How To Handle Anger Issues, Temper Tantrums In Children & Adults Appropriately
Temper tantrums is what everyone goes through at one point or the other. Children are usually the ones associated with this but, adults have theirs too. The thing with children’s own is that more often than not, it is usually a ploy to get attention or something they want from their parents but those of adults are usually more difficult to control.
Children need a lot of patience when dealing with them if not, you may have a room full of wailing toddlers. Before handling them, you must understand why they have it. It is often exhibited through whining, kicking, scratching, screaming, hiting, stomping etc.
Som have theirs often while others, rarely. The reasons can be because they want attention, are hungry, uncomfortable etc. Determining why is the first step to effectively handling children’s tantrums.
Here is a look at how to handle them in children before moving over to that of the adults:
Let Them Have Control Over Harmless Things: Children, little as they are are already clamouring for freedom and control of their environment. This is one of the reasons they exhibit this behaviour.
Therefore in situations where you can, offer them some level of freedom and/or choice. For instance, you can ask questions such as “do you want fanta or Miranda”? ” will you watch Disney junior or Nickelodeon”?. This way, you are not saying an outright no but giving them something to choose from.
It makes them feel like they are doing what they want not what you want (which is exactly what they want).
Reward Them For Being Nice: Everyone likes a bit of appreciation when they have done well or behaved nicely (children included). So when they make good grades, come home from school looking neat or simply putting away their toys when you ask them to is enough to receive your commendation. Children have feelings too you know.
Keep Away Things You Know They Should not Have: Like we said earlier, one of the reasons they throw tantrums is because they want something especially things they ought not to have or handle.
Rather than have your child whine and cry all day, remove all the harmful things you know you would never oblige them with no matter how hard they cry. Things like sharp and pointed objects, hot liquids, certain toys etc all fall under this category.
Distract Them: You know how fleeting and short our attention span is right? Well, that of your kids are even shorter. A child may be screaming for a particular toy, the moment you show him/her something fancier and brighter, they instantly forget the first.
Take advantage of this and and start a new activity to distract them from the one you want them to stop.
Listen To What They Are Asking: Sometimes, kids make some requests that may not be harmful outrightly but because we are often busy and juggling activities, our default answer is no. Listen to what the child wants, it may not be bad after all.
Understand That Children Have Limits: Sometimes, the child is just tired and probably feeling sleepy and needs you to cuddle them so they can sleep. Know when this is the problem so that you can attend to them properly.
Remember this, your tactics in handling your children’s tantrums should change depending on why they are throwing one. Sometimes, it could be because they genuinely need your attention. If this is the case, do give them all the attention they need.
Also, note that you must always keep your cool and be firm most times. If you give in at every instance, your children will use this to constantly manipulate you into having their way. Therefore, know when to stand your ground and say no especially when it has to do with their safety.
Let us now take a look at how to deal with tantrums when it is thrown by adults. This one requires tact and a great deal of maturity to handle.
Be Calm: A saying has it that two persons cannot be mad at the same time. When the other person is angry, you must keep your cool otherwise, you will worsen the already volatile situation. You stand a better chance of diffusing the other person’s anger in this state.
Talk It Over: Ask the person what is upsetting him/her. Usually, when adults are angry, they may not be able to get the words coherently. In such a situation, be patient. Do not try to make them give you the entire story in one full swoop.
They may likely say that nothing is wrong (especially the ladies). Lies! Everything is wrong. Even if they do not want to talk about it yet, let them know you will be there when they eventually feel like talking about it.
Justify Their Anger: This means validating their emotions. Make them feel it is okay for them to be angry. Even if you do not like the way they are throwing tantrums and going on and on about it, this is not the right time to preach. Let them know you understand perfectly well how they feel and how you are likely to behave the same way if the tables were turned (even if you won’t). By doing this, you are sharing a connection with them and this can help them cope better with it.
Apologize: You obviously do not need to be the reason for their aggression before tendering an apology. This is just to pacify them. Remember, even the Bible says that a soft answer turneth away wrath.
Stick to the Facts: As much as you ate trying to calm the other person down, try not to appear biased, sarcastic or accusative. For instance, if they are the guilty party, do not tell them they are right instead, let them see reasons why you think they are wrong. Do this as calmly as you can. While this may not calm them down, it is mostly likely not going to worsen the situation either.
Give the Person Some Space: Sometimes when people are angry, all they actually need is space to cool off. They may not feel like having the conversation. In this scenario, you may have to leave them alone. People sometimes get over their tantrums trough some moments of introspection.
Be Direct: You can go a step further by asking the person what you can do to help. You may take them to see a movie, mall, or park. It may be they just need a hug or reassurance. Do all of this and much more if you can.
Leave the Scene: Sometimes, leaving the scene of aggression helps you to calm the person down. If it is someone that caused their tantrums, you may suggest them leaving the place to avoid seeing the offender.
Proffer Solutions: After the temper, now what? It does not just end in talking and talking. How can you pacify the person and also proffer solution(s) to the issue at hand? At this point, you are the sane and reasonable one so you should think of a way.
It is very likely they may throw your suggestions right back at you. Do not be offended. After they have cooled off, they will most likely come back to tell you that they took an advice or two.
Revisit the Issue: At this stage, your primary concern is to placate the person. Subsequently, if you both were having a conversation they made the other flare up, you can decide to talk about it when you are sure tempers have cooled. You are most likely to have a more productive conversation then.