping children calm down. It communicates to them that you understand and accept their emotions without being judgmental.

Effective validation requires you to give your child undivided attention so that you can catch their facial expressions and body language as you try to understand their perspective.

Showing your child that you’re listening can help avoid tantrums when your child builds up to explosive behavior.

Develop their feelings vocabulary

Kids who do not know how to communicate their frustrations display aggressive behavior such as hitting, kicking, biting, and screaming. Parents need to teach them emotional vocabulary that enables them to express their emotions.

Some of the words you can teach kids include angry, frustrated, upset, mad, furious, nervous, agitated, anxious, and tense. Once they learn these words, help and encourage them instead of holding in anger or lashing out.

Take deep breaths

Deep breaths are an excellent relaxation technique that positively releases anger, even in adults. It has a similar effect on children.

You can teach your child to take a few deep breaths when they are feeling angry or overwhelmed. Teach them to stand straight for a moment, close their eyes and take a few good breaths to relax and calm themselves.

Hug it out

A hug may not be the first thing you think of when your child is showing extreme levels of anger. However, hugs have a calming effect — and they are a powerful tool for helping your child calm down.

Ask your child if they need a hug and then pull them close. The tension will ease their bodies.

Stopping your child’s anger

You can sometimes stop or reduce anger by using these techniques.

Try a grounding technique

Shutting children in a room when they’re upset may not give them enough space to express their feelings freely. Instead of giving your child an isolating timeout, you can turn to other grounding techniques, like counting various items in the room out loud. You can also go outside and count rocks or trees. The grounding method helps calm your child and equips them with skills for dealing with anger in the future.

Create a calm-down corner

Another effective way to calm your angry child is to have them take some time away. But, make sure that you present it as a helpful calming tool rather than a punishment area.

You can place blankets and other comforting items in the calm-down area and sit with the child or near them. They should not think they are on timeout. Instead, they should view the area as a place they go to regain control over their emotions.

Tell them to put their hands in their pockets

Putting hands in pockets may not seem like much, but it offers a self-imposed restraint that offers a comforting pressure. This can be effective for kids who lash out and throw tantrums when angry.

You can also encourage them to sit on their hands or hold their hands tightly for the same effect.

Active ignoring

Validating feelings is a great parenting tool. But, it doesn’t mean always giving attention or encouraging wrong behavior.

You can use active ignoring tactics by withdrawing attention and reduce repetitive bad behaviors like arguing and whining. Turn your face or body away from your child who’s engaging in minor behaviors in an attempt to withdraw attention.

The effectiveness of this method lies in giving your attention back to your child and praising them as soon as they start doing something positive.

The take away

Kids don’t enjoy feeling angry or engaging in various angry outbursts. It’s mostly a reaction to frustrations and their inability to process big emotions.

Helping your child gain coping skills for responding appropriately to these emotions will significantly impact their social and emotional life.

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