It’s normal to feel angry at times. It’s how you act on those feelings that matter. This is true for adults as well as children! It can be difficult to identify what triggered the angry feeling.
An anger trigger can be a situation, action, or anything that makes your child angry. It's important to be aware of triggers so that we can either prevent the situation, or learn strategies to cope with our emotions better.
Identify what causes the feelings
Have a brainstorming session to identify what pushes your child's anger buttons so they are more prepared for next time. Write a list of the things that make them angry.
☼ Try and list some that can be avoided (like being tired or hungry),
☼ and some that can't be avoided (like losing a game or falling over) and will need a coping skill to manage.
It can be tricky to think of them ahead of time, so maybe debrief after an incident.
☼ Discuss what made them angry
☼ Ask them how they felt
☼ Say what chain of events you noticed
Create an action plan
Discuss what action they can take to manage the trigger. Sometimes we can solve a problem, but other times we just need to learn to control our anger. Try and think about:
☼ Ideas to prevent the situation
☼ Exercises to calm down
☼ How to take a break from the situation
☼ Unprepared? How to use Terri's 'Stop, Breathe, Think' technique
When your child is more aware of their internal world and that they have some control over managing their triggers and managing themselves, they begin to feel more confident about themselves.