Experiencing emotions is a healthy and normal part of everyone’s life. Many emotions are enjoyable to witness and share with each other, such as, but not limited to joy, excitement, enthusiasm, happiness, and love.
But some emotions may make you feel uncomfortable, such as sadness or anger. It may be because those emotions make some people feel uncomfortable, we may avoid talking about them with others, especially when it comes to our children.
This week’s Tuesday Tip is about one of those emotions— Anger.
We all have varying degrees of coping with moments that make us angry and we all react differently when we feel anger. This week’s article will explore some tips on how to identify, cope with and manage anger when our children experience this emotion.
Dr. Deborah Serani recently published an article in Psychology Today (Nov. 2021) sharing, “Anger is generally a natural response to frustrating issues or situations, yet is often expressed in ways that are scary, confusing, or even unhealthy.” As parents, we need to understand where angry outbursts come from and teach our children not only about the emotion of anger, but also how to identify and self-regulate that emotion.
Dr. Serani created a pictorial image she calls, “The Anger Iceberg”. The notion behind her iceberg representation is that there is always an underlying reason for levels of anger. As parents, we must first be alert to what “triggers” an angry outburst. She goes on to provide helpful tips related to teaching children about anger: 6 Tips for Adults, Caregivers and Educators.
Anger begins with a trigger and can quickly move onwards to escalation or even crisis. Vancouver Island University published an article on the world wide web titled, Managing Anger, Yours and Others. Although this article may have been written with adults (co-workers) in mind, much of its content can be helpful for parents to understand the anger cycle and can apply tips for managing anger within the family as well.
An online author, Joe Van Deuren presents the stages of anger as:
- the buildup,
- the spark,
- the explosion,
- the aftermath.
Although Van Deuren’s article uses different terms, it describes a similar progression as most authors. Anger evolves due to an event and escalates. As parents, we have a responsibility to teach our children about the triggering events you notice in them and share strategies to cope with those triggers, helping them become self-regulators.
I could share a list of strategies here or a quick list of ways to help your child calm down when they get angry. Instead, I am sharing a far more comprehensive resource for your quick reference. The website, Coping Skills for Kids.com shares many, many great ideas to help parents teach children about anger management and more!
We all process our emotions individually, as do children. As our students may face challenges with anger or frustration, the Early Childhood Division at Concordia International School Shanghai want you to know that you don’t have to face it alone. We share your journey in the educational and social-emotional changes of the children in our classrooms. And we hope that our Tuesday Tips bring you helpful advice along your parenting journey.