Anger Management

Written By

Kannika Iyengar

Wellness.Health.Anger Management.23.11-04-05 Loading

Managing a child’s anger episodes or temper tantrums can be a challenge for parents and in this segment I will give you some tips on managing your child’s anger.

First let’s look at what should absolutely not be done –

  • When your child is angry or throwing a tantrum, the situation will explode if you get angry or aggressive with your child at that moment in that situation. So do not hit back at the child at that point.
  • Do not judge your child for his/her anger. In this situation, anger is the problem and your child is not the problem, so do not make them feel like this is all their problem and fault.
  • Stopping an angry episode only makes it worse so do not try to stop an angry episode in the middle. Remember that the anger doesn’t suddenly vanish when you stop the episode, it stays inside the child until the next opportunity arises.

So what can you do immediately when your child is very angry or throwing a tantrum?

  • Deep breathing is a great option. Teach your child how to take deep breaths and whenever the need arises, ask him/her to take 10-20 deep breaths. This technique will not work during an angry situation if you haven’t practiced it before.
  • Leave the environment, room or situation.
  • Play your child’s favourite music or some calming music they like.
  • If you see that your child is getting angry, distract them from the situation before it gets too much by offering favourite toys or play their favourite game.
  • Give your child space – pestering them to answer/respond to your questions or instructions when your child is angry will make the situation worse.
  • Continue to give them your love. Remember that bad behaviour does not make a bad person. And giving your children the knowledge that you will not stop loving them if they are angry will help calm down the situation.

What are some of the long term techniques you can use?

  • Plan a strategy with your child. Sit down with your child and come up with a plan that both of you agree on and execute it whenever he/she gets angry.
  • Give your child lots of positive feedback and reinforcements. Make them feel good about themselves.
  • Teach your child to consider another person’s feelings and views thus decreasing situations where he/she could get angry. By the age of 3 itself children can start understanding other’s perspectives, so don’t think your child cannot understand someone else’s feelings and views.
  • Follow through with consequences. As a parent, if you say that you will do a particular thing when your child gets angry, you need to follow through with that when he/she gets angry. If you do not then your child will not listen to you and the anger continues. E.g. – If you get angry, then you do not get to listen to the radio as we go to school today.
  • The most important part of anger management is finding triggers. If you understand what is triggering your child’s anger and can solve the issue at the root itself, then automatically the intensity and number of anger episodes will decrease. Work together with your child to find these triggers and recognise them at the early stage itself before the situation goes out of control.

And do remember that each child is unique and some of these tips may not work at all. In that case please take the support of a professional and understand what anger management techniques will work specific to your needs.




Kannika Bharath Iyengar, 27, is a Masters in Counselling from the University of Edinburgh. She is currently consulting in a number of Bangalore-based organisations for work related to autism spectrum disorders and counselling. Kannika counsels people across a range of economic and social backgrounds, and dealing with issues ranging from academic and adolescent to marital problems, old age related issues, aggression, obsessive compulsive tendencies, etc. She is also a passionate baker and loves to use healthy ingredients to make great food, and teach the same to others. A green advocate, Kannika ensures that people around her produce as little waste as possible and make the world greener.

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