Anger management for kids IS an issue. How we as adults handle our Anger is what your kids see as a ‘model’ for their anger management. And research shows that child behavior problems such as acting out and tantrums are indicators of how the child will react as an adult. Severe punishment (to point of abuse) and childhood exposure to abusive relationships between adults often preclude those kids participating in adult partner violence, known as Domestic Violence. Remember, Domestic Violence is NOT just physical contact – hitting, slapping, punching BUT also by law includes: Emotional; Verbal; Sexual and Financial abuse. Severely punishing a child by calling them horrendous down-putting names, ridiculing them, embarrassing them in front of friends, etc, presents a ‘role model’ for the child of how to deal with Anger. “Mom and dad did that so…” Recently a sports figure commented that his dad used physical violence on him, thus it was what his kid needed too. And this person also has been violent with his partner.
One study, noted that many children who had been consistently angry in childhood were more likely to be unsatisfied with life at age 30 and thus act out. Some of this is the narcissistic response, that “I had a rough time as a kid, therefore I deserve more now, and dammit, I’m gonna get it no matter what it takes.” There are also indications that genetics play role in how children react. While Anger Reactions can be, and are mostly a learned behavior, a propensity toward an aggressive response augments their actions.
In my Groups and teaching at the University, I use an example, that is NOT meant to demean human beings and children, but I think serves a good example of genetics – somewhat supporting Freud’s idea of “Nature and Nurture” that make us up. I suggest to folks to think of a time when they went to see a mother dog and her pups. Momma and pappa are the same for all the pups, the DNA is the same for them, yet, as you visit with the pups, not only are there external differences in color, size, weight, BUT as you fuss over them, one might lick your finger, another might yawn, another might growl, one might be afraid of you, and another might bite you. Kittens are the same, one might purr, another bite, etc.
Well, children of the same parents will also have some differences in their make up. You might have one child who is musically talented, can sing like a nightingale and carry a tune, and another child who can’t do any of those things, but is awesome in math!
So, yes, the best anger management tool and strategy for parents, is to remember for the children, you, as a parent, need to be a good role model; to familiarize yourself with anger management tips, strategies, and techniques that both help you to cope with the stresses of modern day living as well as enable the children to use you and learn from you anger management tools you use and share with your children.
Experts also suggest that to be most effective, anger management for children needs to be implemented before adolescence. Additionally, when a child learns to control his/her anger in pre-teen years, parents reap the benefit of a calmer environment during the child’s adolescence and more peace and quiet at home! dr.g.