As a parent, you’re probably juggling a number of tasks every day – household chores, work, your kid’s schedule, his meals and raising him to be a healthy, happy and successful adult. While temper tantrums are common, frequent anger outburst and negative thinking aren’t, and if left ignored, could affect your kid’s psychological development and personality as well.
If that sounds like something your kid is going through, here’s some help your way. Read on to discover how you can help your kid deal with negative emotions and anger.
Validate & Label Feelings
Children are naturally good at emotional literacy, so opening the lines of communication and talking openly about feelings and then labelling them is the first approach toward helping your kid manage his negativity and anger. Always acknowledge his feelings – don’t just shrug it off. Empathize with them, help them feel supported and help them find different, more manageable ways to express those feelings.
It is now time to dig deeper and look into the actual causes behind these emotions. What tends to trigger these anger outbursts? Where does your child’s negativity stem from? Take a closer look into your child’s life and try to assess the underlying issue behind his emotions. Most of the time, these negative emotions aren’t really a part of your child’s personality but are his response towards an issue or a condition that he can’t seem to control.
Have a Plan
After you’ve identified the emotions and possibly, the causes behind those emotions, sit down with your kid and chalk up an action plan to transform or channel those emotions into a more positive one. Help him learn how to take deep breaths to calm himself down when he’s getting angry, or quickly change his thoughts into more positive, empowering ones when he’s plagued by negative emotions.
Make gratitude a part of your daily routine as a family right from the beginning. Practising gratefulness can help your kid overcome the cycle of negative thoughts in his mind, and also help him develop a more positive outlook on life. Make it a point to list down at least 10 things you’re grateful for every day, and encourage your kid to do the same.
Positive reinforcement is extremely powerful, especially when it comes to handling bad behaviour in children. It may not seem ideal, but praising your child when he’s at his best behaviour can encourage him to do more of that. Doing this will also help your kid feel stronger when it comes to dealing with intense emotions like anger and hurt, and he’ll be less likely to feel overwhelmed or all over the place.