A child’s frustration and anger show up generally during two phases in their lives: toddlerhood and pre-teen/ teen years. While expressing the emotion of anger is normal and healthy, parents should guide their kids on appropriate ways of showing their anger… and controlling it. Uncontrolled child rage fits can sometimes have deadly consequences.
When child rage fits get out of hand…
Recently, an 11-year-old boy in America pulled the trigger on his grandmother from behind her head, before shooting himself, too.
The reason? The boy was allegedly angry when instructed to clean his room.
Child rage fits can be dangerous to both the child and the parent – not just emotionally, but physically too. (Image for illustration purposes only). | Image Source: Stock Photo
Yvonne Woodard, the boy’s 65-year-old grandmother, died on Saturday, 3rd November 2018 at her home that she shared with her husband and grandson.
According to reports, Yvonne and her husband had full custody of the boy. According to Yvonne’s husband, the boy had been told to clean his room the entire day. However, he ignored all requests to do so.
Sergeant Joaquin Enriquez is a representative from the local County Sheriff’s Office. He explained to the press that both Yvonne and her husband were watching television. It was then that the boy snuck up and shot the grandmother from behind the chair she was sitting on.
His grandfather tried to chase him, but returned to help his wife. In the meantime, the boy pulled the trigger on himself.
According to the police, the gun belonged to the grandfather.
Child rage fits: How to talk with an angry child
Tips to respond to child rage fits
- Don’t be angry towards them. As a parent or guardian, your role is to de-escalate the situation if your child acts out in anger. Responding to anger by being angry will only worsen things further. Try to stay calm and talk it out with your kids in an even tone. That way, your kids will calm down and make it easier for you to reason with them.
- Be a good example. Children always look up to parents as their role model to mimic behaviour. So if you do actually yell at them, don’t be surprised to see them losing their tempers as well. You can’t expect your kids to handle their anger properly if you can’t do so yourself. Find ways to regulate your anger, and once you know how, teach your kids to calm down when they’re angry, too.
- Reward good behaviour. If you do see your child managing his anger without bursting out, praise them. This will encourage them to repeat the good behaviour in the future.
Useful phrases to say during child rage fits
1. Don’t say “Stop saying ‘No'”. Instead …
Say, “I understand you don’t want this. Let’s figure out what we can do differently”. Acknowledging your child’s refusal of a situation can help to de-escalate the situation. Instead of arguing yes/no, redirect the conversation to focus on possibility of a solution.”. Try establishing a team mentality and address the problem together.
The most important way to deal with child rage fits is to stay calm and talk things through. | Image Source: Stock Photo
2. Don’t say “Clean your room or you’re grounded”. Instead…
Say, “Let’s clean this room. I’ll help you get started”. Kids don’t typically like being tasked with overbearing chores, even if they need to be dealt with. Try being encouraging when assigning tasks like this, and even lend a helping hand to get the process started. They won’t feel so burdened if you offer some help!
3. Don’t say “Stop complaining”. Instead…
Say, “I understand you’re not happy. What would your solution be?”. Kids normally complain a lot. Instead of providing solutions, ask them to think of solutions. Remind them that no wrong asnwers exist.
4. Don’t say “Don’t be mad”. Instead…
Say, “I get angry too, let’s vent your anger/get it all out together”. Generally, this works for any scenario – and is the easiest to do! Venting it with your kid can help them understand different and effective ways to express anger appropriately. What’s more, it’s a good way of showing your child that you aren’t the enemy. You’re there to help them with their issues.
Reference: New York Times
Are you bullying your own child without knowing it?
5 Ways to help your kids manage their anger
13 Psychologist approved phrases to calm an angry child