Anger is a familiar theme in my clinic. We all can struggle with how to manage it. This is my March Newsletter post, so sign up on my contact page. I am very passionate about positive discipline, and often parents think it is permissive parenting but follow these tips. You will have less nagging and coercion and more problem solving and understanding. Let me know how it works for you.
This is the hardest for parents in the clinic to understand and a core principle of positive discipline.
Validation. This means letting your child know that you acknowledge and accept their thoughts and feelings. I know you think that if I take the angry feeling, I accept the hitting, aggression, etc. No, you have firm boundaries for the behaviour ( Top Three Family rules), but you get everyone can have feelings. Your child has vulnerabilities and triggers. Emotions are not destructive.
You can help to de-escalate the situation by Accepting, listening, acknowledging and understanding what they are feeling or telling you. You will be amazed that this will de-escalate the situation.
Thinking in a both-and statement, for example, I am angry with the………and I still love you.
Describing situations by making statements I feel…….rather than you are…….
So using phrases like “sometimes you… And you may be feeling…. always avoid, never, why and all the time phrases. These statements will escalate the emotion, and your child will feel invalidated.
Accept your child’s truth, keep an open mind and don’t make assumptions.
Be kind to yourself, no one is perfect, and you don’t always need to be in control; work on the top three rules and s let go of the others. This will give you and your child a chance to change.
When you use positive discipline, you will use less nagging, coercion and control.
Don’t take it personally; use responsive instead of reactive behaviour.
It is not your fault that your child has yet to learn the capacity to manage their emotions. Stressful pregnancy and birth can contribute to their presentation. It also depends on your child’s temperament. It may be very similar to yours (so you might get triggered)
Children don’t process emotions as adults do, so they have the right expectations for their age. They often don’t mean to be angry, so it’s important not to keep asking why or get fed up with them. Observe your child; notice what helps them to calm down.
Help your child to understand what emotions are. Try to know that they will feel things much more than you or me and respond more intensely. You can help your child learn about emotions by simply talking about yours calmly, using books and films, and noticing them in friends or brothers or sisters.
There is a free download on my Welcome page on understanding your child’s emotions and my top ten tips, and Please share and like my new Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BristolChildParentSupport.
Do one action today to help your child feel safe, loved and secure and let me know if these work for you.
With Love Catherine