Being a parent is tough.. But being a kid is tough too!

Being a parent is tough. But being a kid is tough too! Here are some ways to help kids manage their anger. The cool thing is all of these suggestions involve parent and kid!

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Here goes

Walk away

Sometimes we need to take a break from a power struggle (this goes for parent and kid). Walk away! Go to another room or go outside for a few minutes. Walking away when angry buys some time for self-calming to naturally take place.

Deep breaths & happy places

Feeling angry causes a physical reaction faster heartbeat, shallow quick breathing, red/hot face, clenched teeth, tight muscles, etc. Taking deep breaths forces the body to slow down! Close your eyes and focus on breathing slowly and deeply. Getting more oxygen in the blood helps relax the body and as the body relaxes, the mind relaxes. Experience all the physical sensations that occur when you are quiet and focused. Feel your chest expand and retract, listen to your heartbeat, purposely relax your muscles, smell the fresh air and go to that happy place in your mind. Ahhhh Talk to your kid about their happy place. Teach them to imagine their favorite place and go there when they are angry or upset. Let them know about your happy place. Describe it in great detail, using all five senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch); have your kid describe their happy place using all five senses.

Blow bubbles

Blowing bubbles is essentially deep breathing (surprise!) but for some kids, taking deep breaths is boring but blowing bubbles is not! The goal is to distract, refocus, and self-soothe. Blow bubbles with your childthis is a great way for adults to self-soothe too! Have a biggest bubble contest. Blowing bigger bubbles takes longer, slower breaths. Live in the moment surrounded by bubbles. Make it an experience and enjoy it with your kid.

Count to 10

Teach your kid to count to 10 (or higher, if necessary) when they first start to feel themselves getting angry (preferably) or when they are already angry (definitely). This redirects focus from the source/trigger of the anger and provides a distraction to buy some time to calm down.

Draw/write

Sometimes people (especially kids) have a hard time verbally expressing themselves when they become angry or frustrated. Drawing and/or writing helps kids express themselves through color, shapes, pictures, letters, words, etc. It doesn't have to be a picture or even make any sense. The point is they are getting it out!

Dance

Dancing is a fun way to get rid of frustration and irritability. Turn up the music and dance! Being silly is a great way to diffuse anger and shift the mood into something more positive. This is great to use while confined in the car. Kids love it when their parents embarrass them with their sweet moves. Have fun with your kid!

Timed tantrum

Give your kid permission to have a temper tantrum! 3-5 minutes should do the trick. Its kind of like a reverse time-out. Let them know it's okay to be angry and frustrated, but there is a time and place for it. Some kids need a timed tantrum every day to help avoid real temper tantrums!

Reward with attention

Reward your child with your attention when they control their anger. Keep calm and ignore the angry behaviors (yelling, kicking, screaming, etc.). Reward calm behaviors (talking about their anger, counting to 10, deep breathing, etc.) with your praise and attention. Make them want to control their anger.

Talk about it

Anger is a reaction to something. Its important to find out what that something is. Talk about it after everyone has calmed down to find out what's really going on. Kids get angry for a lot of reasons, some reasons seem reasonable and some do not but to the kid, it is. Talk about it and alternative ways to express whatever it is. Sometimes once the source of the anger is identified and talked about, the kid feels validated and no longer feels the need to defend his/her feelings.

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Posted in Mental Health Post Date 04/02/2021


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