Space Place Help
This is just a little information for parents.
Anger Management and Calming Strategies
Anger is a complex and difficult emotion for young children to deal with so having an awareness of anger management as an adult can really help.
We need to help children learn how to recognise, talk about and manage their anger. This of course is best done not while they’re angry, but while they’re calm and happy in order to give them tools they can put to use when they really need them.
There is no ‘one right solution’ for anger management in children, as what works for one child may not work for another. That’s why learning how to calm themselves may be quite a long-term project, it takes time to try different methods and ideas.
Also, the level of anger may change the effectiveness of a strategy hence the need for a variety of strategies available. For example, if they are just a little angry stopping for a cool drink or to take a break might be effective, but if it’s a full-blown tantrum this might mean the drink is thrown across the room and they may manage better with a small, quiet, private space where they can talk to or cry with their favourite teddy.
3 simple steps toward anger management
1 Identify their own emotions
In order to deal with anger it’s important for children to learn to differentiate between their own varying emotions, and the intensity of their feelings. Think about activities, puppets, social stories, emotions songs to explore these various emotions.
The level of intensity is also important. Children need to learn to recognise their own anger as it’s building to give them time to implement a strategy and calm themselves.
You should think about using an emotional thermometer or traffic lights.
2. Teach calming strategies
During periods when your child is calm spend time reading about and talking about anger and other emotions, the effects they have and how we can learn ways to prevent ourselves from becoming really angry. This also helps to develop a sense of ownership and recognition in your child.
3. Practice, practice, practice
It’s great to practice these strategies while your child is calm or in a good mood and make sure they understand why you are doing this and how it should help.
Also it’s most important to actually see if they help during periods of mild to acute anger as your child will find it easier to see and recognise that these strategies can and do help.
What sounds like a good idea when you’re happy, may not work so well when temper rises. Be prepared to try different methods over a long period till you find a couple of strategies that seem to be the most effective for you.
It helps to use calming strategies cards
You have a variety of these I’m sure but there are some here in the visuals you can use.
- talk to your child about feelings of anger and different options that are available for cooling down
- prompt your child to decide what strategies might suit them best, or what they’d like to try first
- remind when possible and/or encourage angry children to make use of their chosen strategies
- remember: your child might think of other methods and it is good to go with these as they are really thinking and contributing and are therefore more likely to try to use these strategies.
When you and your child have decided what strategies they’d like to try, put those strategy cards somewhere nearby so they are there and on hand when they are needed.
I am sure Parents you have all done most of this before but as your children are at home for a long period of time that they are probably finding really hard to understand I just thought I would stretch out with some help and guidance.
Like all things what works for one child may not for another and what works one day may not work the next but sometimes you just have to try and then try again.
Hoping all families are keeping well and are getting through this really difficult time as best you can.