Dating angry child
I like to remind parents that the Chinese symbol for crisis is a combination of the characters for “danger” and “opportunity.” So when your child acts out, although it’s a dangerous situation, also remember that it presents a good opportunity for learning to take place.Many parents try to deal with their child’s emotions first because they believe that’s where the bad behavior is coming from. It focuses on the emotion or the act itself, not the child’s thinking behind the behavior, which is what you really need to address.When something happens today that reminds us of a past upset, we get angry to protect ourselves -- even if the threat today isn't really much of a threat.That's why our three year old's defiance triggers our rage.So humans mobilize against any perceived threat (even our own upsets) by attacking. And because kids don't have a context for their upsets, a small disappointment can seem like the end of the world.Worse yet, since they don't have a fully developed frontal cortex to help them self-regulate, children are even more prone to lashing out when they're angry.
It’s critical for parents to understand that processing your child’s feelings while they are happening is not constructive.In the same way, appropriate behavior is best learned the crisis.And make no bones about it, if your child is screaming, yelling or punching things, you are already in crisis mode.(Doesn't it seem crazy that we expect them to handle anger constructively, when so often we adults don't?) Sometimes attacking makes sense when we're angry, but only when there's actually a threat. Most of the time when kids get angry, they want to attack their little brother (who broke their treasured memento), their parents (who disciplined them "unfairly"), their teacher (who embarrassed them) or the playground bully (who scared them.) Luckily, as children's brains develop, they gain the capacity to manage their anger constructively -- IF they live in a home where anger is handled in a healthy way. As we accept our child's anger and remain calm, she lays down the neural pathways -- and learns the emotional skills -- to calm herself down without hurting people or property.