February is Anger Awareness in RISD
What is Anger?
Anger is a natural feeling for both children and adults. It is the way our bodies react to stress. It is very important to learn strategies to help control anger so that it does not cross over to violence.
Children and Anger:
Both parents and teachers should allow children to be angry. When anger is in control, a child is able to communicate his or her feelings in a calm manner. This is a healthy way to deal with anger. If a child is not able to express anger and it is held in, this could be unhealthy for the child and lead to violence or tantrums. Here are some behaviors your child may child may be demonstrating:
- Over react to simple requests
- Changed moods over period of time
- Drop in school grades
- Social withdrawal/loss of friends
- Provokes fights with others
- Blames other person instead of taking responsibility
- Loss of interest in physical appearance
Risk Factors Associated with Anger:
- Learning problems in school
- Family problems
- Difficulty making and keeping friends
Tips for dealing with Anger:
- Help children to name their feelings and talk about what exactly is angering them. Help to make a plan to solve the problem.
- Provide a “cooling off” spot. Children can benefit from having a pre-arranged area to go so they feel safe when they are angry. Time alone can help them sort their thoughts.
- Allow children who are capable to draw or write about what’s bothering them. This activity can help children find the words to express their anger.
- When the anger has passed, discuss the situation. Create a plan to help the child have tools to use the next time they are angry.
- Be supportive. Remind children that anger is healthy, and that with practice and a plan they can stay in control.