No matter how happy the child, he is bound to have some moments of anger. A young child often doesn't know how to express his anger. Hurting himself or others is a possibility. Whether your angry child hits, screams or throws a temper tantrum, teaching him to deal with the feelings gives him a safe outlet for the anger.
Talking About It
When you notice your child getting angry, you can help him put those feelings into words. By calmly talking to your child, you show him that you care about what's going on with him. You might say, "I notice that you're feeling angry. Can you tell me what is making you upset?" Getting him to talk when his mood first starts to change can help avoid a full-fledged temper tantrum. When you get angry yourself, model how to deal with the emotions. Instead of yelling at your child when he paints on the wall, tell him calmly, "I feel angry when you draw on the walls because it ruins them."
Providing an Outlet
Kids need a way to blow off steam when a situation causes frustration. An angry child sometimes expresses his anger through hitting, screaming and pushing. Encourage him to channel the negative feelings in a more productive activity, such as running outside, jumping up and down or banging on a drum. Breathing techniques are another option for children. Show your child how to breathe deeply and count to help calm down. Once the anger subsides, you can help him come up with solutions to the problem that made him upset.
Distraction is an option for calming down a young child who is angry. When a particular situation is causing the anger, you can distract your child by moving him to a different area or activity. For example, if he gets upset when his block tower keeps falling over, invite him over to play a game with you. Humor is another way to distract your angry child, but this approach requires a careful approach. Your attempts at making him laugh might make your child more upset.
Providing your child with comfort can help him calm down. A soft voice helps soothe your child when he is angry. If he allows you to get close, give your child a hug or hold him in your arms. Rubbing his back, rocking him or similar soothing actions can help him get his anger under control. If your child has a favorite toy or blanket, offer the item to him. Your child's personality and typical way of handling upsetting situations helps you choose the best method for handling his anger.
- Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images