7 ways to control Angry child!


            Parent’s voice of tone ยต Child's Aggression

The above equation says it all, higher is the voice tone of an adult while dealing with the angry toddler or young child, greater will be his aggression. Calmness, patience and nonviolent environment are essential components to improve child’s behaviour. In simple terms,child's behaviour is (directly proportional) very much affected by parent's behaviour!

If the parent and child shout together then situation remains, the same without any enhancements. It will be like beating around the bush which has no outcome ever. Moreover, it affects child’s trustworthiness and emotional security (parent-child bonding) in the long term. 

It is important to understand that a child under the age of four or five years does not have any intention to harm anyone around him. He wants to explore the world through different body senses such as touching different textures (Examples-carpet, power plug points, keys of laptop, smartphone), observing contrasting colours and images to explore visuals (snatching phone or I-pad to see images or photos) and shouting as they enjoy their own voice but hitting, kicking or pinching parents or caregivers is not their agenda fundamentally. Even shouting or getting angry is not their first choice, it happens only when they have no other option to get their things done!

Biting usually happens due to tethering factor.

At this developmental stage attention seeking behaviour is prevalent which is misinterpreted as aggressive behaviour of toddlers or young ones. Study done by Auruhn Dhal in University of California also suggests, that the use of aggression by toddlers  or young ones is unprovoked. 
Children involve into explorative force to seek attention. Unprovoked acts presumably become less frequent from 18 months onwards as toddlers learn that their aggression harms' others or they become sensitive towards other’s distress. 
So it should be understood that children are not hitting, biting, pinching or kicking intentionally to upset parents, siblings or others but because of their own newness in the world. Children belonging to age group of 36 month or more, are likely to get aggressive.
If child is having frequent aggression issues and hits people around revengefully which   reflects in his temperament, then following strategies can be explored: -

A. Act quickly but CalmlyChild’s Anger + Violence Address problem calmly + Quickly:
When the child is aggressive it is important that, parents should demonstrate patience, calmness and normal voice of tone. Screaming, yelling or shouting will not resolve the issue instead will aggravate the aggression within child. Moreover, there will be mirroring of parent’s actions. Plus, stomping foot, slamming doors will aggravate the behaviour and cause emotional meltdown and mistrust.  
If parent resolves the issue in soft, non-violent way, child will probably follow the same example. He should be spoken about the issue softly but immediately. Parents must not waste time or follow "Let it go" approach considering that this is his first time or he is too young to understand. For example:The child hits his younger sibling without any reason, for the first time, so it should be addressed immediately. He needs to apologise and take time-out of 3 to 5 minutes to calm down and think about his mistake, Later, parents can discuss with him making him realise what wrong he has done. He should be aware of his actions and their consequences.
Keynote: Setting rules for actions and related consequences is important

B. Appreciate your child (good for 3-year-old or more): Leads to better Behaviour + raised Self-esteem: 
Praising plays an important role. Explain to him how much “Grown up” he is acting whenever he behaves in a desirable manner (communicating without being aggressive) instead of shouting, kicking, pinching or biting. It will be good to give him one or two smileys or thumbs-up on the behavioural chart for good deed or kindness act such as opening doors for others if the child is 5 years or older than that.
Hugs and kisses are good to calm down an angry child. According to Sensory Integration, hugs provide deep pressure to body which is a great way of relaxing the child.Use of weighted blankets or vests can also be helpful for ADHD,Sensory Processing Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder.Most of the times anger are co-morbid with these conditions.
Other approaches can be patting on his back or applauding him on accomplishment of task. Some parents try to reinforce good behaviour by awarding Lego, play station or chocolates which is common form of “bribing”, which is probably helpful for short term. As soon as bribery is stopped, child reverts back to same behaviour.
Keynote: Giving hugs and kisses is a gesture to make kids realise that they are valued and loved simply because they are.

C.  Involve with the child holistically: To know your child, keep phone at a distance 
It is important to dedicate time to child mentally and physically, so mobile phones need to be at a distance when spending evening time or anytime with family. 
Turning off your phone, especially if it's 'smart', is one of the easiest ways for most of us to significantly bump up our attention and focus on the present. Mobile phones are addiction today and empower much of human brain. We create distance from family to establish and maintain relations with distant people. So parents need to understand that what is important currently and in future is in front of their eyes and not on screen of smart phones. If parents cannot pay more attention to child it’s okay, but ignorance of existence of child is not tolerable. That hurts child emotionally and mentally. Building good childhood memories is parent’s responsibility so think and act.
Keynote: Can’t pay attention, is tolerable but ignorance is intolerable
D.  Learn to say NOSaying yes to everything will not make you ideal parent:
It is not necessary that all the demands are fulfilled every time. If demands are out of your reach due to lack of time or funds, you can always say NO in a civilised manner without involving verbal or physical violence. Loving or reflecting good behaviour does not mean that you always have to compromise in every situation to avoid aggression.
There is also no need to make immediate commitments which are difficult to be fulfilled or probable to be broken such as “I will take you out to the adventure park in the evening today, let me go to important meeting now”. Let the child understand that every demand is not genuine to be fulfilled. This way we can also prevent jeopardized situations such as receiving call from nursery or preschool since child’s behaviour is headache for others too. It is better to pay attention and teach child social ethics and norms at home rather than get embarrassed in front of guests or outsiders.
Keynote: It’s important to teach but not to punish!

E. Physical activities: Good source of reducing anger 
  Many times kids are very energetic and need some source to  channelize their energies. If this does not happen they become  aggressive and difficult to be handled. Physical activities support    them to self-regulate physically, mentally and emotionally. 
    For example, doing trampoline activities at a home or going out to parks can be beneficial. Moreover, riding a bike or playing obstacle course of pillows or soft toys can be done at home. This also helps them in exploring new tasks and learning through doing. Physical activities generate and activate brain cells that support in cognitive and perceptual development. Additionally, doing activities with play mates or friends increases socialisation and social skills.
Keynote: Channelize child’s energies in the positive direction.  

F.  SpankingNo change in child’s behaviour OR more aggression 
Many times out of frustration parents spank kids thinking this will stop his undesirable behaviour however spanking sparks more hostility and aggression. Expressing anger peacefully is jiff tricky but more effective as long term behaviour modification rather than scolding or spankings. Spanking is modelling violence—mild as it may be, but should be avoided completely. Hitting in any form does not teach child how it feels when being hurt instead it backfires the lesson, says Elizabeth Gershoff, a child development expert at the University of Texas at Austin. She says kids don’t change their behaviour instead they hit more other people. 
Keynote: Monkey see, monkey do!
G. Use of GesturesDevelops child’s understanding of right and wrong:
No shouting or scolding rule doesn’t mean permissive parenting. There can be other approaches that can be used such as strong eye contact gesture, making sad face, to show dislike towards child’s
action. 9 months onwards children are able to understand “NO”, so this gesture can be used to show resistance. Paediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp suggests a “clap-growl” technique. She says if child has bitten her little brother.  “Give a good sharp clap,” and then extend your index finger, saying “No bite! “Parent might look away for a second and repeat the stern look again, waving his or her finger and saying “No bite. Gestures to remain quiet (keeping finger on lips) or thumbs-down when he is shouting or yelling will help to develop child’s understanding of emotions and his doings. Showing thumb-up when he does something positive will help child to be confident and feel-good. Teaching different types of gestures such as hand-shake, clapping, waving will to a toddler is common during this age. 
Keynote: Gestures are non-verbal form of communication that supports child to develop verbally.

Think about it: How would you feel if someone always keeps irritating you stating our behaviour is not correct?