Kids can get angry, really angry, and really fast. Sometimes all we do is stand and watch helplessly when our kids are in the middle of a tantrum. My usually happy, 2 year old, was rolling on the floor crying and screaming because I told her we couldn’t go to the playground that evening. Sounds familiar? We all know, it’s not a secret that kids get angry. This dramatic display of emotions is very common and happens with most of the kids. It happens because sometimes the infants and toddlers don’t have the words for their feelings, usually known as ‘Lack of Language.” When kids can’t explain what they need or how they’re feeling, then they express their feelings in a physical way.
Power is a very important feeling for a child. They see their desires as very urgent. If they need a new toy, they need it otherwise all the toys that they have at home are worthless. Patience generally is a learned behavior for toddlers. Anger is a very natural emotion for them; sometimes it even follows them to adulthood. As part of being a parent, it’s our job to teach our kids how to deal with their emotions.
Accept and acknowledge their anger
Now that you know it’s a developmental milestone for your toddler, accept their anger and acknowledge it. Tell them, I can see that you’re angry, I know you love the park, but it’s quite dark now and we can come again tomorrow. Tell them that it’s okay to be angry. You should make your child aware of their emotions and that you will accept them and love them no matter what. They should know that they do not have to hide their emotions from you.
Enrich their vocabulary
Encourage them to use words; they don’t naturally know what to say. Tell them, Whenever you get angry, let’s try to use your words. Help them understand that if they use words, you can understand them better and offer a solution.
Come to a mutual ground
Usually, kid’s leash out because of a power struggle with their parents. For generations, it’s believed that kids throw tantrums to manipulate their parents, which is not true. Offer a solution that is acceptable to you and to them. If they’re asking for more time at the park, give them 5mins extra and turn on the stopwatch in front of them, tell them when the watch buzzes it’ll be time to head back home. Motivate your child towards something that excites them and distracts them from the current situation. You might want to offer an alternative or a compromise.
When you know the triggers of your child’s tantrums, try to be mellow from the beginning, follow a pattern. You may avoid a tantrum by not saying a ‘no’ immediately. Ease them into it. Tell them, You want 5 more minutes of playtime today? Let’s talk about it. This buys you the time to maybe consider their request or think of a positive way to say no or even think of a distraction. You want to make your child feel heard, understood, and respected.
You want to give your child the world. But they also need to understand and respect the boundaries that you create. You should let them know that while being angry is okay, but showing it physically is not. Tell them, Hitting, biting, or kicking anyone when you’re angry is not ok. Direct your child in a positive direction, tell them, Hitting hurts, and we don’t hurt anyone.
Teach them the flower-candle breathing technique
Ask them to breathe deeply once, after that ask them to breathe as though they were smelling a rose. After that, they blow as though they were blowing a candle. Ask them to repeat this a couple of times. This helps them ground and be in the present.