There are ten characteristics that create how one views the world and handles adversity. If we can see that, it will help us to understand how a child or even ourself is thinking, which in turn helps us to find ways of dealing with our anger. Over the next few weeks I will talk about all ten of them and let’s see if we can identify ways of managing this in our own house.
The first way we will discuss is the child that seems to create their own situations that lead to angry outbursts. Many times they are unaware that the actions they are taking will provoke angry reactions. For instance they may take a toy away from another child and not give it back, or they may pick on someone to the point of annoyance and get a reaction. On the other had they may go about it more passively. Let’s say that a child has been called out on his behavior and then decides in his mind that he can do no right and so decides to go silent and not interact. This could cause a bad reaction and create and battle with they think they are avoiding trouble.
Anger can many times be building up over a long period of time, weeks or months, never forgetting and then using this to justify their actions. So how can we overcome these self-fulfilling prophesies?
1. Do not put a label on your child of any kind. Take every instance and situation as a stand alone situation. I know how difficult this is, because we will find it hard not to connect all the other things that they have done together, which really only raises our own frustration. Labeling a child though puts us in situation where we will find ourselves ‘looking for the anger’ and we know that when we are looking for something that we will find it.
2. Expect the best of each child in each circumstance. What we expect is what we will get, if our expectation is made in the proper manner. If we expect our child to speak kindly to us and we model that for them, they will get it eventually and meet our expectation. If we go into every interaction expecting an argument we will get that too.
3. Be fair. It is amazing as hard as we might try not to do this, every parent has their favorite child. If you want to believe it or not it shows and though you may not see it or believe it, all of us must work on treating every one of our children or students the same. In fact it is important for us to be fair for another reason. All of our children and students are watching how we deal with the child that is giving us the most trouble at the time and determining in their own mind how they will be dealt with at the time that they do something that is not in the parents favor. This one fact will have an affect on them too.
4. Hold no grudges. If we are not willing to forget the past it will be difficult to break the cycle and does not allow them to have the room to change. When we hold on to the past it will be harder for us to let them know that we believe in them and their ability to do better at managing their actions.
5. Let them know they can change. If we focus on positive we will get better results. If we use negative comments, insults, or demeaning phrases like, “I don’t know why I bother.”, it reinforces bad behavior. When we are positive it lets them know that we believe in them and sets a positive direction for your relationship.
Following these steps and setting an example for our children who create their own messes will let them see how you keep working on things that you may be struggling with and that you understand them. Empathize with your child and see the positive results.